Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A comet strike that hit our planet a long time ago could have initiated the ancient warming event, says a new research.
Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a rapid warming event may have been caused by an accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide 56 million years ago, suggests new research.
Sorting through samples of sediment from the time period, researchers discovered evidence of the strike in the form of microtektites -- tiny dark glassy spheres typically formed by extraterrestrial impacts.
"This tells us that there was an extraterrestrial impact at the time this sediment was deposited -- a space rock hit the planet," said corresponding author Morgan Schaller, Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
"The coincidence of an impact with a major climate change is nothing short of remarkable," Schaller said.
In recent years, PETM has become a major point of interest for scientists as it is perhaps the best past analog by which to understand impacts of global climate warming today.
(With IANS inputs)