Around 55.5 million years ago, there was a time period with more than 5°C – 8 °C warmer global average temperature than today, which named “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” (PETM). As a result, there were crocodiles and even crocodiles in the Arctic and the region was completely ice-free. Now, a new study suggests that if we keep burning fossil fuels at the current rate, the Earth will be again 8 degrees warmer within the next few hundred years. We’re going to face another PETM-like event soon.Continue reading We are pumping 10 times more carbon into the atmosphere than when there were palm trees in the Arctic
By studying lunar craters, scientists have discovered that the asteroid impacts became more frequent about 290 million years ago. So was just a matter of time for dinosaurs to becoming extinct.Continue reading Dinosaurs were already doomed as the frequency of Asteroid Impacts increased 290 million years ago
What if the Earth’s history (our planet’s age is approximately 4.54 billion years), compressed into just one year, let’s say the year of 2018? @YearOnEarth just did that. At midnight on the 31st of December 2017, Chris Jennings started a little project for the incoming year: tweeting the entirety of the geological history of the Earth, compressed into the year of 2018.
The result is an amazing timeline of the Earth’s history.Continue reading What If Earth’s History Compressed Into The Year of 2018
It’s ironic how calling a person a “monkey” or “orangutan” is considered offensive when we all know that humans are descended from these apes. Well, sometimes it is hard to find logic in the customs and practices of our society, but if you are willing to find the path of evolution that turned monkeys into the modern men, you may find the details in the fossil records.Continue reading The Significance of Fossils in Revealing the Evolution on Earth
Back in December 1990, during its flyby of Earth, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies, pointed its instruments towards Earth, at the urging of Carl Sagan. And, it has found evidence of life on our planet. This can be a key to detect vegetation on exoplanets – which is a key to a possible i
In a paper published on Nature, researchers wrote “The Galileo spacecraft found evidence of abundant gaseous oxygen, a widely distributed surface pigment with a sharp absorption edge in the red part of the visible spectrum, and atmospheric methane in extreme thermodynamic disequilibrium. Together, these are strongly suggestive of life on Earth.”Continue reading Earth can be a model for detecting vegetation on exoplanets
Birds (Aves) range in size and weight from the 5 cm (2 in) and 1.6-2 grams bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) and 104-156 kg (229-344 lbs) ostrich. Here are the top 15 largest bird species in the world (by body weight).
Birds form one of six basic animal groups, with the others being amphibians, fish, invertebrates, mammals and reptiles. They are endothermic vertebrates, characterized by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. They reproduce by laying of hard-shelled eggs (eggs fertilize inside the female). The fossil record indicates that birds are the last surviving group of dinosaurs. So, they are also termed avian dinosaurs.
Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid or comet at least 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter impacted a few miles from the present-day town of Chicxulub in Mexico (hence it is dubbed as the “Chicxulub impactor”), at around 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph). The impact has created a crater (Chicxulub crater) more than 180 km (110 miles) in diameter. But, what’s more, the energy of the impact (which is equivalent of about ten billion Hiroshima atom bombs) vaporized the rock which was rich in sulfur compounds, filling the air with a thick cloud of dust, similar to that created by a catastrophic volcanic eruption.
This cloud blocked out the sun at least for a decade and caused a global, dark winter: even in the tropics the temperatures were barely above freezing, and the average global temperature was below 0°C (32°F). Before the impact, the average global temperature was around 26°C (47°F), so this means a huge drop. And the recovery time was more than 30 years! The dinosaurs which had dominated the Earth for more than 150 million years were used to living in a lush climate and were already in decline, so non-avian dinosaurs couldn’t survive after the last deadly blow.
Hint: they are all space rocks. But, there are some differences. The biggest difference between an asteroid and a comet, for example, is what they are made of.
In 1981, when I was nine years old, my father took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. Although I had to squint my eyes during some of the scary scenes, I loved it – in particular because I was fairly sure that Harrison Ford’s character was based on my dad. My father was a palaeontologist at the University of Chicago, and I’d gone on several field trips with him to the Rocky Mountains, where he seemed to transform into a rock-hammer-wielding superhero.
I stumbled upon an amazing web page showing what did ancient Earth look like. On “Dinosaur Pictures and Facts” web page (dinosaurpictures.org), there’s also an interactive animation. On this page, you can either select the years (i.e. 600 million years ago) or jump to a particular event (i.e. first multicellular life) and see how ancient Earth did look like then. You can also remove the clouds and stop the Earth’s rotation if you want to.