'Dinosaur-killing' asteroid also wiped out ocean species by triggering acid rain
Scientists have claim that the asteroid which caused the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico, wiping out the dinosaur population from the earth, also devastated ocean populations by causing acidic rainfall on an enormous scale.
Research Sohsuke Ohno of the Planetary Exploration Research Centre, Chiba, has developed this theory by claiming that the mass extinction of sea creatures in the upper ocean, as well as swimmers and drifters in lakes and rivers, can be explained by the sulphuric properties of the asteroid, which killed off 80 percent of life on Earth 65.5million years ago, the Independent reported.
The scientists have claimed that the subsequent gas cloud, which was caused by the asteroid which created the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico, would have caused a mass amount of sulphuric acid rain to fall in just a few days, which made the surface of the ocean too acid for upper ocean creatures to live.
According to the study, concentrated sulphuric acid rains and intense ocean acidification by SO3-rich impact vapors resulted in severe damage to the global ecosystem and were probably responsible for the extinction of many species.
Scientists, who recreated a scaled down version of the moment the asteroid hit Earth, said that their theory also explains the massive increase in fossilized fern pollen after the asteroid's impact, as ferns are one of the few plants that tolerate ground saturated in acidic water.
The study was published in the 'Natural Geoscience' journal.
(Posted on 11-03-2014)