Greenland Hides Huge Crater
A large impact crater was recently detected beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The crater is 31 kilometers wide and it was detected when scientists examined radar images of the island’s bedrocks. The researchers suggest that the crater was probably dug out by an iron asteroid sometime between 12,000 and three million years ago. However, without drilling through nearly 1km of ice in order to get samples, scientists can’t be more specific. Prof. Kurt Kjær, from the Danish Museum of Natural History, said:
“We will endeavor to do this; it would certainly be the best way to get the ‘dead fish on the table’ (acknowledge the issue, rather than leaving it), so to speak,”
Researchers confirmed that the crater will be the first of any size which was observed under the Earth’s continental ice sheets.
The impact crater is located on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, underneath the area which is known as Hiawatha Glacier.
The putative impact crater is located right on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, underneath what is known as Hiawatha Glacier.
High-resolution radar imagery shows a circular structure that is elevated at its rim and center.
The team of researchers knows that the crater must be older than 12,000 years because of the undisturbed ice layers above the depression. They also estimated that the crater is younger than three million years based on the rock erosion rates, both on nearby terrains and within the crater. However, the only way to determine the age of the crater is to drill down and collect rocks for more specific laboratory dating research.
Help Climate and Cut Beef and Lamb Farms
The number of cattle and sheep should be reduced to help combat climate change. The change is needed according to the government’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change because lamb and beef produce most of the farm greenhouse gasses.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, a reduction by 20-50% in beef and lamb pasture should release 3 to 7m hectares of grassland from the current 12m hectares in the UK. The committee’s advice is to produce less red meat.
The main idea is to turn farmland into forests. The chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Chris Stark, said:
“Climate change is going to change the way the UK looks – and we also have to alter the way we use land, so we don’t make climate change worse. Brexit offers the government the opportunity to introduce fundamentally new policies that will reward farmers for producing fewer greenhouse gases and for capturing carbon emissions.”
Carbon is stored in the soil and in plants, so the CCC recommends that the proportion of UK land under forestry should be increased from 14% to 19%.
Of course, there are some controversies regarding the committee’s recommendation for the UK to grow more plants and trees and to lower the size of farmland.
Exoplanets Discovered Around the Neighboring Star
Astronomers discovered a planet around one of the closest stars to the Sun. Stars like these are more likely to be the main targets in the search for any sign of life using the next generation of telescopes. The mass of the planet is thought to be more than three times bigger than the Earth, placing the star in the category of the “super-Earths.” According to researchers, the planet has a mass 3.2 times bigger than the Earth’s mass.
The star orbits around Barnard’s star which is “only” six light-years away from us. The star is also extremely faint, it is a “red dwarf” about 3% as bright as our Sun.
Dr. Anglada Escudé said that it was “possibly a mostly rocky planet with a massive atmosphere. It’s probably very rich in volatiles like water, hydrogen, carbon dioxide – things like this. Many of them are frozen on the surface”. Dr. Escude, the astronomer from the Queen Mary University in London also said:
“The closest analog we may have in the Solar System might be the moon of Saturn called Titan, which also has a very thick atmosphere and is made of hydrocarbons. It has rain and lakes made of methane.”