‘Climate change‘ is certainly affecting temperatures, ice is collapsing and melting in the poles, and sea levels are slowly rising. . Some argue that’s it’s a natural cycle that the Earth goes through, and eventually it’ll cool down as we will encounter another ice age, and others claim that it’s man-made, due to gasses and pollution rising into the atmosphere. We are still technically within an ice age, although the levels of ice have reduced dramatically, and the last full ice age that put a layer of ice across the world ended just short of 12,000 years ago and lasted about 100,000 years, and was known as the ‘Quaternary Glaciation‘, also known as the ‘Pleistocene Glaciation‘ which initially started 2.6,000,000 years ago.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.
We are slowly moving away from that, but nothing happens quickly as far as the world’s geological changes take place. Eventually all of the ice will melt and the Earth’s climate will go through a ‘greenhouse period‘. The oceans will warm up and toxic gases like ‘methane‘ and ‘carbon dioxide‘ levels will rise, and many species will go extinct. Scientists and geologists say that this isn’t unusual, as the majority of the Earth’s life has been in a state of greenhouse, with at least ‘five major ice ages‘ throughout its 4.54 billion year existence. The major players were the ‘Huronian‘, ‘Cryogenian‘, ‘Andean–Saharan‘, ‘late Paleozoic‘, and the current one.
Thankfully, none of us will be around the suffer the full effects of a greenhouse Earth, but perhaps future generations will, if we don’t destroy the earth in other ways, or it’s destroyed for us. There are millions of ‘asteroids‘ flying through space, and one of them may just have the Earth’s name on it. We’ve already gone through several disasters that have drastically reduced the species of ‘animals‘, ‘birds‘, ‘marine creatures‘ and ‘insects‘ on Earth, and one of the most significant is known as the ‘Great Dying‘, or by the technical term ‘Permian–Triassic extinction event‘. This happened over 250,000,000 years ago, and evidence is scarce, as it’s either buried or at the bottom of the oceans, but evidence that scientists have gathered puts it down to a dramatic event that affected life throughout the world. ‘Giant asteroid’, ‘volcanic activity‘ or ‘gases‘ released during an Earth plate shift are the major theories and whichever one it was, it destroyed the majority of marine life, insect life and a large portion of mammals. What we have on Earth right now is literally just a fraction of what could still be here if the event never took place. It makes you wonder if we’d have even got to develop so far as a species if other dominant species had survived. Some of the craters caused by asteroids are massive in size, and would create damage like nothing we’ve ever witnessed throughout our brief history of humanity, and only the hardiest of life would have survived.
”Asteroids have us in our sight. The dinosaurs didn’t have a space program, so they’re not here to talk about this problem. We are, and we have the power to do something about it. I don’t want to be the embarrassment of the galaxy, to have had the power to deflect an asteroid, and then not, and end up going extinct.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
The largest crater on Earth is the ‘Vredefort crater’, which is in ‘South Africa’, and at the time of impact, it would have measured over 300km wide, but its size has reduced as it’s over 2 billion years old, and is the second oldest known crater discovered. Scientists believe that for a crater to be so large, the asteroid must have been between 10 and 15 km in width. Luckily we aren’t the only target in the solar system, and by looking at the condition of the ‘Moon’s‘ surface, you can see just how much of a shield it’s been for Earth.
The ‘Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event‘ was more recent and that happened approximately 66,000,000 years ago, and scientists put it down to an asteroid collision. This was what is allegedly responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs, and approximately 80 percent of life on Earth. Scientists ‘Walter‘ and ‘Luis Alvarez‘ put forth the theory that the collision would have created a giant dust cloud that engulfed the atmosphere in darkness which would have lasted for a considerable length of time, and without sunlight, life would have gradually died out, especially plant life, as without sunlight ‘photosynthesis‘ cannot happen. Who knows what’s heading our way, as it’s inevitable that a collision from an asteroid is coming, the question is when?!
“An asteroid or a supervolcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.” – Elon Musk