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The asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs caused 700 days of darkness on Earth

As scientists defend, of all the places on Earth where an asteroid could have crashed, the Yucatan Peninsula was, possibly, the worst. This was what a study published in 2017 indicated, whose researchers analyzed the asteroid that collided 66 million years ago, and caused the dinosaurs to disappear suddenly , wiping out most of them, and with 75% of all Life on earth.

According to this study, published in Nature , the collision of the asteroid in that place would be at the origin of this mass extinction phenomenon , which released soot into the atmosphere, which in turn caused extreme climate cooling. Specifically, the Earth’s temperature would have been between -10 ºC and -8 ºC after the impact, with a drop that, according to the authors, would oscillate between -8 ºC and -1 ºC in the soils.

As the team responsible for the study mentioned to the journal Scientific Reports , only 13% of the earth’s surface was made up of rocks capable of releasing such a quantity of soot , which would mean that non-avian dinosaurs might not have become extinct. if the asteroid had landed in any other region of the world.

Now, a new study carried out by the California Academy of Sciences in the United States has revealed that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also caused almost 2 years of bleak darkness on Earth .

The results of this research were released a few days ago at the annual meeting of the American Geophysial Union (AGU), which took place in New Brunswick, Orleans.

In the previous study, the scientists warned that the soot produced by the collision of the asteroid caused changes in the climate, causing extreme climate cooling . But the soot that resulted from the wildfires that followed the asteroid’s impact also ended up completely filling the sky , blocking out the sun and ultimately contributing directly to the wave of extinctions that followed .

Hence, scientists suggest that the cataclysm not only instantly extinguished many different forms of life, but that the impact caused environmental changes that also led to mass extinctions over time .

The different clouds of ash and particles that spread through the atmosphere and the planet would have enveloped parts of the Earth in absolute darkness, which would have lasted about two years .

During these two years, the impossibility of photosynthesis would have caused the collapse of the ecosystem . But how did scientists come to this conclusion?

The astronomers examined different fossils from the Hell Creek geological formation, which date from the time of the asteroid. They simulated global darkness, and observed how humanity would be affected with scenarios ranging from 100 to 800 days of total darkness.

Assuming that 75% of the species became extinct after the asteroid collision, the team of researchers concluded that it took 700 days of darkness to achieve such a level of extinction .

Furthermore, they point to the possibility that, despite the disappearance of darkness and the return of sunlight, the decline of the ecosystem persisted for decades . Specifically, they indicate that it would have taken no less than 40 years for the ecosystem to finally return to normal.

According to the authors of the study published in 2017, the impact would have burned a quantity of sedimentary rocks, rich in oil, enough to release about 1.7 billion tons of fine black carbon particles into the atmosphere.

Even if rain quickly cleared the skies of most of the soot, about 385 million tons would have continued to circulate in the upper atmosphere, blocking sunlight.

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