New data from Greenland ice cores containing platinum strongly suggest that a meteor hit earth around 12,900 years ago — resulting in the extinction of the North American Clovis people and multiple animal species.
A theory has been floating around for awhile that the 1,200 years-long ice age called the Younger Dryas ice age may have been sparked almost 13,000 years ago when a large meteor or asteroid hit the earth. The sudden climate change resulted in the extinction of most of North America’s large megafauna including mammoths, rhinoceros species, and even the native human people known as the Clovis.
However, there has been little evidence for the theory.
But a new study published in late July by the Proceedings For The National Academy Of Sciences said that Harvard University researchers have discovered a 100-fold spike in platinum in cores collected in Greenland from ice that is around 12,890 years old. The platinum-rich layer is believed to have fallen from space.
And that means it could have come from a killer meteor.
While it’s plausible, a BBC report on the platinum find did note a problem. The researchers still haven’t been able to locate an impact crater.
If a meteor did strike and wipe out the Clovis, where did it fall?
As a result of this year’s costly meteor strike on Russia, the public has become more aware of the issue of potentially deadly meteorites falling to earth.
Some groups want to fund expensive campaigns to seek out hazardous meteors and asteroids before they hit this planet.
But others say that we still don’t have the technology to prevent a strike.
At our stage of the game, we may be as helpless to ward off a killer asteroid strike as the Clovis people would have been.
Either way, the Greenland ice cores containing platinum are an interesting hint that meteors might cause global climate change that kills humans.
[meteors hitting earth art by Vladimir Koletic via Shutterstock]