(ORDO NEWS) — According to a new study, the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs caused a wave of environmental disasters that could lead to the fact that part of the Earth survived two years of darkness.
The study, presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, showed that the asteroid impact 66 million years ago was devastating, but what followed could be worse.
The impact would have thrown huge clouds of rocks and acid, but researchers are now confident that forest fires were the main cause of the ensuing wave of extinction.
“It is now widely accepted that global wildfires would be the main source of fine particulate soot that would rise into the upper atmosphere,” study participant Peter Roopnarine told LiveScience.
“The concentration of soot during the first few days or weeks after the fires would be high enough to reduce the amount of incoming sunlight to a level sufficient to prevent photosynthesis.”
Researchers have modeled the effects of darkness at different times. They found that the extinction rate reached 81 percent after 600-700 days of darkness, suggesting that some regions of the Earth may have been without light for years.
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