Asteroids are objects smaller than a planet that are traveling through space or orbiting the sun. They typically move very fast at around 30 kilometers per second. A 10 kilometer large asteroid would have massive negative effects on the Earth and the Earth’s wildlife ecosystem.
What If an Asteroid Hit the Earth?
In today’s post we will be exploring the result of an asteroid of this caliber smacking the Earth, and proposing what might happen in the years following the disaster.
The impact site would be instantly wiped out and surrounding countries would turn into nothing but dust. The nearby countries not completely obliterated would experience massive Earthquakes that would take down skyscrapers. People far away from the impact would still experience minor to medium level Earthquakes.
No matter where the asteroid hit, the Earth would in for a huge change. The deepest ocean- the marina trench- is only about 11 kilometers deep. If the impact was in the middle of the ocean, Earthquakes and the force would cause huge tsunamis all around the globe wiping out coastal cities and villages.
An impact of an asteroid 10 kilometers large traveling at 30 kilometers a second would throw up lots of dirt, dust, and rock from the Earth. Some of this debris would be traveling fast enough to leave the Earth’s atmosphere. The rest of it would come raining down all around the world.
This would create a huge smoke cloud that would likely remain in the air for about a year. This would slightly pollute the air and block out the sun. The world would darken but not be completely dark. This dust would heat up the Earth like a brutally hot oven.
The heat and following debris would start massive forest fires all around the globe on a scale never seen before. In the first week following the disaster wildlife away from the impact zone would not be affected too much. After the first week the ecosystem would start to get a bit out of balance.
With the debris blocking out the sunlight and polluting the air, all plant wildlife would rapidly begin to perish. Every ecosystem in the world is highly dependent on plants, which get their source of energy from the sun. Ocean and water wildlife would go almost extinct except for extreme microbes, which are bacteria-like creatures that survive in geothermal hotspots underwater.
Land wildlife would be disastrously affected. With decaying plant wildlife, humans would struggle to find sustenance. Small animals would begin perishing and getting killed off by predators and humans alike. These small animals would rapidly die off because they are not able to collect food from plants, and so the predators eating these small animals would die off quickly as well.
The ecosystem’s best shot at survival would be for certain plant seeds to withstand the blast and survive the duration of the one-year smoke cloud. After the one-year smoke cloud plant wildlife could begin growing again, this would allow for animals to survive as well.
It is unlikely that all land wildlife would perish. Like the previous rock that killed off the dinosaurs, it is highly likely that certain small creatures would find a way to survive the year. After the first year new ecosystems would begin stabilizing, and they would be much different than what we currently know.
Because of the Earth heating up, human’s surviving in hot areas such as near the equator would have to immediately move up North or far South to survive the coming heat wave. You would also have to be in an area with high elevation because of the rising sea water from the increase in Earth’s temperature.
Humans most likely to survive would be in small self-sustaining villages that had prepared for a disaster previously. Nations would fall, wars would ensue, and mass panic would set in as people fight for what little resources remain.
Those humans that could remain calm and work together would be most likely to survive the first year. After surviving the first year, chances of survival would increase dramatically because the Earth’s ecosystems would begin to stabilize again. In these crazy times it would be imperative for small communities to work together and find ways to create food + supplies to survive the chaos.
It is likely that a majority (80-99%) of Earth’s human population would be wiped out in the first year. The remaining survivors would be living in a post-apocalyptic world. Tribes, gangs, and small communities would be most likely to survive. The only exception to this would be small nations (or states/provinces) that were able to band together and remain a tight-knit community and find a way to tough out the first year.
The Post-Disaster Earth
What would come out of this brave new world is hard to say. We can only make predictions based off of the science of what would happen to the Earth. What we can say is that the Earth’s ecosystems would be highly affected but probably not destroyed completely.
Wildlife and humanity would likely prevail somehow, and adapt to the change in environment.
This is just our opinion though- what do you think would come of humanity & wildlife in the event of a huge asteroid striking the Earth?
Let us know your thoughts & comments. Thanks for reading!
-Wildlife X Team International