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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.During this period of warming, species would have evolved suited to hothouse conditions, only to be confronted by global cooling from the dust or by climate cooling gases caused by either the impact or the volcanos.

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"This changes our perspective on the role of the Deccan Traps in the K-Pg extinction," said first author Courtney Sprain, a former UC Berkeley doctoral student who is now a postdoc at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.Observations show that after the impact kicked up dust (blocking the sun) or the volcanic gases cooled the climate.The new scenario suggests climate change happened even before the eruptions peaked.Scientists have obtained more precise dates for the Deccan Traps volcanic lava flows, linking peak activity more closely to the asteroid or comet impact 66 million years ago and the coincident mass extinction.But if greenhouse gases emitted before the impact created a hothouse climate that set life up for a fall when the impact cooled the planet, those gases did not coincide with the largest lava flows from the Deccan Traps.

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