Globally disruptive events show predictable timing patterns

Gillman, Michael P. and Erenler, Hilary E. (2018) Globally disruptive events show predictable timing patterns. International Journal of Astrobiology, 16 (01). pp. 91-96. ISSN 1473-5504

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Globally disruptive events include asteroid/comet impacts, large igneous provinces and glaciations, all of which have been considered as contributors to mass extinctions. Understanding the overall relationship between the timings of the largest extinctions and their potential proximal causes remains one of science's great unsolved mysteries. Cycles of about 60 Myr in both fossil diversity and environmental data suggest external drivers such as the passage of the Solar System through the galactic plane. While cyclic phenomena are recognized statistically, a lack of coherent mechanisms and a failure to link key events has hampered wider acceptance of multi-million year periodicity and its relevance to earth science and evolution. The generation of a robust predictive model of timings, with a clear plausible primary mechanism, would signal a paradigm shift. Here, we present a model of the timings of globally disruptive events and a possible explanation of their ultimate cause. The proposed model is a symmetrical pattern of 63 Myr sequences around a central value, interpreted as the occurrence of events along, and parallel to, the galactic midplane. The symmetry is consistent with multiple dark matter disks, aligned parallel to the midplane. One implication of the precise pattern of timings and the underlying physical model is the ability to predict future events, such as a major extinction in 1–2 Myr.

Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F510 Astrophysics
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:28287
Deposited On:11 Aug 2017 12:25

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