Tuesday January 21, 2020
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Archeologists find New Evidence about Extinction of Ice Age Animals

The study builds on similar findings of platinum spikes -- an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets

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Extinction
Team of researchers found unusually high concentrations of platinum and iridium in outwash sediments from a recently discovered crater in Greenland that could have been the impact point of Extinction. Pixabay

Archaeologists have found new evidence that an extraterrestrial body crashed to Earth almost 13,000 years ago that caused the Extinction of many large animals and a probable population decline in early humans.

The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, controversial from the time it was presented in 2007, proposes that an asteroid or comet hit the Earth about 12,800 years ago causing a period of extreme cooling that contributed to extinctions of more than 35 species of megafauna including giant sloths, sabre-tooth cats, mastodons and mammoths.

It also coincides with a serious decline in early human populations such as the Clovis culture and is believed to have caused massive wildfires that could have blocked sunlight, causing an “impact winter” near the end of the Pleistocene Epoch.

In a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, University of South Carolina archaeologist Christopher Moore and 16 colleagues present further evidence of a cosmic impact based on research done at White Pond near Elgin, South Carolina.

The study builds on similar findings of platinum spikes — an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets — in North America, Europe, western Asia and recently in Chile and South Africa.

“There have been numerous papers that have come out in the past couple of years with similar data from other sites that almost universally support the notion that there was an extraterrestrial impact or comet airburst that caused the Younger Dryas climate event,” said Moore.

“First, we thought it was a North American event, and then there was evidence in Europe and elsewhere that it was a Northern Hemisphere event. And now with the research in Chile and South Africa, it looks like it was probably a global event,” he added.

Extinction
Archaeologists have found new evidence that an extraterrestrial body crashed to Earth almost 13,000 years ago that caused the Extinction of many large animals and a probable population decline in early humans. Pixabay

In addition, a team of researchers found unusually high concentrations of platinum and iridium in outwash sediments from a recently discovered crater in Greenland that could have been the impact point.

Although the crater hasn’t been precisely dated yet, Moore said the possibility is good that it could be the “smoking gun” that scientists have been looking for to confirm a cosmic event.

Additionally, data from South America and elsewhere suggests the event may have actually included multiple impacts and airbursts over the entire globe.

While the brief return to ice-age conditions during the Younger Dryas period has been well-documented, the reasons for it and the decline of human populations and animals have remained unclear. The impact hypothesis was proposed as a possible trigger for these abrupt climate changes that lasted about 1,400 years.

Extinction
Failure of glacial ice dams allowed a massive release of freshwater into the north Atlantic, affecting oceanic circulation and causing the Earth to plunge into a cold climate before Extinction. Pixabay

The conventional view has been that the failure of glacial ice dams allowed a massive release of freshwater into the north Atlantic, affecting oceanic circulation and causing the Earth to plunge into a cold climate.

The Younger Dryas hypothesis simply claims that the cosmic impact was the trigger for the meltwater pulse into the oceans.

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“We speculate that the impact contributed to the extinction, but it wasn’t the only cause. Over hunting by humans almost certainly contributed, too, as did climate change,” Moore noted. (IANS)

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Majority of Meat-Eaters Believe Veganism is Ethical for Environment

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, looked at public opinion on plant-based diets

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Veganism
Many people agree with the principles of veganism is one thing, but in terms of changing behaviours we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient and a sacrifice in terms of taste. Pixabay

Most meat eaters admit veganism is ethical and good for the environment, researchers have found.

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, looked at public opinion on plant-based diets and found widespread support for the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism and vegetarianism among meat-eaters.

The findings from University of Bath, UK, suggest that 73 per cent of meat-eaters surveyed, considered veganism to be ‘ethical’, 70 per cent said it was good for the environment and half (50 per cent) considered it healthy and 60 per cent thought veganism was ‘acceptable’.

“At a time of year when many people are considering switching to plant-based diets with ‘Veganuary’, this study shows that most people already agree with the ethics of veganism and are aware of the benefits of vegan diets to the environment,” said study researcher Chris Bryant from the University of Bath.

The study, which involved 1,000 men and women with an average age of 34, was conducted in September 2018. Participants were recruited online through the survey platform Prolific. By contrast, over 80 per cent of respondents thought veganism was not easy, 77 per cent thought it ‘inconvenient’ and over 60 per cent thought it was not enjoyable.

Attitudes from respondents towards vegetarianism were significantly more positive on almost all counts. According to the researchers, this research is focused on shifting preferences away from animal consumption in view of climate change and reducing animal suffering.

“Many people agree with the principles of veganism is one thing, but in terms of changing behaviours we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient and a sacrifice in terms of taste,” Bryant said.

Veganism
Most meat eaters admit veganism is ethical and good for the environment, researchers have found. Pixabay

Interestingly, in the time since this study was conducted, these things have all changed substantially. Supermarkets, restaurants, and even fast food outlets have developed numerous high quality and affordable vegan options, the study said. “Having direct replacements for the foods people know and like makes it easier for everybody to consume fewer animal products,” Bryant said.

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“If we are to reduce animal product consumption in the UK and around the world, the development of high quality affordable alternatives to animal products is key,” Bryant added. (IANS)