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Asteroid Crash increased biodiversity on Earth

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A major collision in the asteroid belt triggered an ice age on Earth 470 million years ago – giving biodiversity an enormous boost. Researchers from the analysis of marine sediments in Sweden and Russia conclude that. The asteroid dust from the collision had spread over the solar system and thus significantly reduced the solar radiation on Earth, reports the group around Birger Schmitz from the University of Lund in Sweden in the journal „Science Advances“.

Like „burst vacuum cleaner bag in living room“

„It’s like having a vacuum cleaner bag burst in the middle of the living room, but on a much larger scale,“ explained Schmitz. At that time, an approximately 150-kilometer asteroid had been ground in the area between the planets Mars and Jupiter. The shading caused by the extraterrestrial asteroid dust has triggered or at least intensified an ice age, argue the researchers. The sudden cooling caused the sea level to sink significantly, forcing marine life to adapt to the new climates, leading to spectacular biodiversity in the oceans.