Is an asteroid responsible for earth’s biodiversity?

Researchers believe dust from a shattered asteroid created an ice age on earth that led to Arctic conditions at the poles and tropical conditions at the equator. ©Tak

What if a cataclysmic asteroid collision was one of the best things to happen to biodiversity on earth? An international team of researchers concluded that a collision of asteroids between Jupiter and Mars 470 million years ago filled the solar system with vast amounts of dust that create an ice age on earth. That ice age, researchers found, created a less homogeneous climate, dividing the earth into Arctic conditions at the poles and tropical conditions at the equator. With this new climate came diversity among invertebrates. Researchers say the surprise finding may also point to ways to combat today’s climate change.

Read more at Scientific American here or read the study in Science Advances.