Perhaps it is no secret to anyone that the scientific community does not stop arguing about what caused the death of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We recently shared the results of a study that found dinosaurs may have died before the Chiksulub asteroid fell. The fact is that due to the large volcanic activity in the earth's atmosphere, a very high mercury concentration was observed. The results of the new study, however, seem to be the final thing and end the long debate. We tell what the scientists found out.
What happened on Earth 65 million years ago?
About 65 million years ago, a 10 km asteroid hit the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and killed most of the species on our planet. As a result of falling into the atmosphere, a large amount of molten material and gases were released, causing acid rain, acidification of the surface waters of the oceans, and sudden warming that continued for years. Then came the nuclear winter that lasted for decades.
However, scientists have not always agreed that it was the asteroid that caused the mass death of dinosaurs. Part of the research community believed that intense volcanic activity also contributed to the extinction of wildlife. For example, experts recently found that volcanism coincided with mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. Indeed, two events of planetary importance, which coincide more or less in time, led to a discussion about which of the two events caused the disappearance: whether volcanism could weaken the ecosystems or whether the meteorite served as the reason.
It is interesting: dinosaurs could destroy the car with teeth.
Why did dinosaurs die?
According to a recent study published in the journal Science, volcanic activity has not played a direct role in the mass extinction of dinosaurs. According to a team of scientists from Yale University (USA), the only reason for the death of wild animals was an asteroid. According to the researchers, volcanoes can actually lead to mass extinction because they emit many gases, such as sulfur oxide and carbon dioxide, that can change the climate and oxidize the planet. However, volcanic activity and the associated warming occurred before and after the impact and not during extinction.
As the results showed, the disappearance of the giant dinosaurs only coincided with the fall of the asteroids. Subsequently, new volcanic phases slowed down the restoration of ecosystems. The volcanic activity in the Cretaceous period caused a gradual global warming of about 2 ° C, but no mass extinction. To arrive at these conclusions, the researchers analyzed the data collected from the oceans and combined the recordings of the climate, biotic and carbon cycles obtained from sediments and marine fossils such as teeth and shellfish, and compared them with different scenarios of volcanic eruptions and their effects. This enabled the researchers to reconstruct the global temperature of that time in detail.
The researchers show that most of the gas emissions occurred long before the asteroid hit and that Chicxulub caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Well, the secret is out!