It’s been 66 million years since dinosaurs last roamed the Earth, and while an asteroid collision is often blamed for their demise, a new study reignites the debate on whether other forces were at play.
Volcanic Eruptions: A Prelude to Extinction?
Challenging the singular impact theory, recent research suggests that volcanic eruptions may have disrupted the ecosystem and posed a threat to non-bird dinosaurs before the asteroid’s final blow.
The Sulfur-Rich World of Dinosaurs: Asteroid
A team of international researchers proposes that the dinosaurs‘ world was saturated with critical levels of sulfur, creating a stage for extinction. The resulting global temperature drop, outlined in the study published in Science Advances, rendered conditions inhospitable to life.
Unstable Climatic Conditions and Repeated Volcanic Winters
Study co-author Don Baker from McGill University emphasizes the research’s demonstration of climatic instability. The team suggests that decades of volcanic winters, caused by bursts of volcanic activity, preceded the dinosaur extinction, marking a crucial period in Earth’s history.
Decoding Earth’s Ancient Rocks
To unlock clues about the demise of dinosaurs, researchers developed a groundbreaking technique to analyze ancient rocks. By measuring sulfur concentrations and applying a unique calculation method akin to cooking pasta, the team revealed evidence of repeated short-lived global temperature drops linked to volcanic activity.
Complex Factors in Earth’s Evolution
This study adds to the ongoing scientific debate surrounding the extinction event that wiped out 75% of Earth’s life. Was the asteroid impact in Mexico solely responsible, or did massive volcanic eruptions in India play a significant role? The research from the Deccan Traps provides a more nuanced understanding of the complex factors that shaped Earth’s history.