Scientists have modeled how the fall of an asteroid killed the dinosaurs
The fall of the asteroid that caused mass extinction of dinosaurs and many lesser-known species of animals and plants, was to have extensive consequences.
A team of scientists from the National center for atmospheric research USA (towards), NASA and the University of Colorado at boulder tried to figure out what the world woke up the inhabitants of the planet the next day.
The starting point for the research was the modern idea of the scale fell to Earth of an asteroid of about 10 km. it is Assumed that the energy release of the explosion was equivalent to the simultaneous explosion of 2 million most powerful hydrogen bombs.
In the fall, the impact formed the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula, having a diameter of 180 km, and once reaching about dvadtsatikilometrovaya depth.
More precisely, of course, to say that this crater is suited to the role of age and origin — location events we are now still not important.
The study authors created a mathematical model that allows to compute immediate consequences of an impact on the Earth and its climate. According to their calculations, the atmosphere was simultaneously thrown approximately 15 trillion tons of ash, dust and various debris.
This led to the fact that about 18 months on the Ground the clock was night. The intensity on the surface was approximately the same as in the moonlit night now. Of course, photosynthesis was extremely difficult, and in most cases impossible.
The temperature on the continents fell to 28 degrees in the ocean — 11.
Meanwhile, ash, smetany in the upper layers of the atmosphere, heated by sunlight, warming the surrounding air. The temperature of the stratosphere has reached 200 degrees Celsius. This has led to the thinning of the ozone layer and, consequently, the growth of cosmic radiation.
Over time the ashes of the donkey, the transparency of the atmosphere recovered and photosynthesis starts again. Started a new life, to which, however, not all survived: at the turn of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinct about half of the species of marine animals and nearly all land bigger cats.
This is not the first mathematical model that places a goal the elucidation of the effects of the fall of the asteroid, but apparently one of the most radical. Suffice it to say that in the previous builds on this account, temperature changes are still modest.
Furthermore, the actual cessation of photosynthesis on the entire planet for a year and a half it is likely should lead to changes in atmospheric composition due to the significant reduction in oxygen content. If it was, it should be identified by modern methods.
The authors ‘ article with the details of the work published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.