London: Yes, it really was an asteroid after all that made dinosaurs extinct! For years, scientists have conducted meticulous research and studies, to ascertain what exactly caused a mass extinction event 66 million years ago that killed most of the dinosaurs inhabiting the Earth. Also Read - How Did Dinosaurs Die? New Study Dismisses India's Role
Many studies blamed it on volcanic eruptions, but a new study has confirmed that an asteroid impact was the primary reason behind the extinction of dinosaurs.
The study suggests that a humungous asteroid that hit the Earth plunged the planet into a drastic winter, which would have lasted for years, thereby creating a world largely unsuitable for dinosaurs to live in.
“We show that the asteroid caused an impact winter for decades and that these environmental effects decimated suitable environments for dinosaurs. In contrast, the effects of the intense volcanic eruptions were not strong enough to substantially disrupt global ecosystems,” said study lead author Alessandro Chiarenza of Imperial College London, in a statement.
“Our study confirms, for the first time quantitatively, that the only plausible explanation for the extinction is the impact winter that eradicated dinosaur habitats worldwide,” he added.
The study says that the asteroid strike would have released particles and gases high into the atmosphere, blocking out the Sun for years and causing permanent winters.
Prior to this research, many scientists had made volcanic eruptions the major culprit, but this new study suggests the contrary. They said that volcanoes may have actually helped to boost life after the asteroid hit and volcanic warming could have helped restore many habitats.
“We provide new evidence to suggest that the volcanic eruptions happening around the same time might have reduced the effects on the environment caused by the impact, particularly in quickening the rise of temperatures after the impact winter,” Chiarenza said.