It was around 66 million years back that a giant asteroid hit the earth, and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs, then dominant species on the planet. And now, a new study report has suggested that the earth was choking before the arrival of this doomsday asteroid as the blue planet was apparently on the brink of a catastrophe.
Volcanic eruption in India caused the havoc
The new report suggests that a volcanic eruption that happened in modern India spewed carbon dioxide into the earth's atmosphere, and it created acidic oceans that dissolved the shells of snails and clams. Researchers made this conclusion after analyzing the shells of snails and clams and they found that the entire planet was struggling with a high amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
"The Earth was clearly under stress before the major mass extinction event. Our data suggest that the environment was changing before the asteroid impact. Those changes appear to correlate with the eruption of the Deccan Traps. The asteroid impact coincides with pre-existing carbon cycle instability. But that doesn't mean we have answers to what actually caused the extinction," said Benjamin Linzmeier, a researcher at the North-Western University, in the United States and the first author of the study, Daily Mail reports.
Scientists who took part in the study revealed that understanding the way in which the planet reacted to increased carbon dioxide levels could help to formulate defensive strategies against the increase in greenhouse gas emissions that is happening in the modern world.
Are we going through a mass extinction event?
Recently, another study conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Oxford had found that humans have a higher risk of going extinct next year. The study report revealed that humans have a one in 14,000 chance of going extinct in any given year, and this possibility is mainly due to natural causes.
However, the extinction risk will get elevated drastically when manmade threats like nuclear weapons and unpredictable climate changes are added to the calculation.