If there was any doubt that the dinosaurs became extinct due to the massive asteroid that hit Earth 65 million years ago, a new study hopes to calm the controversy.
The research notes that the asteroid's impact is the only reason that almost 75 percent of all species on the planet were wiped out, and not a volcanic explosion in the Deccan region, as previously suggested.
"We showed that the asteroid had a winter impact for decades, and that these environmental effects decimated the right environments for dinosaurs," said study lead author Dr. Alessandro Chiarenza of Imperial College London in a statement. . "In contrast, the effects of the intense volcanic eruptions were not strong enough to substantially disrupt global ecosystems.
MASSIVE EXPLOSION OF ASTEROIDS THAT KILLED THE BACTERIA BENEFITED FROM THE DINOSAURS, SAYS THE STUDY
"Our study confirms, for the first time quantitatively, that the only plausible explanation for the extinction is the impact of the winter that eradicated dinosaur habitats worldwide," added Chiarenza.
In December 2019, a separate study was published by researchers who suggested that the dinosaurs were already struggling to survive before the asteroid due to a sharp rise in mercury levels caused by a massive volcanic eruption from the Deccan traps. These eruptions, which occurred 66 million years ago, are believed to have formed much of western India.
Chiarenza and the other researchers built models that looked at how different scenarios would affect dinosaurs, including reductions in sunlight to varying degrees; the impact to the environment as a result of the impact of an asteroid, such as temperature and rain; and mapping where conditions would still exist after an asteroid impact or volcanic eruption to arrive at their findings.
SCIENTISTS DISCOVER NEW EVIDENCE OF ASTEROIDS THAT KILLED DINOSAURS
"Instead of just using the geological record to model the effect on climate that the asteroid or volcanism could have caused worldwide, we pushed this approach one step further, adding an ecological dimension to the study to reveal how these climate fluctuations affected seriously to ecosystems. " University of Bristol professor and study co-author Dr. Alex Farnsworth added.
After the asteroid caused a "drastic global winter", any type of volcanic eruption would have caused the restoration of many habitats, making life thrive again, the researchers noted.
"We provide new evidence to suggest that volcanic eruptions occurring around the same time may have reduced the effects on the environment caused by the impact, particularly by accelerating the rise in temperatures after the winter impact," added Chiarenza. The warming helped boost the survival and recovery of animals and plants that achieved extinction, and many groups expanded immediately afterward, including birds and mammals. "
The research has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
THE GIANT ASTEROID THAT KILLED THE DINOSAURS TAKED THE EARTH TO THE "MOST POSSIBLE ANGLE POSSIBLE", STUDIO REVELA
Experts continue to learn more about the time period surrounding the extinction of dinosaurs, including the asteroid itself.
A separate study published in January also said the reason the dinosaurs went extinct was "all about the asteroid," raising more doubts about any impact from a volcanic eruption affecting the weather.
The asteroid may also have acidified Earth's oceans after its impact, according to a study published in October 2019.
A separate study, published in January 2019, put forward a theory that the impact of the space rock also caused a global tsunami that reached more than 5,000 feet in the air.
Another study published in September 2019 compared the asteroid's impact to the power of 10 billion atomic bombs.
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