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  • 1/26/2011

Iranian scientist explains dinos death

dr. hamed sanei

Scientific findings by Iranian scientist Hamed Sanei and other researchers have provided new explanation for the mass extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago.

The Iranian environmental geochemist and his colleagues at the Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, have come up with a new theory on the reason behind the largest extinction known to science, ISNA reported on Tuesday.

The epoch event occurred at the Permian geologic period that follows the Carboniferous and extends from 299.0 ± 0.8 to 251.0 ± 0.4 mya (million years ago).

The Permian period ended with the most extensive extinction event recorded in paleontology: the Permian-Triassic extinction event, where 90 percent to 95 percent of marine species became extinct, as well as 70 percent of all land organisms. It is also the only known mass extinction of insects.

On an individual level, perhaps as many as 99.5 percent of separate organisms died as a result of the event.

Dr. Hamed Sanei and other scientists at Calgary found layers of coal ash in rocks from Canada’s high Arctic, pointing to the possibility of a massive volcanic eruption as a cause of the extinction of dinosaurs.

The Iranian scientist also said that their discovery is the first direct evidence for coal ash during this extinction.

"These eruptions would have sent significant CO2 gas into the atmosphere causing rapid global warming," says Dr. Steve Grasby, who led the research team.

"There would also be large ash clouds blocking the sun, as well as SO2 gas that would cause acid rain and impact the ozone layer," Grasby added.

The location of the volcanoes, known as the Siberian Traps, is now in northern Russia, centered on the Siberian city of Tura. They cover an area just under two million square kilometers, greater than that of Europe. The ash plumes from the volcanoes traveled to regions now in Canada’s arctic, where coal-ash layers were found.

Previously, the cause of the extinction of dinosaurs was attributed in popular belief to the landing of a huge meteorite.

Sanei is a research scientist with Geological Survey of Canada. He received his Ph.D. (2005) in Environmental Geochemistry from the University of Victoria, and is the editor of the International Journal of Coal Geology (Elsevier), and editor of the Energy Exploration & Exploitation.

He has won several awards, including the Natural Resources Canada Earth Sciences Sector Award, and A.R. Cameron Award of the Canadian Society for Coal Science and Organic Petrology (CSCOP).

Source: presstv.ir

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