Trending News

Get Your Daily Dose of Trending News


Dust Might Have Made the Dinosaurs Go Extinct


On a spring day over 66 million years ago, an asteroid slammed into the sea just off the coast of modern-day Mexico. Known as the Chicxulub impact, it set off a global shock wave, earthquakes and megatsunamis that exterminated the nonavian dinosaurs and plunged Earth into a long and dark winter.

A study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience has uncovered a cause of this cold snap: dust. The study’s authors say that micrometer-size fine silicate dust lingered as long as 15 years in the atmosphere after the impact and contributed to the global cooling. Additionally, they say, all photosynthetic activity on Earth may have ceased completely within two weeks following the Chicxulub impact largely because of fine dust.

Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved in the research, said studies like this one aided understanding of the time period after the asteroid’s impact.

“They help us empathize with T. rex, Triceratops and the other dinosaurs that woke up in the morning on the top of the food chain but by the end of the day were facing a world in chaos,” he said.

The role of dust has often been overlooked. Instead, scientists have focused on sulfur particles that rocks released after the asteroid vaporized them, as well as soot from the impact and subsequent wildfires.


Sahred From Source link Science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *