Millions of years before humanity roamed the Earth, dinosaurs dominated the world. It was commonly believed that the disappearance of the dinosaurs was caused by a huge asteroid that struck the Earth 66 million years ago. Two recent studies have shown, however, that a huge volcanic eruption has contributed to the extinction of prehistoric reptilian giants.
Volcanic eruptions, generating gases that caused climate change, destroyed the dinosaurs well before the arrival of the killer asteroid.
This is consistent with groundbreaking new research that has shed light on the mystery of the destruction of dinosaurs on the surface of the Earth, after traveling the Earth for millions of years.
The mass extinction asteroid event is perhaps the most famous of the five mass extinctions that have hit the planet, but the exact circumstances surrounding it are up to the present day. now remain mysterious.
While the discovery of the Chicxulub crater in the Caribbean seemed to confirm the impact of a huge asteroid sealing the fate of the dinosaurs, the solidified lava field of the Deccan plains in India alters this story.
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Measuring more than 2 kilometers thick in some places, these rocky expanses in India testify to massive volcanic activity that occurred around the same time.
It is crucial to accurately determine whether the eruptions are due to volcanic eruptions or asteroids.
Using uranium and lead in minerals from solidified magma, scientists have identified four huge volcanic events that began tens of thousands of years before the asteroid struck.
These explosions would have lasted about 100,000 years each and would have spawned incredible amounts of climate-modifying greenhouse gases, likely leading to the first wave of massive extinctions.
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During this period, temperatures increased by about eight degrees Celsius when these gases entered the atmosphere.
These new findings were published alongside another contemporary study that came to a slightly different conclusion.
Their dating of the basaltic rocks of the Deccan plains seems to show that most eruptions occurred after the arrival of the asteroid – perhaps triggered by super-earthquakes after impact.
However, Dr. Courtney Sprain, a geoscientist at the University of Liverpool, who led the second study, said this did not mean that volcanoes played no role in the extinctions.
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"Either the Deccan eruptions have not played a role – which seems to us unlikely – that a lot of climate-modifying gases have been emitted during the lowest eruption volume impulse," she said. Explain.
The team suggested that instead of releasing the gases during the explosion of volcanoes, these were gradually fleeing in the years preceding the eruptions.
While the definitive answer to the question of what killed the dinosaurs so far remains elusive, Sprain and her colleagues say it was probably the result of a "double punch" from volcanoes. and an asteroid.
The rapid warming of the Earth's climate may have allowed the remaining creatures to adapt to life in hot weather, to cope with rapid cooling after the asteroid's dust hit the sun.
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