Friday, 10 November 2017

Unlucky dinosaurs

Where the Asteroid Struck was the Worst Possible Place

This article discusses the after affects of the asteroid impact 66m years ago, near the Yucatan Peninsula. The dust and soot cloud was the killer. It was previously thought that much of the soot came from forest fires. But the rocks struck were particularly rich in hydrocarbons (and sulphate containing gypsum). Thus the soot was very fine and hydrocarbon rich. The result was "nuclear winter" and acid rain. And the extinction of the dinosaurs and an opportunity for mammals.

Much of this was known before but the authors suggest that if the asteroid had struck elsewhere the results would have been less catastrophic. 

Obligatory dinosaur picture

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