PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

More than a meteorite: New clues about the demise of dinosaurs

McGill researchers challenge current understanding of dinosaur extinction by unearthing link between volcanic eruptions and climate change

2023-12-04
(Press-News.org) What wiped out the dinosaurs? A meteorite plummeting to Earth is only part of the story, a new study suggests. Climate change triggered by massive volcanic eruptions may have ultimately set the stage for the dinosaur extinction, challenging the traditional narrative that a meteorite alone delivered the final blow to the ancient giants.

That’s according to a study published in Science Advances, co-authored by Don Baker, a professor in McGill University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

The research team delved into volcanic eruptions of the Deccan Traps—a vast and rugged plateau in Western India formed by molten lava. Erupting a staggering one million cubic kilometres of rock, it may have played a key role in cooling the global climate around 65 million years ago.

The work took researchers around the world, from hammering out rocks in the Deccan Traps to analyzing the samples in England and Sweden.

A new season?: ‘Volcanic winters’ In the lab, the scientists estimated how much sulfur and fluorine was injected into the atmosphere by massive volcanic eruptions in the 200,000 years before the dinosaur extinction.

Remarkably, they found the sulfur release could have triggered a global drop in temperature around the world—a phenomenon known as a volcanic winter.

“Our research demonstrates that climatic conditions were almost certainly unstable, with repeated volcanic winters that could have lasted decades, prior to the extinction of the dinosaurs. This instability would have made life difficult for all plants and animals and set the stage for the dinosaur extinction event. Thus our work helps explain this significant extinction event that led to the rise of mammals and the evolution of our species,” said Prof. Don Baker.

New technique developed at McGill Uncovering clues within ancient rock samples was no small feat. In fact, a new technique developed at McGill helped decode the volcanic history.

The technique for estimating sulfur and fluorine releases–a complex combination of chemistry and experiments–is a bit like cooking pasta.

“Imagine making pasta at home. You boil the water, add salt, and then the pasta.  Some of the salt from the water goes into the pasta, but not much of it,” explains Baker.

Similarly, some elements become trapped in minerals as they cool following a volcanic eruption. Just as you could calculate salt concentrations in the water that cooked the pasta from analyzing salt in the pasta itself, the new technique allowed scientists to measure sulfur and fluorine in rock samples. With this information, the scientists could calculate the amount of these gases released during the eruptions.

The study involved researchers from Italy, Norway, Sweden, the UK, the United States and Canada.

Their findings mark a step forward in piecing together Earth’s ancient secrets and pave the way for a more informed approach to our own changing climate.

About the study Recurring volcanic winters during the latest Cretaceous: Sulfur and fluorine budgets of Deccan Traps lavas by Callegaro et al. was published in Science Advances.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

INU scientists propose a model to predict personal learning performance for virtual reality-based safety training

INU scientists propose a model to predict personal learning performance for virtual reality-based safety training
2023-12-04
In Korea, occupational hazards are on the rise, particularly in the construction sector. According to a report on the ‘Occupational Safety Accident Status’ by Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor, the industry accounted for the highest number of accidents and fatalities among all sectors in 2021. To address this rise, the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency has been providing virtual reality (VR)-based construction safety content to daily workers as part of their educational training initiatives. Nevertheless, ...

Placing nanoparticles in the palm of your hand

Placing nanoparticles in the palm of your hand
2023-12-04
Nanoparticles are super tiny―as small as one nanometer, or one billionth of a meter―and are of keen interest to materials scientists for their unique physical and chemical properties. They cannot be detected by the naked eye and require a highly specialized electron microscope to be seen. In fact, advancements in imaging technologies through the 1990s and early 2000s are what made the field of nanoscience possible, says Anne Bentley, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. “I ...

Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials

Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials
2023-12-04
HOUSTON – (Dec. 4th, 2023) – The properties that make materials like semiconductors so sought after result from the way their atoms are connected, and insight into these atomic configurations can help scientists design new materials or use existing materials in new, unforeseen ways. Rice University materials scientist Yimo Han and collaborators mapped out the structural features of a 2D ferroelectric material made of tin and selenium atoms, showing how domains ⎯ areas of the ...

Unravelling the mechanism of urticaria from eruption shapes

Unravelling the mechanism of urticaria from eruption shapes
2023-12-04
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis as well as protecting the body from the outside environment. Skin diseases can be life-threatening or heavily impair patients’ quality of life. Urticaria (also called “hives”) is common, affecting at least one in five people in their lifetime, and can persist for years or even decades. Many skin diseases are unique to humans, and their pathogenesis often remains unclear due to the lack of an appropriate experimental animal model and limited clinical data. One such human-specific disease is chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), which is characterized by the ...

New theory unites Einstein’s gravity with quantum mechanics

New theory unites Einstein’s gravity with quantum mechanics
2023-12-04
A radical theory that consistently unifies gravity and quantum mechanics while preserving Einstein’s classical concept of spacetime is announced today in two papers published simultaneously by UCL (University College London) physicists. Modern physics is founded upon two pillars: quantum theory on the one hand, which governs the smallest particles in the universe, and Einstein’s theory of general relativity on the other, which explains gravity through the bending of spacetime. But these two theories are in contradiction with each other and a reconciliation ...

Study: Artificial light is luring birds to cities and sometimes to their deaths

2023-12-04
Nearly 1,000 birds were killed Oct. 4-5 when they collided with an illuminated glass building in Chicago. Though mass fatalities of this magnitude are rare, light pollution poses a serious – and growing – threat to migrating birds.   In the largest study of its kind, published in Nature Communications, scientists used weather radar data to map bird stopover density in the United States and found that artificial light is a top indicator of where birds will land. City lights lure birds into what can be an ecological trap, said lead author Kyle Horton, an assistant professor ...

Decades after blood pressure-related pregnancy complications, Hispanic/Latina women can have changes in heart structure and function

2023-12-04
Decades after blood pressure-related pregnancy complications, Hispanic/Latina women can have changes in heart structure and function Findings highlight importance of early monitoring and management of hypertension during and after pregnancy Hispanic/Latina women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) – conditions marked by high blood pressure during pregnancy – are more likely to have abnormalities in their heart structure and function decades later when compared with women without a history of HDP, according to a National Institutes ...

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers often have chronic health conditions

2023-12-04
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and young adult cancer survivors in the United States are more likely to report experiencing chronic health conditions than their heterosexual peers with a history of cancer as well as their LGB peers without a past cancer diagnosis. The findings come from a survey-based study published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Previous studies have indicated that minority sexual orientation and gender identity populations have higher prevalence rates of many chronic conditions—including heart disease, ...

Pharmacy forecast identifies growing societal challenges expected to impact care

2023-12-04
BETHESDA, Maryland (December 4, 2023) — Societal issues — including the growth in ultra-high-cost treatments, the epidemic of mental health and substance use disorders, climate change, and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI)— could alter how health systems serve their communities within five years, according to the latest annual ASHP/ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Forecast Report. The 2024 Pharmacy Forecast, released today at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, drew ...

Following in polar bears' footprints: DNA from snow tracks could help monitor threatened animals

Following in polar bears footprints: DNA from snow tracks could help monitor threatened animals
2023-12-04
Polar bears are icons of the Arctic, elusive and vulnerable. Detailed monitoring of their populations is crucial for their conservation — but because polar bears are so difficult to find, we are missing critical data about population size and how well connected those populations are. Scientists have now developed a new tool to help: DNA analysis using skin cells shed in the bears’ footprints in the snow. “It is particularly challenging, expensive, and time-consuming to find polar bears in the Arctic, let alone count them and understand how they are coping with climate change,” said Dr Melanie Lancaster of the World Wide Fund for Nature Global ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Nanoscale topcoat can turbocharge supported gold nanoparticle catalysts

Beyond the ink: Painting with physics

Only 9 percent of older Americans were vaccinated against RSV before the disease hit this fall and winter

Evolution-capable AI promotes green hydrogen production using more abundant chemical elements

In wake of powerful cyclone, remarkable recovery of Pacific island’s forests

PSU study sheds light on 2020 extreme weather event that brought fires and snow to western US

Rice physicist earns NSF CAREER Award to revolutionize quantum technology

Mining the treasures locked away in produced water

Minoritized groups face high anxiety when taking part in research experiments

Orcas demonstrating they no longer need to hunt in packs to take down the great white shark

Scientists discover a novel vehicle for antibiotic resistance

Large-scale study explores link between smoking and DNA changes across six racial and ethnic groups

EU funding for outstanding early-career researcher Pieter Gunnink

Associate Professor Ron Korstanje, Ph.D., of The Jackson Laboratory named Evnin Family Chair

Researchers create coating solution for safer food storage

An overgrowth of nerve cells appears to cause lingering symptoms after recurrent UTIs

New findings on the immune system

Most smokers in England wrongly believe vaping is at least as harmful as smoking

New antibodies target “dark side” of influenza virus protein

Fred Hutch announces 2024 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recipients

New academic journal on artificial intelligence launched

UMaine researchers use GPS-tracked icebergs in novel study to improve climate models

A mental process that leads to putting off an unpleasant task

The role of history in how efficient color names evolve

AI outperforms humans in standardized tests of creative potential

Study results show 25% of pregnant people are not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from their diet or dietary supplements

Cleveland Clinic researchers uncover how virus causes cancer, point to potential treatment

SLU professor studies link between adversity, psychiatric and cognitive decline

Warwick to benefit from £2.5 million funding into “phenomenal” metamaterials

More schooling is linked to slowed aging and increased longevity

[Press-News.org] More than a meteorite: New clues about the demise of dinosaurs
McGill researchers challenge current understanding of dinosaur extinction by unearthing link between volcanic eruptions and climate change