MASS EXTINCTIONS

Impact acidification

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Science  22 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6468, pp. 967-968
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6468.967-g

Surface-ocean acidification following the Chicxulub impact may have contributed to ecological collapse in the marine realm at the end of the Cretaceous. By measuring the boron isotopic composition of foraminifera, Henehan et al. show that surface-ocean pH fell rapidly—in a geological blink of the eye—after the bolide struck Earth and then recovered to preimpact values over the following hundred thousand years or so. Modeling these results suggests that marine primary productivity was reduced after impact and that lingering inefficiency in carbon export to the deep sea was responsible for the slower biogeochemical recovery.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 22500 (2019).

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