For decades researchers tried to make light in the far-far away eras of our planet. We know dinosaurs existed and that 66 million years ago, they went extinct. But it is not clear yet how that happened, and new studies are still working on it. Be it as it may, but the asteroid impact and the consequent volcanic eruptions help life on Earth to thrive once again.
How the dinosaur-killing asteroid triggered some impressive events
It is considered, and data proves it, that the collision of a massive asteroid with planet Earth was responsible. It happened in today’s Mexico. The effect of the disaster hides in the depths of the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is a 200 kilometers wide crater, called Chicxulub. They say that the impact created a dust cloud that blocked the sunlight for a long time. This led to planet life dying, and global temperature cooling. It was devastating for the dinosaurs, but magical for life to come after them.
In 2014, a geologist called Gerta Geller published a work that suggested there might be something else that caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs: the eruption of a large igneous province (a volcano) called the Deccan traps. They are situated in west-central India, and it seems they massively erupted at about the same time with the collision.
Post-impact volcanic eruptions helped life on Earth to come back
Geller’s theory still stands, and new studies confirm it. Not the eruption itself was to blame for the extinction, but the post effect of volcanism. Toxic gases were released, particularly sulfur dioxide. And the volcano had a series of eruptions that lasted for almost 30.000 years.
It is not clear yet what was the role of the volcano in the disappearance of the dinosaurs. At the time, the ocean was forced to absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide. Because of it, the global temperature dropped by to about 2 degrees C, slowing down the global warming process.
Just as with the asteroid’s collision, it doesn’t seem it was just a disaster. At least not for us today. Researchers are still trying to connect the two events and the consequences they had rightfully. But the one that can’t be ignored is that we owe our existence, and the whole life on Earth, to them.