65 million years ago the Earth's atmosphere was polluted with mercury

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2019-12-19 19:00:08

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65 million years ago the Earth's atmosphere was polluted with mercury

most Likely, the dinosaurs became extinct as a result of a fatal succession of random events.

If you think that before the fall of the asteroid on our planet 65 million years ago the life of dinosaurs was beautiful and serene, I hasten to disappoint you. According to the results of a new study, which was published in the journal , Earth's atmosphere was heavily polluted with mercury before the asteroid-killer Chicxulub. For many years, researchers with each other regarding the reasons that led the dinosaurs to death. In that time, some blame an asteroid hitting the high mercury concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere, others believe that conditions on the planet were not suitable for life. But who is right?

Where in the Earth's atmosphere came from mercury?

Obtained in the course of the study, the results showed that strong eruptions began thousands of years before falling to the Ground with a diameter of three kilometers. Scientists believe that the lava could exacerbate the impact of a catastrophic event that claimed three quarters of all life on the planet. Studying the composition of ancient fossilized bivalve mollusks from around the world, experts from the University of Michigan recorded an increase in the level of mercury and carbon dioxide. The reason, scientists believe, lies in a series of eruptions, which formed the traps of the Deccan plateau () — one of the largest volcanic formations on our planet. Most notable is the fact that the eruption lasted about a million years. And what do you think became of the dinosaurs? Share the answer and discuss mass extinctions in the comments and participants .

a Model of a cycle of volcanic emissions of mercury.

As a result of prolonged volcanism, a large number of toxic trace element — fell in the ocean. In the end she was consumed by phytoplankton, which feed on shellfish. It is not surprising that high concentrations of toxic substances on land and in the oceans has had a great impact on the climate and the environment. In the study, experts measured the levels of carbon dioxide and mercury in the shells of mollusks collected in India, Libya, Egypt, Sweden, USA, Antarctica, etc. in different periods, including days, late Cretaceous and the Pleistocene. The results showed that the sudden warming occurred about 250 thousand years before the mass of dinosaurs. It also coincides with a sharp increase in the mercury level of approximately 68 and 70 million years ago — the most intensive period of volcanic activity.

Extinct fossil oyster at the age of 66 to 72 million years. In the picture Agerostrea ungulata from Libya.

As the portal Sciencealert.com for confirmation of results will require further analysis of deep sea inhabitants. However, already today it is clear that fossilized marine flora and fauna is a source of unique information about the mass extinctions and climatic changes of the past. The authors of the study believe that the same samples allow us to avoid the problems with Dating fossils, as they contain traces of the chemical and climatic impact on the biosphere of the Earth.

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