A new study by a group of scientists in the United States and Tunisia has concluded that the asteroid that hit Chicxulub, Mexico 66 million years ago had a great impact on Earth, with temperatures on our planet warming significantly during a period of 100,000 years.
After the impact of the asteroid Chicxulub, large amounts of carbon dioxide were pushed up into Earth's atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise by nine degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius), as Space reported . This sudden peak of temperature was discovered after analyzing the forgotten teeth and bones of ancient fish, according to Phys.Org .
While scientists long suspected that the impact of asteroids in the Yucatan Peninsula caused Earth's temperatures to move upward for a period of hours, the dust in the air caused it to fall dramatically over a period of time. time that could have been years.
However, carbon dioxide eventually caused temperatures to rise again, and the new study conducted by lead author Kenneth MacLeod is the first to give solid evidence showing the exact duration of global warming that occurred in Earth for 100,000 years after the asteroid Chicxulub hit the planet.
To solve the long-standing mystery of In this period of global warming on Earth, MacLeod and the researchers had the ingenious idea of observing fossilized fish to determine the period of time when temperatures would have increased.
We thought we could solve this question by examining bits of fossilized teeth of fish, scales and bones from the Kef section in Tunisia. This place is known to have a beautiful record in the interval that we are seeing – the so-called Cretaceous-Paleogene limit – the event of mass extinction after the impact of Chicxulub. "
– Phys.org (@physorg_com) May 25, 2018
Scientists took 40 fish fossils from Tunisia and studied their oxygen isotopes, with samples collected from different time periods before and after the impact of the asteroid.
"One of the differences is that as the temperature increases, the amount of light the oxygen isotope, oxygen 16, in a mineral increases relatively. We are measuring the ratio of oxygen 16 to oxygen 18. Every 1 part per 1,000 changing ratio correlates with a change of about 4.5 to 5 degrees [C, or 8.1 to 9 degrees F] in temperature. We discovered that there was a big difference in oxygen isotopes between these three sets of samples, unambiguously. "
Kenneth MacLeod also pointed out that when it comes to global warming, we should be very concerned about the damage we are currently causing. Earth at this time.
"If I had to draw a line under the lessons of this study for the modern era, it would be to contemplate the idea that what we are doing in our lives will affect Earth for the next 100,000 years, which is quite discouraging. "
The new study that conclusively demonstrates that the Chicxulub assault caused the Earth's temperatures to increase over 100,000 years can be read in the journal Science .