Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Prelude to the Origin of Life on Earth

I was looking to do a deep dive into the origin of life on Earth, a topic that has always intrigued me. Two main schools of thoughts today generally revolve around creationism or abiogenisis. Before engaging in serious research however, I came across this interesting post.

Scientists theorize that Earth's oceans may have been 'delivered' by comets during massive collisions. It was comets and not asteroids because of specific amounts of iridium found in Greenland's rocks. In case you are wondering, here are the common differences between comets and asteroids:
  1. Comets display comas and tails due to sublimation of water and ejection of dust particles from solar radiation.
  2. Comets have more eliptical orbits than asteroids around the sun.
  3. Comets may become asteroids when they run out of watery particles.
This article is exciting because it opens up a whole new perspective on the origin of life. It is commonly believed that life first formed in bodies of water. Is it possible that comets 'delivered' life along with oceans to Earth?


-PTS

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Finally, Something Good from Global Warming

The words global warming are often frowned upon. Amid the negative press, can this article help turn the tide? Scientists claim that climatic changes due to global warming has seen increased rainfall in parts of the Sahara Desert. More islands of green are beginning to show, especially in the southern borders. In time, these areas can be reclaimed for agricultural activities.

So why the phenomenon? One theory suggests warmer air being able to hold more moisture, which in turn creates more precipitation. However, it is too early to cast your vote. There are other competing climate models that predict decreased rainfall, pointing the finger at global warming. The split is virtually a dead heat.


-PTS