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If most of the lava shot out after the impact, this has large implications for how the extinction played out.
If most of the Deccan Traps lava had erupted before the impact, then gases emitted during the eruptions could have been the cause of global warming within the last 400,000 years of the Cretaceous Period, during which temperatures increased, on average, about 8 degrees Celsius (14.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
By accurately forecasting or minimizing a volcanic eruption, scientists and decision makers can reduce the risk and damage to human health and property through preparation and evacuation.
Unfortunately, eruption forecasting is not totally accurate or reliable.
"Either the Deccan eruptions did not play a role — which we think unlikely — or a lot of climate-modifying gases were erupted during the lowest volume pulse of the eruptions."There are many open questions with this research, though, particularly since .
And scientists have never been able to measure the output of a massive flood basalt eruption like the one at Deccan Traps in real time — the last such eruption finished about 15 million years ago, in the Pacific Northwest.)The second new study also complicates matters, calculating slightly different date estimates for the Deccan Traps eruption.
"Now that we have dated Deccan Traps lava flows in more and different locations, we see that the transition seems to be the same everywhere.