Supernova Rates and Burial of Organic Matter

Henrik Svensmark*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Life on Earth appears to have evolved under the influence of supernovae activity in the solar neighborhood. Supernovae frequency regulates the flux of cosmic ray particles arriving at the top of the Earth's atmosphere, where empirical evidence supports a close connection between cosmic rays, clouds, and climate. Burial of organic matter in marine sediments follows cosmic rays variations for more than 3.5 Gyr and in detail during the last 500 Myr. The supernovae link to the burial of organic matter may be due to climate-induced changes in the atmospheric and oceanic circulation affecting the availability of nutrients and the bioproductivity in the oceans. A higher bioproductivity then leads to a more extensive burial of organic matter. Support for this scenario comes from a proxy of nutrient concentrations in the ocean which covaries with the supernovae frequency. The results suggest a fundamental connection between supernovae rates and life on Earth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2021GL096376
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number1
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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