Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs plunged Earth into winter for decades

published 29.06.2020 21:00

by Mark Waghorn from
Image of article 'Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs plunged Earth into winter for decades'

Co-author Dr Philip Mannion, of University College London, said: "In this study we add a modelling approach to key geological and climate data that shows the devastating effect of the asteroid impact on global habitats.

Co-lead author Dr Alex Farnsworth, of Bristol University, said: "Instead of only using the geologic record to model the effect on climate the asteroid or volcanism might have caused worldwide, we pushed this approach a step forward, adding an ecological dimension to the study to reveal how these climatic fluctuations severely affected ecosystems."

"Our study confirms, for the first time quantitatively, the only plausible explanation for the extinction is the impact winter that eradicated dinosaur habitats worldwide."

Lead author Dr Alessandro Chiarenza, of Imperial College London, said: "We show the asteroid caused an impact winter for decades - and these environmental effects decimated suitable environments for dinosaurs.

Dr Chiarenza said: "We provide new evidence to suggest 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.