New research shows that a comet hit Earth near Chicago as little as 13,000 years ago. This caused an ice age that killed off the mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. These events happen more often than we have realized. There could be a rock with our names on it headed towards Earth right now. Near Earth "space rocks" are a lot more common than previously thought. At least 5,388 near-Earth asteroids and comets are known to exist. Unfortunately, there is very little budgeted money for this threat. The people who are concerned about climate change should forget carbon emissions and pay attention to a serious threat.
Scientists say comet killed off mammoths, saber-toothed tigers
January 2nd, 2009 By Robert Mitchum in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences
First an explosion as powerful as thousands of megatons of TNT rained meteorites down on North America. Then forest fires broke out across the continent, sending up a thick layer of soot and dust that blocked out the sun. A sudden ice age ensued, and some of the Earth's largest animals went extinct in a blink of geological time.
It's well known that a meteorite colliding with Earth is considered the most likely reason dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago. Now a team of scientists says it has found new evidence that a comet triggered a similar extinction much more recently: just 13,000 years ago, when humans were around to witness the event and suffer its terrible consequences.
The researchers also think that when the comet exploded above the planet's surface - ultimately killing off mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and other large mammals that roamed North America - Chicago wasn't too far from ground zero. Full story here.