In the 1990s, a giant crater was discovered near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Researchers have believed that it is the trace of a massive asteroid that crashed into our planet 66 million years, triggering a mass extinction that brought the death of all dinosaurs and many other animals and plants.
However, the exact cause that wiped out the dinosaurs remains controversial, and some researchers reject the theory which claims that the dinosaurs died due to the asteroid impact. They argue that massive volcanic eruptions that took place in a region known as the Deccan Traps played an essential role in the process, as they may have released a significant amount of climate-changing gases.
A team of researchers from the Yale University argues that the asteroid is, in fact, the sole culprit. Any possible environmental changes that could have been influenced by the Deccan Traps took place before the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs, and which is designated as K-Pg in the scientific world.
The new study on the extinction of dinosaurs confirmed the impact theory
The lead author of the research has stated that while some people believe that the volcanoes contributed to the K-Pg, the team is confident that they didn’t. More than 40 years of complex research have been analyzed, and new data has been uncovered, making the recent study one of the most extensive quantitative research projects in recent times.
Volcanic emissions can include gases like sulfur and carbon dioxide, which can weaken the environment. Some researchers argue that volcanic activities already weakened the dinosaurs, and the asteroid delivered the killing blow.
Researchers investigated the outgassing with the help of advanced models that showed how the spread of carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions could influence global temperatures. The data were compared with temperatures recorded during the time of the extinction.
More than 50% of the outgassing from the Declan traps took place before the asteroid impact, and only the impact can be correlated with the extinction event.
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