This 43-mile-long crater is 2.2 billion years old and is the oldest meteorite impact on Earth


Researchers conducted computer simulations to investigate what would have happened if the bump had been covered by an ice sheet when the meteor struck. In a few moments, the impact would have evaporated enough ice to blow over 100 billion tonnes of water vapor into the upper atmosphere. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, so this event could have created the right conditions to warm the surface of the planet and end the Ice Age. However, for this to happen, water vapor would have to remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, instead of falling back to the surface of the earth like rain or snow, Erickson says.