The Asteroid That Spurred the Ice Age

For centuries, scientists have contemplated the demise of the dinosaurs. There have been thousands of viable theories bantered about, but nothing scientists can agree on. Based on a number of new discoveries, it is possible we are on the verge of getting to the bottom of what created the “Ice Age” that essentially eliminated the earth’s dinosaur population.

It’s important to follow the sequences of events. The dinosaurs are thought to have ruled the earth for over 150 million years. About 68 million years ago, it is believed that 9-mile wide asteroid came crashing into the earth in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Yucatan peninsula. Upon impact, it is further believed that it impacted a huge lode of sulfur-rich rock, which subsequently plunging the planet into a perpetual global winter. The cold to ice conditions served to eliminate millions of species that were unable to adapt to the cold conditions. Hence, the elimination of the warm-blooded dinosaur population.

For what it’s worth, a nine mile asteroid hitting earth would equate to a grain of sand being thrust into a beach ball. The actual impact of this proposed asteroid created a crater that measures 110 miles in diameter. The site was dubbed Chicxulub after its discovery by geologists in 1991.

According to University of Texas at Austin Professor Joanna Morgan, “That asteroid struck Earth in a very unfortunate place. “Had the asteroid struck moments earlier or later, it might have hit deep water in the Atlantic or Pacific. That would have meant much less vaporized rock. Sunlight could still have reached the planet’s surface, meaning what happened next might have been avoided.”

Morgan later added: “The samples suggest more than 100bn tons of sulfates were thrown into the atmosphere, plus soot from the fires that followed.”

It will take years for scientists to verify the data. However, this theory would seem to be as viable as any, at least for the time being.