It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A sudden change in the Atlantic Gulf Stream, which new research has linked to the mass extinction of dinosaurs, may happen again, many scientists fear. The shift could be abrupt, and climate experts advise that we must continue to monitor the present warning signs, such as influxes of fresh water into the North Atlantic, and slowdowns of the Atlantic Gulf Stream.
(The purple and blue colors in the below image of the Gulf Stream show colder water. Credit: Donna Thomas/MODIS Ocean Group NASA/GSFC SST product by R. Evans et al, U. Miami.)
A popular theory concerning the extinction of dinosaurs is that a sudden, external event, such as an asteroid hit or volcano eruption, led to the dino demise. But new research, published in Nature Geoscience and the journal Geology, argues climate was more to blame. The research determined that the greenhouse climate of the Cretaceous period experienced a sudden drop in global temperatures.
Gregory Price of the University of Plymouth explained to the Daily Mail, "We believe dinosaurs were most likely to be cold-blooded creatures and would have needed the warmth to keep them alive. If they were unable to migrate south, they could have been wiped out."
He added, "Climate change is now very much on the agenda in trying to determine how the dinosaurs became extinct."
It's estimated that the first big Cretaceous temperature drop occurred 137 million years ago and caused ocean temperatures to plummet to as low as 4 degrees centigrade. It is hard to imagine such a dramatic ocean cooling now, given global warming, but climate change is believed to cause extreme shifts of all kinds, from harsher than normal storms to this type of major ocean temperature shift.
Price and his team studied fossils for dinosaurs that once lived at Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. This region during the Cretaceous was characterized by warm, shallow seas and swamps before the ocean changes occurred.