Friday, July 01, 2016

Chicxulub's Impact Caused "Nuclear" Winter in New Jersey


Vellekoop et al


Abrupt and short-lived "impact winter" conditions have commonly been implicated as the main mechanism leading to the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (ca. 66 Ma), marking the end of the reign of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, so far only limited evidence has been available for such a climatic perturbation. Here we perform high-resolution TEX86 organic paleothermometry on three shallow cores from the New Jersey paleoshelf, (northeastern USA) to assess the impact-provoked climatic perturbations immediately following the K-Pg impact and to place these short-term events in the context of long-term climate evolution. We provide evidence of impact-provoked, severe climatic cooling immediately following the K-Pg impact. This so-called "impact winter" occurred superimposed on a long-term cooling trend that followed a warm phase in the latest Cretaceous.

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