Type

Journal Article

Authors

James P. Kennett
Allen West
James H. Wittke
Brian C. Thomas
Kenneth B. Tankersley
Jennifer Parlier
William M. Napier
Christopher R. Moore
Abigail Maiorana-Boutilier
Siddhartha Mitra
and 21 others

Subjects

Geology

Topics
terrestrial marine sediments lake europe ice sheet biomass south america climate changes

Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 2. Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial Sediments (2018)

Abstract Part 1 of this study investigated evidence of biomass burning in global ice records, and here we continue to test the hypothesis that an impact event at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB) caused an anomalously intense episode of biomass burning at ∼12.8 ka on a multicontinental scale (North and South America, Europe, and Asia). Quantitative analyses of charcoal and soot records from 152 lakes, marine cores, and terrestrial sequences reveal a major peak in biomass burning at the Younger Dryas (YD) onset that appears to be the highest during the latest Quaternary. For the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (K-Pg) impact event, concentrations of soot were previously utilized to estimate the global amount of biomass burned, and similar measurements suggest that wildfires at the YD onset rapidly consumed ∼10 million km2 of Earth’s surface, or ∼9% of Earth’s biomass, considerably more than for the K-Pg impact. Bayesian analyses and age regressions demonstrate that ages for YDB peaks in charcoal and soot across four continents are synchronous with the ages of an abundance peak in platinum in the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core and of the YDB impact event (12,835–12,735 cal BP). Thus, existing evidence indicates that the YDB impact event caused an anomalously large episode of biomass burning, resulting in extensive atmospheric soot/dust loading that triggered an “impact winter.” This, in turn, triggered abrupt YD cooling and other climate changes, reinforced by climatic feedback mechanisms, including Arctic sea ice expansion, rerouting of North American continental runoff, and subsequent ocean circulation changes.
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Article
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering: Research Institutes: Hamilton Institute
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Published
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering: Mathematics and Statistics

Full list of authors on original publication

James P. Kennett, Allen West, James H. Wittke, Brian C. Thomas, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Jennifer Parlier, William M. Napier, Christopher R. Moore, Abigail Maiorana-Boutilier, Siddhartha Mitra and 21 others

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