Cooling of Earth Caused by Eruptions, Not Meteors, Researchers Believe

Ancient sediment found in a central Texas cave appears to solve the mystery of why the Earth cooled suddenly about 13,000 years ago, according to a research study. 

Michael Waters, director of The Center for The Study of the First Americans and Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M University, along with colleagues from Baylor University and the University of Houston have co-authored the research published in Science Advances. 

Many researchers believed the event which cooled the earth was caused by an extraterrestrial impact with the earth, such as a meteor collision. 

Waters and the team found layers of sediment in a cave he has been working in since 2017 that dated to the time of the proposed impact that could perhaps identify the trigger of that ancient cold snap. 

The event also likely helped cause the extinction of large mammals that once roamed North America. 

“This work shows that the geochemical signature associated with the cooling event is not unique but occurred four times between 9,000 and 15,000 years ago,” said Alan Brandon, head of the research team.