Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid had it hit nearly anywhere else

Leslie Hanson
November 13, 2017

The dinosaurs' misfortune is not exactly new information, but new data and findings about the extinction event are unearthed frequently.

If the asteroid had crashed into any other part of the planet, like in the middle of most continents or the ocean, the giant reptiles could have survived annihilation.

They found that if the rock had landed in an area less rich in hydrocarbons, there would have much fewer extinctions.

Scientists, in general, estimate that the asteroid strike would have released energy a billion times more than the combined power of the atom bombs that destructed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The scientists say that the location had cast reservoirs of crude oil and hydrocarbons in the shallow sea waiting to be set ablaze. The impact heated organic matter in rocks and ejected it into the atmosphere, forming soot in the stratosphere. That soot caused global changes to the climate that turned the Earth into a hellscape and brought about the mass extinction of dinosaurs and other animals.


Based on the hydrocarbon-rich rock at the impact site, the model indicated that the soot thrown into the air would cool the Earth by a devastating 8 to 11° C (14 to 20° F) on average, with a drop as drastic as 17° C (31° F) over land and 5 to 7° C (9 to 13 F) in the seawater, to a depth of 50 m (164 ft). They next estimated the climate effects caused by these different impact scenarios. There are several theories as to what events contributed to the mass extinction ranging from acidic oceans to global firestorms, some scientists believe that these global fires caused by hot bits of asteroids raining down across the globe are what created the soot found in clay around the world. How is this so?

The researchers on the new study hypothesized that the severity of the climate changes would vary depending on where the asteroid hit. Consequently, the research will help the team understand the process behind those extinction events.

The scientists said that 87 percent of Earth's surface - areas like most of present-day Africa, China, India, and the Amazon - would not have had high-enough concentrations of hydrocarbons to have such a fateful impact on dinosaurs if the asteroid had collided there. For any further need, you can take notes.

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