the Tunguska and Younger Dryas events. In both instances, Melott's group found evidence that the Haber process - whereby a nitrogen fixation reaction produces ammonia - may have occurred on a large scale.
"A comet entering the atmosphere makes a big shock wave with high pressure - 6,000 times the pressure of air," said Melott.
"It can be shown that under those conditions you can make ammonia. Plus the Tunguska comet, or some fragments of it, landed in a swamp. And any Younger Dryas comet presumably hit an ice sheet, or at least part of it did. So there should
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