UC Berkeley geologists believe that the 66 million year old asteroid behind the Chicxulub crater and the resultant accelerated volcanic eruptions together caused the last mass extinction which also killed the dinosaurs. Experts in the field have been debating over this for the past 35 years. But fresh evidence has been able to pick out more accurate dates to support the latest report.
Within 50000 years of the catastrophic asteroid or comet hit on Earth, the slowly erupting massive Deccan Traps lava lake situated in India, doubled in output. The dust and toxic fumes released into the atmosphere due to the two-fold impact would have had a significant effect on the climate. When you consider scientists’ prediction that merely a 3.6-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature could wipe out 97 percent of the world’s coral reefs today, imagine how much a giant space rock and bubbling volcanoes could have influenced our planet’s ecosystem back then.
The aforementioned asteroid is not likely to have caused the geologic activity, but it may have intensified the problem, according to the UC Berkeley researchers. The impact is said to have altered the Deccan Traps’ plumbing system, thus introducing changes in the chemistry and frequency of its eruptions. The Earth’s ecosystem may have taken 500000 years after this to recover from the double tragedy which is claimed to have done away with more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, including the dinosaurs.
A high precision argon-40/argon-39 isotope dating methodology has allowed the UC Berkeley scientists to tie the asteroid hit, the Cretaceous–Tertiary (KT) extinction boundary and volcanic eruptions closer to each other. They feel the connection cannot be ignored by experts debating what caused the mass extinction and disappearance of the dinosaurs from the face of the Earth.