This is what I’ve been saying all along!
“Popular opinion holds that an asteroid struck the Earth 65million years ago, hustling out the Age of Dinosaurs and allowing the mammals – us – to rise,” says this article in the Daily Mail.
However, new research from the University of Washington indicates that first came a separate extinction triggered by volcanic eruptions – both above water and below – that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.
The new research suggests that by the time of the (supposed) asteroid impact, life on the seafloor was already perishing due to the effects of huge volcanic eruptions on the Deccan Plateau, in what is now India.
The eruptions would have filled the atmosphere with fine particles, or aerosols, that initially cooled the planet, said Thomas Tobin, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences and lead author of a paper in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.
More importantly, the eruptions also would have spewed carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to produce long-term warming (Not caused by humans? How heretic!) that led to the first of the two mass extinctions.
This is what I’ve been saying all along, even going so far as to having specifically blamed the Deccan Traps!
Here is a direct quote from Not by Fire but by Ice, in the chapter entitled “Fish Stew”:
Imagine how hot it must have been above the massive underwater lava flows of the end-Cretaceous! (Remember, according to Maurice Ewing, all 46,600 miles of our present-day underwater ridge system may have been initiated at the time.)
Staggering amounts of basalt must have poured into the seas.
The numbers are astronomical. Eighty percent of all volcanic eruptions occur underwater, said Steve Hammond, manager of NOAA’s Vents Program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. (Bellevue, Washington, Journal American, 18 Aug 1993)
Using NOAA’s 80% ratio, and knowing that tow and a half million cubic kilometers of basal spewed out of the Deccan Traps and Brito-Arctic Flows alone, up to 10 million cubic kilometers (three million cubic miles) of basalt could have sizzled into end-Cretaceous seas almost overnight. (According to paleontologist Dewey McLean, “a good portion of the Deccan Traps, and related volcanism, was submarine.)
Ten million cubic kilometers of basalt would smother every state in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, under a solid layer of rock more than one kilometer (6/10ths of a mile) thick.
And every one of those ten million cubic kilometers of basalt would have been unbelievably hot. Up to 2,150°F hot. A planetary-sized hot water heater. That’s why ocean temperatures soared. The seas must have boiled–literally boiled–above the underwater ridges!
Fish stew. Clam chowder. Bouillabaise. Shells and all. The biggest stew pot in the world. No wonder so many fish went belly up.
See entire article, originally entitled “Dinosaur die-out may have been the second of two massive extinctions: Researchers believe huge underwater volcanoes ‘killed off all the sea-life first’”
Thanks to Oz Steamer for this link
“Hmm, doesn’t someone we both know have this idea that the warming oceans might be caused by underwater volcanoes?” asks Oz. “Now, what was his name, again?”