Do volcanoes kill dinosaurs? New research says no

Do volcanoes kill dinosaurs?  New research says no

I got them rock.

Olly Scarf / Getty Images

If you asked Go Blue on the street how the dinosaurs became extinct, he likely says an asteroid wiped them out, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. At this point, we are well aware that a massive asteroid about 10 to 15 kilometers wide struck Earth about 66 million years ago. We even know where it struck. Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is 150 kilometers wide. It’s very hard to miss.

But many scientists still support the theory that a massive volcanic range, located in India, was the main driver of the third Cretaceous Extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. This volcanic range, called the Deccan Traps, is the focus of this debate.

We know Lava was spewed from these Deccan traps during the time when the dinosaurs became extinct, But we don’t know the exact timing of those eruptions, or whether the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere was large enough to cause the kind of global warming consistent with past extinction events.

Until now.

Recent research by Prof. A multi-institutional team led by scholars from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Try to measure the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, in hopes of understanding the role that volcanoes played in the fifth extinction.

consequences? Volcanic eruptions were likely not a significant driver of the dinosaur extinction.

“Our team analyzed the Deccan Traps CO2 budgets that coincided with the global warming event,” said Andres Hernandez Nava, PhD. A student in the Graduate Center, Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the City University of New York, “And we found that carbon emissions from pyroclastic volumes alone could not cause this level of global warming.”

The team used lasers and ion beams to measure carbon dioxide from frozen magma trapped within crystals of Deccan Traps from the end of the Cretaceous period and modeled that climate in an attempt to test the effects of the Deccan Traps firing on surface temperatures. The data revealed that Deccan traps most likely contributed to an increase in temperature of around 3 ° C. Certainly important, but it is likely not sufficient to create a fifth extinction event.

In short, as my five-year-old son says when I ask who killed the dinosaurs: “Big rock I got.”

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