We know that the Chicxulub impact was responsible for the extinction of land dinosaurs when it crashed to Earth about 66 million years ago. New research shows that the asteroid has also strongly acidified the oceans, wiping out much of its life underwater.
This is the first direct evidence that scientists have found that the effects of the destruction of dino are to blame for the immediate acidification of the waters – enough for the rapid disappearance, which should serve as a warning to us today.
Significant amounts of marine life have been deleted by the Chicxulub asteroid, researchers say; there does not appear to have been a gradual accumulation of acid levels caused by volcanic activity as presented earlier.
"Our data speak to the gradual deterioration of environmental conditions 66 million years ago," says geochemist Michael Henehan, of the German Science Center at GFZ. "Prior to the impact event, we could not find increasing ocean acidification.
" The ocean oxidation we are seeing could easily be a cause of mass extinction in the maritime domain, "says geologist Pinchell Hull of Yale University in Connecticut.
While scientists have suspected for years that an asteroid effect would reduce the ocean's pH (increasing acidity) due to the explosion of sulfur-rich rocks and subsequent acid rain, this was the discovery of a particularly god
The team examined samples of a thick fossil seam left by foraminifera, a tiny plankton from which calcite shells grow, in a cave in Geulherberg in the Netherlands. The element boron (pH indicator) in the shells left behind is exposed to acidification during the extinction of the Cretaceous-Paleogene. "to hennahan called.
"Because so many sediments were laid there at one time, it meant that we could extract enough fossils for analysis and were able to capture a transition."