Geologists have found that volcanic activity could have killed sea giants

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the University of Wyoming found that a period of intense volcanic activity in the Central Andes could lead to climate change and the extinction of ancient marine mammals.

The authors of the paper reported the results at a meeting of the American Geological Society in Denver.

About 7.6 million years ago, the temperature on Earth dropped sharply, which was accompanied by massive changes in plant and animal communities both on land and in the oceans.

The main reason for this was previously considered to be the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a result of silicate weathering of the Himalayas.

The authors of the new work suggested that the activity of volcanoes in the Andes about seven million years ago led to the extinction of marine inhabitants.

It is possible that the ash released during the eruption became a fertilizer for diatoms, which, during rapid growth, released substances toxic to mammals.

The sea giants themselves, after death, became additional fertilizer for plants, due to which more and more toxins accumulated in the water.

In addition, the ash could also poison the air, or, under certain conditions, reduce the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.

This process would be the opposite of that observed during the greenhouse effect, as a result of which global cooling began.

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