Scientists discover new ‘Maghalayan age’ in Earth’s history

July 18, 2019

London:Geologists have classified the last 4,200 years as being a distinct Earth age and are calling it a new chapter — the “Meghalayan Age” — the onset of which was marked by a mega-drought that crushed a number of civilisations worldwide.

They divide up the 4.6-billion-year Earth existence into slices of time. Each slice corresponding to significant happenings — such as the break-up of continents, dramatic shifts in climate, and even the emergence of particular types of animals and plant life.

The current age in which we live is called the Holocene Epoch, which reflects everything that has happened over the past 11,700 years — since a dramatic warming kicked us out of the last ice age, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

But the Holocene itself can be subdivided, according to the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).

The ICS is the official keeper of geologic time and it proposed three stages be introduced to denote the epoch’s upper, middle and lower phases. These all record major climate events.

The Meghalayan, the youngest stage, runs from 4,200 years ago to 1950. It began with a destructive drought, whose effects lasted two centuries, and severely disrupted civilisations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley, the BBC report added.

To win the classification, a slice of geological time generally has to reflect something whose effects were global in extent, and be associated with a rock or sediment type that is clear and unambiguous.

For the famous boundary 66 million years ago that marks the switch in period from the Cretaceous to Tertiary, this “golden spike” is represented by traces in sediments of the element iridium. This was spread across the planet in the debris scattered by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

For the Meghalayan, the spike is epitomised in specific chemical signatures, the finest example of which can be seen in the layers of stalagmites on the floors of caves in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya.

It was likely triggered by shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation, the ICS said.

The Meghalayan Age is unique among the many intervals of the geologic timescale. Its beginning coincides with a global cultural event produced by a global climatic event, said Stanley Finney, Professor at Long Beach State University and Secretary-General of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which ratified the ICS proposal.

The middle phase of the Holocene will be referred to as the Northgrippian, and runs from 8,300 years ago up to the start of the Meghalayan. The onset for this age was an abrupt cooling, attributed to vast volumes of freshwater from melting glaciers in Canada running into the North Atlantic and disrupting ocean currents.

The oldest phase of the Holocene — the exit from the ice age — will be known as the Greenlandian.

The International Chronostratigraphic Chart, the famous diagram depicting the timeline for Earth’s history will be updated, the BBC reported.(IANS)

Record rainfall in UAE disrupts travel at deluged Dubai airport

Cairo: Dubai airport, one of the world's busiest, on Wednesday advised passengers not to head to the hub "unless absolutely necessary," after the city in the United Arab Emirates suffered...

Archbishop of Goa urges to skip pilgrimage, vote for candidates with ‘secular’ credentials

Panaji: Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao, has appealed to the people to refrain from going on pilgrimage during Lok Sabha voting day and cast their vote...

First Ram Navami after Pran Pratishtha in Ayodhya is generational milestone: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on the occasion of Ram Navami on Wednesday and said "Ayodhya is in immense joy" and celebrating the birth anniversary of Lord...

11 from J&K qualify UPSC Civil Service Exam 2023

Srinagar: Eleven candidates from Jammu and Kashmir have qualified for this year's Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Service exams, the results of which were declared by the Commission on...

Astronomers discover Milky Way’s heaviest known black hole

Jerusalem: Astronomers have found BH3, which is by far the heaviest known stellar black hole in the Milky Way galaxy, 33 times the mass of the Sun. An international research...

Iran’s President again warns Israel against counterattack

Berlin: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has once again warned Israel against mounting a military counterattack following Iran's recent air assault on Israel. During a telephone call with Qatar's Emir Tamim...

CM Mamata Banerjee accuses BJP of circulating fake videos in Bengal

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the BJP of circulating fake videos in the state. “They are spending crores of rupees to make such fake videos....

Congress trying to save Indian Constitution: Rahul Gandhi in Kerala roadshow

Kozhikode (Kerala) :Continuing his tirade against the BJP-led Government at the Centre, Wayanad’s sitting MP, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said during his massive road show at Thiruvembady that the Congress...

Delhi HC dismisses PIL against closure of Maulana Azad Education Foundation

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the Ministry of Minority Affairs' decision approving a proposal of the Central Waqf Council (CFC) to shut down...

LS polls: AAP names jailed Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain as star campaigners for Gujarat

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday released the names of 40-star campaigners in Gujarat for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls which included three incarcerated party leaders Arvind...

Bengaluru cafe blast: Terrorists planned to target IT parks, say sources

Bengaluru: The probe in the Rameshwaram cafe blast case has revealed that the initial plan of the terrorists was to explode a bomb on the premises of an IT park...

Stabbing at Sydney church a ‘terrorist act’: Australian police

Sydney: Australian police are treating a stabbing at a Sydney church as a terrorist attack, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said on Tuesday. Police were called to Christ...

Read Previous

No ‘time limit’ on N.Korea denuclearisation: Trump

Read Next

Politics–Naqvi dares Cong for debate on inclusive development in parliament

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com