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Global Warming May Have Killed the Dinosaurs

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the circle-of-life dept.

Science 269

The Fun Guy sent in a link to the American Society for Microbiology site, your leading news source for everything between nano and macro. The site is featuring a story about new research into the KT barrier extinction: the period in history where the dinosaurs went extinct, along with a number of other families of species. For a number of years scientists have theorized that an impact on the Yucatan peninsula was responsible for the species crash, but microbiological examination of marine organisms of the time indicate life persisted for another 300,000 years after the 'Chicxulub impact'. The researchers at Princeton who made this discovery theorize that global warming caused by a volcanic eruption in India is a more likely culprit for the world-wide devastation. The article generalizes that there is no 'smoking gun' for this event, and further research is required.

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Irony Alert (5, Funny)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780340)

Ironically, the dinosaurs are playing a leading role in our own Global Warming Saga.

Re:Irony Alert (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780360)

yes.. zombie dinosaurs..from beyond the grave *cue scary music*

Re:Irony Alert (1)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780446)

I was thinking more along the lines of " ...fossilized dinosaurs... fill our tanks *cue theme from BP advert*"

OFFICIAL : Wiki report: I am NOT a Google SHILL !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780508)

It's OFFICIAL. I am NOT a Google SHILL !!

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill/Google [wikipedia.org]

Satisfied NOW !!

Re:Irony Alert (3, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780364)

Just like your average America, a dinosaur doesn't fit in a compact car. Can you blame them for driving SUVs?

Re:Irony Alert (5, Funny)

Virak (897071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780680)

Just like your average America, a dinosaur doesn't fit in a compact car. Can you blame them for driving SUVs?
To be fair, most countries can't fit in any sort of vehicle.

Re:Irony Alert (1)

KUHurdler (584689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781168)

Well, then I propose the design of a larger vehicle.

Re:Irony Alert (5, Funny)

NiceRoundNumber (1000004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781342)

To be fair, most countries can't fit in any sort of vehicle.

Well, The Vatican [wikipedia.org] can fit on a Supertanker [wikipedia.org] . Almost.

Re:Irony Alert (1)

s388 (910768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781408)

"most countries can't fit in any sort of vehicle"

Ha! Maybe not on your planet. But my planet, Earth, is a big spaceship flying around the universe and all my brothers and sisters are astronauts. Yippee!

Re:Irony Alert (5, Insightful)

The_Quinn (748261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781394)

Actually, since global warming occurs between every ice-age, regardless of mankind, you can actually THANK global warming for the existence of most of the life on the planet.

Re:Irony Alert (0, Troll)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780426)

Comments like this remind me that I need to stop procrastinating and get that six-pack [sixpackperformance.net] installed on the 1972 Dodge Hybrid.

I measure fuel efficiency in peak horse power.

Re:Irony Alert (3, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781026)

Ironically, the dinosaurs are playing a leading role in our own Global Warming Saga.

Or, not. I think the dead, liquid dinosaurs are the scapegoats. I think people are afraid to admit that its that pesky Sun, on a warming cycle, and volcanic action, there's been a lot, and just plain cycles.

People are afraid to admit it because then it is out of our control, and one thing people really like is to be in control.

Re:Irony Alert (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781082)

Makes you wonder what (if intelligent is here) creatures 50,000,000 years from now will gain from our existence. Perhaps lots of iron ore from landfills, and most likely a shit load of gold from fort knox.... maybe they will think that is where we buried our pharaohs ;P

*Tossing the BS Flag* (1, Insightful)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781386)

Let's address this logically:

1) It took several super volcanos going off at the same time and spewing millions upon millions of tons of contaminants into the air to cause the planet to cool. One volcanic eruption occured in Minnesota and dumped nearly 20 feet of ash in locations several hundred miles away. Keep in mind that this our planet, doing what it does and sending us all into a series of ice ages.
2) Given the recovery capacity of the planet, what makes you think your puny a$$ vespa or even my brontosaur vehicle can spew enough crap to cause climatic change?
3) My behemoth puts off emissions that have to be measured in ppm and ppb - thats parts per million and parts per billon. That means you have to have millions and billions of cars to get any kind of a quantity.
4) If all the volcanic eruptions made the planet cool off, isn't it finally getting back to normal now?
5) If you don't agree with any of the above, kindly submit temprature data from the pertinent geological epoch and explain where your themometer was located.

I'm not saying global warming is complete crock, but I don't think that they've proven their case. Seriously, there's no money in everything being fine. When there's money involved, I'd like to see proof.

Hmmm you got to love editorials (1, Offtopic)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780362)

Nothing is safe from being editorialized.
The article generalizes that there is no 'smoking gun' for this event, and further research is required. (my italics for emphasis)
Isn't that better than generalizing that it had to be the volcanoes?

Re:Hmmm you got to love editorials (0, Troll)

lumber_13 (937323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780978)

No No No ! It had to be outsourced volcanos from India. Do not generalize.

Re:Hmmm you got to love editorials (1)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781134)

Of course there aren't any smoking guns, guns weren't invented until much later. And plus, most Dinosaur's couldn't hold one in their hands either.

Oh really? (2, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780370)

"Global Warming May Have Killed the Dinosaurs"

So Global Warming looks like a comet? Good thing McNaught isn't going to hit us, eh? ;-)

It's sad that there's a massive following of climate change deniers online, but such is the nature of the Internet - even the kooks have large communities that can email millions of people.

Re:Oh really? (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780390)

Or the uninformed public who trust thier own political party to much....just a matter of persepctives....

Re:Oh really? (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780622)

Yes. It is clear now. George W. Bush killed the dinosaurs.

Re:Oh really? (1)

GrumpySimon (707671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780924)

No, they've just been disappeared into Gitmo with no chance of a fair trial this side of 2017.

Re:Oh really? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780942)

If by Dinosaurs you mean Senators, then yeah, I expect Bush to throw a House Warming party in Gitmo when they vote to Impeach.

Re:Oh really? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781086)

If you belive popularity polls, Georgre is the dinosaur.

Re:Oh really? (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781464)

Nah, Cheney did it, he just made Bush the patsy.

Re:Oh really? (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780526)

It's sad that there's a massive following of climate change deniers online. . .

Look up, "The Year Without a Summer."

It was caused by . . .volcanos eruputing. For decades volcanoes have been well understood to cause global cooling by spreading ash into the high atmosphere which reflects solar radiation.

It's sad there's a massive following of the global warming is going to kill us all promoters online and off, to the extent that they've had to warp everything bad that happens, everytime, everywhere, to the effects of global warming.

Even ice ages fercrisakes.

No, I am not a global warming denier. 12,000 years ago Ireland was just emerging from under a sheet of glacial ice. Now there are palm trees in Kerry. Sea levels have risen about 400 feet. Things have clearly warmed up a bit. You'd have to be a kook to deny that. I'm a global climactic instability insistor. It's always, going up, or down; and sometimes even sideways (large, but local, changes. See the Sahara).

The climate will stop changing when the Sun expands and strips away the atmosphere; and not one minute before.

If this really bothers you go build yourself a biodome out beyond the Heliopause, but good luck controling its climate.

KFG

Volcanos and warming (5, Insightful)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780836)

Volcanos cause short term cooling until the ash falls out. Many volcanos erupting together cause longer term warming owing to the higher CO2 concentration.

You seem to want the climate to be entirely free from constraints of cause and effect, it can go wherever it wants for no reason at all. This is, I think, what you mean by instability. Climate feedbacks do occur but this is not the same thing as the butterfly effect which makes weather difficult to predict. Climate follows forcing and both the short term aerosols that you cite and the long term GHG balance have definite effects on climate.
----
Because this false equating of weather behavior and climate behavior has been a major part of a well funded attempt to decieve the public http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/your-opinion-c ould-be-paid-for-by.html [blogspot.com] you may want to closely scutinize what has influenced your opinion here.

Skeptical about global warming? Who cares, you can still save money by switching to solar: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Volcanos and warming (3, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780946)

You seem to want the climate to be entirely free from constraints of cause and effect, it can go wherever it wants for no reason at all.

Balderdash. For starters, I don't "want" anything. This goes a long way toward freeing me from whatever the current fashionable hysteria happens to be. For seconds, things happen because of causes. Nothing happens "just because."

That's magic. There is no magic. If there is something to the "paranormal" it isn't paranormal. If it happens, it happens for reason. Reasons are normal.

This is, I think, what you mean by instability

Balderdash. If I stand my bicycle up, it falls over, because it is unstable. This hardly implies that it fell over for no reason.

false equating of weather behavior and climate behavior has been a major part of a well funded attempt to decieve the public

Bingo!

Skeptical about global warming?

I explicitly stated that I was not.

you can still save money by switching to solar

And in other threads I have explicitly stated that it's all about the Sun, all the time. My transportation needs are already 90% covered by solar energy (some non solar energy is used to create my solar energy). Are yours? I have no particular love for the smoke and soot belching monsters I have to share the road with. I'm not even all that fond of roads, per se. I have been an enviromentalist since a small child, before Silent Spring was published.

But I try not to let it make me stupid. My politics do not drive my science.

KFG

Re:Volcanos and warming (0, Redundant)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781104)

"For starters, I don't "want" anything"

Heh, my ex used to say that all the time.

Re:Oh really? (-1, Flamebait)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780954)

"
No, I am not a global warming denier."

No, but it looks like you're OK with us polluting willy nilly when we know other byproducts of combustion that turns fossil fuel into air carbon, are killing us and given us increased rates of cancer and asthma.

Re:Oh really? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781140)

. . .it looks like you're OK with us polluting willy nilly when we know other byproducts of combustion that turns fossil fuel into air carbon . . .

Balderdash. Your are assigning me personal and political beliefs because of my views on science, because my science point of view does not match your political point of view.

And anyone who has read my posts over any length of time knows this is absolute nonsense. When the shit hits the fan you would be well advised to find me. I can not only keep you alive through a reversion to the stone age, but I'd have fun doing it. The irony of our modern civilization is how incredibly inhuman it is. Our cities are most notable for being entirely devoid of the things necessary to sustain human life, all of which must be provided from outside.

My vision of an ideal culture would be something more akin to Northeast Woodland Native American, with antibiotics and bicycles.

Factories are useful, but I do not need a factory to make my stuff. A sturdy steel knife and axe head are great time savers though.

In the threads where I talk about that and living inside the carbon cycle I get accused of being a tree hugging, hippy luddite.

. . .given us increased rates of cancer and asthma.

But I try not to let my druthers make me stupid. I do not go assigning blame for things I don't like to bad things that are happening without some sort of evidence that they are actually causal.

And correlation is not causation.

There is enlightened selfinterest in this; because if I assign the wrong blame to the bad thing I am very unlikely to find the true blame and keep the bad things from happening; assuming they can be prevented at all.

Preventing bad things from happening is not always possible, and really, they're only "bad" from your own perspective. You may be the center of your universe, but that doesn't imply that you are the center of the universe.

KFG

Re:Oh really? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781220)

I had thought that line of commenting was unusual for you. I think whether we like it or not though, optics has a role to play with directing public thought on the Internet, and unless we throw ourselves into fighting pollution without a lot of caveats that stupid people can't understand because they lack education, we won't turn the tide on climate change denial.

"The irony of our modern civilization is how incredibly inhuman it is. Our cities are most notable for being entirely devoid of the things necessary to sustain human life, all of which must be provided from outside."

Bravo, well said. I think in your bike/antibiotic society if there are apple trees on every corner, and berry bushes in every gully, count me in.

Re:Oh really? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781454)

. . .directing public thought . . .

Being complicit in this sort of thing would also be unusual for me. The very thought of it makes my skin crawl.

unless we throw ourselves into fighting pollution without a lot of caveats that stupid people can't understand because they lack education. . .

I favor educating them. Nothing can be done about stupidity, of course. Ignorance can be cured, but stupidity is forever. On the other hand a good many people are "educated" into their stupidity. They are taught nonthinking. Subjected to humiliation and even pain for daring to think. When I teach my greatest hurdle is simply to prod people into being willing to think about the subject. I once had a guitar student who couldn't even open his case without being directed to do so, simply because he wasn't able to think that he was allowed to do such things by his own thought and volition.

He was a High School student.

But really, if the brown air doesn't wise them up; and if getting rid of brown air is not sufficient reason to fight pollution, a bit of global warming, which is happening anyway, is not going to wise them up. We were fighting pollution, just for the sake of having air worth breathing, back when the coming ice age was the hysterical rage.

I think in your bike/antibiotic society if there are apple trees on every corner, and berry bushes in every gully, count me in.

No problemo; if you can provide a location where it isn't a frickin' crime:

http://www.diggers.org/english_diggers.htm#worl [diggers.org]

KFG

misguided trope (1)

s388 (910768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781484)

"The irony of our modern civilization is how incredibly inhuman it is. Our cities are most notable for being entirely devoid of the things necessary to sustain human life, all of which must be provided from outside."

Just like how a farm-house is devoid of the things necessary to sustain human life, which must be provided by a FIELD OF CROPS and RIVERS, etc. Why, you might ask, would there be a concentration of people in the farm-house, instead of in the corn rows? Because nobody wants to live in a field of crops.

And before someone says "But small towns are good/better-than cities", I'll point out that the small-town is just a city on a smaller scale. People still don't live inside their food. Farm-houses go with farms, and cities go with huge regional breadbaskets.

It's amazing how many quotes express something obvious, trivial, and sensible, yet are somehow intended to expose something as contradictory or problematic. "Modern civilization" is the typical target for many such fallacies. I think you can rest assured that many of the problems of human society have nothing to do with modernity or with any recent advents.

Re:Oh really? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781284)

"But I try not to let my druthers make me stupid. I do not go assigning blame for things I don't like to bad things that are happening without some sort of evidence that they are actually causal."

From the horse's mouth. [realclimate.org]

"You may be the center of your universe, but that doesn't imply that you are the center of the universe."

There is no reason to behave like a jerk simply because everything is utimately pointless. If everone decided to "go bush" tommorow, the "bush" would be a desert filled with rotting corpses and starving people within three months.

Re:Oh really? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781538)

From the horse's mouth.

The IPCC is not the horse. There is no such thing as science by consensus or by authority. Galileo was right, even though he stood virtually alone.

There is no reason to behave like a jerk simply because everything is utimately pointless.

Well, I'm sorry, but I happen to believe that is the single most insightful thing I have ever said here. There would be a lot less needless human pain and suffering in this world if people would only bear that in mind, not more.

If everone decided to "go bush" tommorow, the "bush" would be a desert filled with rotting corpses and starving people within three months.

Absofuckinlutely, so guess what's going to happen when the hated petroleum runs out?

I'd learn rugby if I were you - learning to speak Mongolian and/or cozying up to the Amish wouldn't hurt either. They seem to do ok without cars.

And I'm really not sure you understand my position at all in any case.

KFG

Re:Oh really? (1, Redundant)

MacDork (560499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780594)

So Global Warming looks like a comet?

Yeah. Actually, It does. See, here's how it works. You preach enough Global Warming fire and brimstone and all the telescope money gets spent on worthless computer models. Hence, when a planet killer does show up out of the blue, the money that could have been spent on real science that could have saved us instead went to a stupid religion.

I have a question for you global warmers... Why don't you tell us how the planet managed to go into an ice age 450 million years ago when the CO2 concentrations [clearlight.com] were at 4400 PPM compared to our current 370... I'm waiting.

Could it be that CO2 is like a warm blanket. [nasa.gov] Keep adding CO2 and it's like adding blankets. Throw an extra blanket on your bed and you're warmer. Throw two extra blankets on your bed and you're warmer still. Throw an extra 30 blankets on your bed and you're not really that much warmer than you were with three blankets. Oh wait!! Fire and brimstone! Fire and brimstone!! And boogie men! Sleep under 30 blankets and you'll combust spontaneously! Oh my gawds, its teh global warmins!!

Re:Oh really? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780914)

An interesting "blanket" theory I've not heard before. The problem is, the earth is not a warm blooded mammal that can SWEAT! Shit, I don't typically swear but that's a fucking stupid talking point.

-Pardon my french, I'm trying a new tact with CO2 lovers this weekend.

yes really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781246)

His analogy isn't that bad. The planet generates a lot of heat that comes out from the center.

I guess after following this thing for a long time now I am forced to really fall on the heliocentric model, the sun causes most-not all but most-of the large scale climate change.

Now if you want to talk air pollution, different story. Yes, we should dramatically slow down burning dirty fuels and come up with better replacements for them. One only has to go to the artificial heat and pollution islands in cities, then travel a reasonable distance out into the country and take a few whiffs-much cleaner. Just on that basis I think we should restrict oil based fuels and go to clean electrics and cleaner burning biofuels. Let's leave oil for lubrication and a little manufacturing and stop just raw burning it, that and coal, just too dirty. This is ther 21st century, we can do a lot better with just the tech that is out there now and not being used.

Interesting aside, I was just a little while ago doing some online shopping/browsing looking for a new freezer. There's one out there now, 12 VDC, runs off of ONE solar panel. ONE 75 watt panel. Why? Better quality components for the compressor, and a much better than normal insulation structure. That's it , nothing fancy, just built better. And the price only seemed marginally more than a conventional freezer of similar size, at least from what I was seeing when I went to the local appliance store last week. The insulation is so good that even if it is shady or cloudy for a few days, and the panel can't get much power, the stuff will still stay cold inside because it has like triple the normal insulation and the door seals very well. That's it, low tech that works.

You can do the same with houses, just plain old fashioned more insulation,like triple what even new houses usually have, and that's it. Works, save a ton on the utlity bills, but it won't get any sexy government or academic grants because there's nothing much "new" needs to be discovered there, and it doesn't require hydrogen or fuel cells or any of that boondoggle nonsense. Just thicker walls, better triple pane windows, intelligently designed door frames and window frames with no leaks stupid rough cut leaks hidden by moulding. You won't hardly need heating or cooling to run much at all then to stay comfy. Now ask yourself, why isn't this mandated by "building codes" now? Why are mortgagelenders giving house notes for energy hog houses when they could be built much better for roughly only 10% more in construction costs? I got the answer to that one, turn it around, Who WOULDN'T profit from people using much less energy? the big energy companies? Who has the juice to keep forcing government to mandate endless studies and not actually do anything? Why are we still stuck at 1960s level 2x4 stick frame construction, with 3 inches insulation in the walls (not even that thick really, try 2 and 5/8ths from the exterior sheathing to the interior drywall) and six inches in the attic (if you are lucky, a ton of contractors plop down the same thin roll there, too) and leaks all over the house and crappy windows? Even though the houses cost 5 times as much now as they did in the 60s? Why do the energy companies who are in the business of selling you power call that a "good cents seal of industry approval!!1one!" home, when it clearly isn't to anyone with even a modicum of engineering savvy?

Who killed the electric car? Who keeps killing the energy efficient home?

Could it be they just figgered out they make HELLA MORE MONEY off of you doing it the way they keep doing it?

Re:Oh really? (1)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781136)

Hence, when a planet killer does show up out of the blue, the money that could have been spent on real science that could have saved us instead went to a stupid religion.

So, we should be giving funds to NASA so they can hire Bruce Willis to save us from almost certain Armageddon [wikipedia.org] ?

Or is it supposed to be more of a Deep impact [wikipedia.org] sort of thing? Didn't really care for either of them, so I'll admit I'm behind the times in knowing what we'd do if we found a meteor en-route.

Either way, I'm really hoping that it involves a really big explosion to make a pretty light in the sky. I like pretty lights.

Re:Oh really? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781206)

"I have a question for you global warmers... "

Yes, yes, McDork, we've heard it from you before. My question to you is still the same: Why don't you put up or shut up? If you are so convinced your a genius who can spot a flaw that thousands of papers have missed, do the science yourself and grab that Nobel, what are you waiting for?

"Could it be..."

No it couldn't, the energy comes from outside the "blanket", ie: the sun. As you yourself are constantly reminding us!

Your constant drivel and contradictory posts put you in the same class as a rabid creationist.

This post was an anti-troll public service announcement.

Re:Oh really? (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781494)

Here's the more pertinent question. Without wrecking every economy in the world and more or less completely stopping third world development, how do you even plan to begin to slow the supposed cause of the problem appreciably, let alone fix any part of it?

Re:Oh really? (1)

Real_Reddox (1010195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780994)

"Global Warming May Have Killed the Dinosaurs"

Curiosity killed the dinosaurs.

Re:Oh really? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781008)

"Curiosity killed the dinosaurs."

I didn't know they were like felines. Do you have a reference, perhaps on Wikipedia or Uncyclopedia to back this up?

Global warming ... just not that way. (5, Interesting)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780380)

The most plausible work I've seen on the subject is based on Durda & Kring's [harvard.edu] recent work on giant impacts and heat of re-entry. Based on the size of the Chixculub (sp?) impact crater, they concluded that the heat of re-entering rock on ballistic trajectories would have heated almost the entire atmosphere to incandescence. This is global warming of a sort, I suppose.

I've seen talks by archaeobiologists who assert that the dinosaurs were simply broiled by the heat coming from the atmosphere. That theory nicely explains why small, burrowing creatures suddenly took off and why the seas weren't as strongly affected by the land: anything small enough to hide in a burrow, or agile enough to swim deep underwater for a few days survived (at least in numbers large enough to propagate); everything else was cooked. It is also consistent with the fossil record, which shows huge amounts of charcoal cinders near the K-T boundary wherever you look, and a drastic change in the types of pollen present.

Disclaimer: I am not a paleontologist, I'm only an astrophysicist.

Re:Global warming ... just not that way. (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780488)

It is also consistent with the fossil record, which shows huge amounts of charcoal cinders near the K-T boundary wherever you look, and a drastic change in the types of pollen present.

The article claims based on microbiological analysis from drill cores in Texas that the impact event, the tsunami event often associated with the impact, and the KT boundary, are all quite distinct in time, and all are distinct from the changes in microfosils that they think are indicitave of the dinosaurs dying. The article ends with a ridiculous statement that implies birds evolved after the KT event rather than before. Birds are not dinosaurs. Birds survived the KT event. Dinosours did not.

Curiously, they do not discuss how an impact of the type they claim to identify was not associated with a tsunami. Nor is there mention of how the irridium got into the KT boundary layer without an impact.

Whenever you see anyone filling in an area of uncertainty with a trendy, crisis-du-jour explanation, you should be very sceptical. The odds that a major socio-economic/political concern today just happens to be related to a mass extinction in the distant past are extremely low. The odds of scientists (and reporters) letting current concerns bleed into their hypotheses is on the other hand extremely high.

Re:Global warming ... just not that way. (0, Offtopic)

tsq (768711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780920)

Offtopic, but I'm curious about your sig: "It is a statistical certainty (p < 10e-11) that there are innocent people being held at Guantanamo Bay"

Re:Global warming ... just not that way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781084)

Scientists also believe the impact scattered vast quantities of the metal nickel across most of the earth's surface. Nickel would have had a very adverse effect on plantlife and therefore the dinosaur's food chain.

Al-Gore killed the dinosaurs (0)

Lotharjade (750874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780388)

Now we all wait for Al-Gores SECOND film on global warming. Global warming is going to kill the dinosaurs!

Re:Al-Gore killed the dinosaurs (0, Flamebait)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780706)

He'll probably blame that on greedy capitalists and a lack of government regulation too.

Well, THERE'S the problem! (5, Funny)

Bwana Geek (1033040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780394)

Obviously, the government needs to enforce reductions in volcanic emissions. In order to save our planet, we need to progress toward the use of more environmentally-friendly natural disasters.

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (1, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780490)

Either that, or get the dinosaurs to drive hybrids and install CFL bulbs.

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781048)

Seems I am way ahead of the dinosaurs, see my .sig :)

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780494)

That brings up a point I'm certainly interested in. Just how many tons of CO2 and methane and other greenhouse gases ARE coming from the planet's core (ok mantle)? I bet a lot more is coming out of the ocean than that from land based sources, simply because of the surface area. Is it being measured? How does it compare to man made sources?

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780606)

From what I read, human being produced smoke is about 3% of the amount outgassed by volcanoes. This is an obvious indication that the human impact on the atmosphere is quite minimal in the greater scheme of things. If the atmosphere is changing, then it is most probably due to increased volcanism, not increased SUV sales...

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (2, Informative)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781344)

And what do you read? Define 'smoke'. If you want to talk CO2, start here [und.edu] .
Then read this [nasa.gov] . Surprise! The volcano argument is lame.

Your post is exactly what I am talking about [slashdot.org] ; I should have teed off on you instead of that other guy. You have a belief (loosely stated as my poop can't possibly be as stinky as moose poop) and have found support for it with a number that is, by any sane reading of the data, wrong. There's plenty of holes to poke in climate change science, but where the increased atmospheric and oceanic carbon is coming from ain't one of them.

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (3, Informative)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780666)

General rant (sorry iminplaya, you're the straw and I'm the camel):

Every time a global warming story comes up, lots of readers throw out their own unsubstantiated (or more usually debunked) theories, without bothering with basic fact checking. Here, the parent is 'certainly interested' in geologic CO2 fluxes, but can't be bothered to search. Are geological CO2 fluxes being measured? Yes. It's called Wikipedia, people.

Sorry. But if someone throws out solar fluctuations as the primary reason for current warming one more time, I'm going to be very, very cross. Do some research.

Start here [wikipedia.org]
Carbon flux- humans have thrown the net flux out of whack [wikipedia.org]
The ocean is a carbon sink, thanks to us [wikipedia.org]
Here's the carbon cycle. Lots of big fluxes, but we've tipped the balance [nasa.gov]

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780848)

You know, one of the things that makes it nicer to ask a computer a question, it just spits out the answer, nothing more. You get my drift? However, I don't know how to exactly word the question to get the answer I'm looking for. So I thought I would try a human, to see if he/she could either show me how to ask the question, or simply provide the link. I'm not doubting anything. My question has nothing to do with global warming. I guess that would make it offtopic. I'm simply looking for two sets of numbers, not a lecture. I can get that from my mother. Thank you for the links. And I hope you find a decent chiropractor for your back :-Q~

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781268)


Dude, you're right, you just asked a question. But there are so many fact-devoid assertions about climate change around here (on all sides, but mainly with the skeptics; being a contrarian is too-cool-for-school on ./) and I find it really irritating. No, your post didn't fit into the core of what I'm talking about, you were a target of convenience.

Cheers.

well, you're going to stay cross (4, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781160)

Because they're going to keep saying it, and you'll have to keep repeating yourself. Global warming skepticism is not caused by an inordinate concern for intellectual integrity and rigor. Similarly, Evolution "skeptics" will still tell you that evolution is impossible because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, even though this has been refuted countless thousands of times. The mentality is the same. They trust all the fruits of science but think they can safely discard the mental model that created those fruits.

Well, that's the polite way of phrasing it. Basically they're just arrogant. They don't understand global warming (or evolution) and they really think that their own seat-of-the-pants assessment is more insightful than that of scientists who make their living analyzing the data. The virulent strain of populism that defines American culture encourages this. Evangelical Christianity encourages this. The media plays into it. The media exists to sell toothpaste and beer, and you don't sell as much toothpaste and beer if your message to viewers is "you don't understand things as well as you think you do, because you lack the education." It's a sad, self-perpetuating situation, but you (and all likeminded people) are stuck in a never-ending cycle of refuting the same claims, again and again and again and...

Re:well, you're going to stay cross (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781280)


Well spoken. Good thing I get to knock up the wife now and again to relieve my cross feelings (#4 on the way- oops! So much for my carbon footprint...)

Re:Well, THERE'S the problem! (1)

The_Quinn (748261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781390)

if someone throws out solar fluctuations as the primary reason for current warming one more time, I'm going to be very, very cross
Nerd Alert.

The article says "global cooling" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780406)

"The findings suggest that global cooling led to a sea level drop from about 80 m to 30 m that apparently was more detrimental to foraminifera than was the Chicxulub impact, which occurred during the preceding warming." Maybe I'm missing something but I always thought the meteorite caused a lot of dust which obscured the sun and led to global cooling. That's what also happens with a volcano. So the Slashdot article says one thing but the article it cites says another. Hmm.

Actually, it says both (2, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780536)

First global warming winnowed down the diversity of species.
Later, global cooling wiped out the ones that were left.

From what they can tell, the Chicxulub impact occured too early to have triggered the global cooling.

What caused it? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780408)

I wonder what the dinosaurs were driving or what other kinds of industrialization they had back then to cause their global warming because obviously global warming can't be caused by any natural or astronomical event. The majority of our scientists have have agreed on that, so it's got to be true.

Sh*t...I got sarcasm all over my keyboard. It'll take weeks to clean this up now.

Re:What caused it? (2, Informative)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780548)

Who said GW cannot be caused by a natural process?

The issue here is that we might be warming the Earth artificially already, so when the natural process kicks in on top of our "contribution" we all could be royally screwed.

We are in fact supposed to be living in an Ice Age at the moment, so the "natural" warming ain't even here yet!

On the positive side, perhaps 75 million years in the future some giant cockroaches could use our liquified remains to fuel the SUVs!

Re:What caused it? (1)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780562)

Somebody mod this post up, I was rolling on the floor after reading it. Fantastic.

Re:What caused it? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780682)

That is too long ago to be useful information. I'd like to know what the cavemen did to bring about the end the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

The makers of "Dinosaurs" turned out to be right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780416)

WESAYSO, the then military-industrial complex, caused it, just like the series said!

Yes, it's true (0)

lagfest (959022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780420)

The dinosaurs were responsible for their own extinction. /dnrtfs

Re:Yes, it's true (-1, Troll)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780442)

I knew dinosaurs were really deamons! Conjuring up volcanic events!

Not the first to suggest this.... (3, Interesting)

keithdino (467607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780450)

I know of at least one paper, published by Prof. Dewey McLean of Virginia Tech in the journal Science in 1978 that suggested that a major warming event was the cause of the K-T extinctions: "A terminal Mesozoic greenhouse: lessons from the past" (Science, 1978). Sometime later, he identified the Deccan Traps volcanism as a likely source of the CO2 that may have induced this warming: "Terminal Cretaceous Extinctions and Volcanism: a Link", in an abstract at the AAAS National Meeting, Toronto, Canada, in January 1981.

Iridium layer (3, Interesting)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780464)

How do they explain away the layer of iridium rich clay (around the world) from around the time of the mass extinction. Current theory says it's vaporized impact material.

Re:Iridium layer (3, Funny)

kettch (40676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780722)

How do they explain away the layer of iridium rich clay (around the world) from around the time of the mass extinction. Current theory says it's vaporized impact material.

Easy, that is explained here [wikipedia.org] (search for iridium)

Current global warming problems are explained here [go.com]

Re:Iridium layer (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780866)

They don't have to, because they don't deny that the impact took place. They just don't think it was the cause of the extinction.

life persisted for another 300,000 years after (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780466)

"For a number of years scientists have theorized that an impact on the Yucatan peninsula was responsible for the species crash, but microbiological examination of marine organisms of the time indicate life persisted for another 300,000 years after the 'Chicxulub impact'."

Wow, I wonder if there's still life on the planet in question...

Re:life persisted for another 300,000 years after (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780516)

Nope, just robots.

Re:life persisted for another 300,000 years after (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780670)

Yes, but there is no intelligent life anymore.

Re:life persisted for another 300,000 years after (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781232)

Life yes but time will tell if it's sentient.

All the howling about this is silly. We are of nature so what we do is natural. If we're to survive we will or we'll be wiped out and something else will come along.

I want to watch this on TV....from orbit...around another planet...very far away from earth.

What I have always wondered about... (3, Informative)

starseeker (141897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780512)

The Chicxulub event, while large, is not the only large impact suffered in Earth's history. There are quite a number of large craters in the geologic history, and probably more that we have not stumbled upon yet. The Earth Impact Database lists two craters larger than Chicxulub:

http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/CIDiameterS ort2.htm [www.unb.ca]

Wikipedia blurbs on the two largest (as usual, do more research to verify if interested:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vredefort_crater [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_Basin [wikipedia.org]

There are also questions about a possible crater in Antarctica, but it's too new an announcement to know if the features observed are actually impact related: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/erthboom.htm [osu.edu]

My question is, why would the Chicxulub event have been so uniquely deadly?

I suppose one possible scenario is a double (or more) sucker punch of large impact followed by volcanic activity and/or other factors that happened to hit while the Earth was still recovering from the impact. Of course, that's a bit complex for a spectacular headline.

I hope work continues on this - it's a fascinating insight into our environment and might be useful in knowing how to safeguard ourselves against changes in the future.

Bushveld complex (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780586)

The circular Bushveld Complex is even larger than any of those (50,000 sq km!), but it is so old, that no-one knows whether it was the world's largest volcano, or the world's largest asteroid impact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushveld [wikipedia.org]

Re:What I have always wondered about... (2, Interesting)

gwait (179005) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781046)

Interesting!
I went hunting the web to back up my armchair theory - that the Yucatan impact CAUSED the India lava flows directly (think bullet thru a ripe tomato)..
India is currently about opposite the Yucatan, but I'm not sure where the two sites were located 65 million years ago (How much continental drift?). BUT on the way to try to track down some semblance of support for my pet theory I found this article about a very large potential impact crater right beside India that hasn't yet made the impact database (it's not been decided either way):

But Chatterjee believes the geologic activity in India is best explained by a massive meteorite impact. For further proof, he points to alkaline igneous rock spires that are encased in the Deccan Traps. These spires are rich in iridium, but the Deccan lava did not contain iridium. How else, he asks, could the spires have formed if not by a nearby meteorite impact?

        In addition, Chatterjee says there is an underwater mountain as high as Mount Everest within the Shiva crater. He says this structure has been dated to be 65 million years old, and he thinks it could be the central peak that is often seen within large impact craters.

              Finally, Chatterjee says the crater contains shocked quartz, a key sign of impact. And because the K-T clay boundary layer in India is one meter thick - the thickest in the world - Chatterjee thinks a meteorite impact must have been close by.

Astrobiology Magazine - http://www.astrobio.net/news/print.php?sid=1281 [astrobio.net]


There is also mention of another impact crater in the Ukraine that is also 65 million years old.

So it sounds like we had more than 1 big meteor event, potentially cooking the atmosphere instantly, the shock waves might have instantly caused massive cracks in the earth's crust, and/or the kinetic energy absorbed from these could possibly warm up the earth's core enough to cause massive lava flows, the resulting gasses and or dust released in all these events would have yanked the temperature up and down, in short, the Dinosaurs had it from many interrelated sources effectively at the "same time" give or take a half a million years.

When you look at a cross section of the planet and see how thin the crust is, (http://www.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/100 /interior.html) it's like an eggshell protecting us from hot liquid rock. Lucky for us the outside radiates heat away fast enough to keep the crust from melting..(!?)

My question is, say the crust is 50 kilometers (30 miles) thick (on average?) http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/interior/ [usgs.gov]
How much thinner will it get if we raise the temperature of the atmosphere by 1 degree C?
Good thing rock is a decent insulator!

The other baffling thing is why we need to use greenhouse gasses to heat our homes when we are living on a ball of molten rock with a wafer thin coating on it? Is geothermal heat really too expensive to compete?

There, feeling safer now?

Re:What I have always wondered about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781180)

"My question is, why would the Chicxulub event have been so uniquely deadly?"

Because, quite simply, it didn't. The extinctions took a long time, and asteroids are also not famous for being able to kill a certain specific *kind* of animal, especially one whose members span a huge size range, while leaving others alone. Correlation != causation.

It was an excellent way to get funding for space research, though, in much the same way as the CO2 idea is obviously being used. "The thing that killed the DINOSAURS is coming to get US! Give me more money!!"

Damn Dino SUVs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780542)

If only the Dinos carpooled they would still be around!!!!

Wha? (0, Offtopic)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780580)

Dinosaurs had an evil exploitative capitalistic society? Who would have thunk it...

p.s. I would post more, but I'm recycling ascii characters in an effort to save the planet.

Off topic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781256)

Heh. How is that off topic? I'm pretty sure he's inferring that the dinosaurs drove SUVs and had giant factories and herded a hell of a lot of cows, and politicians that talk a lot of hot air. Thus, the cause for global warming.

Of course it was global warming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17780602)

... to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit all across the globe within about an hour of impact. There was an article in Scientific American a couple of years ago that described it in vivid detail.

Nah, everybody knows the real reason (4, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780612)

Nah. Everybody knows the real reason [danielbowen.com] they died out.

It's true. (-1, Troll)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780614)

Global warming also killed my father, and raped my mother!

Doesn't make sense (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780658)

But reptiles tend to do pretty well in heat compared to mammals because their metabolism is slower.
     

Boundry (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780688)

It really isn't clear from the article how they define the boundry. It seems like a geologically disturbed region and somehow they put the boundry well above the glass. Yet tsunamis were supposed to have passed there so why not just rapidly cover it we easily eroded disturbed sediment? If the boundry is defined by irridum, and they are drilling in the bottom of a former river, again, sedimentation from irridum enriched erosion might expalain their measurement.

There is quite a lot of evidence that in less disturbed regions the irridum layer marks the dissaperance of megafauna so why is the survival of microorganisms a tracer of these? The KT boundry does not mark the end of flora, insects or microrganisms, just the big stuff.

More detail would be a big help here.
------
Halt global warming. Switch to solar power with ease: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

simple-minded scientists (3, Insightful)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780748)

Every time one of these simple-minded "scientists" proclaims Chicxulub didn't do it, because of "X", it reminds me how badly science suffers from monomania.

It's really not that difficult: the Earth's climate has demonstrated multiple stable (more than a few million years) and metastable states, ranging from snowball to hothouse, with side trips through conditions like our current glacial/interglacial metastate. The rate at which climate state can change, once change begins, is generally faster than species, particularly those embedded in "eco-web", can follow. When the Chicxulub event happened, the global climate state was moved toward a different one which was not conducive to the major fauna of the time, the dinosaurs. It didn't kill everything overnight (except near ground zero), but may have thrown off the timing of mating, reduced the efficiency of some primary plant's life-cycle, or in some other way moved the birth rate of the dinosaurs to below replacement (less efficient animals have fewer reserves and are more vulnerable to disease, for example). Some species and ecosystems may have required a few hundred thousand years to dwindle away, but the impact triggered that particular extinction event. Other events, such as the Permian-Triassic extinction, are more likely to have been caused by vulcanism.

Re:simple-minded scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781126)

"Every time one of these simple-minded "scientists" proclaims Chicxulub didn't do it, because of "X", it reminds me how badly science suffers from monomania."

The "impact theory" being an excellent example, of course. You should read up on it. It's not even a theory, just speculation. It's certainly not a good model that fits the evidence. Plays well in the media, though.

I'd like to announce.... (0)

adarklite (1033564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780762)

I'd like to announce the Escape to Mars Fund. Very soon Global Warming will have destroyed our planet. So I am announcing a Escape to Mars Project. However, I am unable to fund it on my own and require some monetary help. If you are interested in funding the project please respond to this post. If you are interested in applying to be a part of this project respond to this post with a essay about how Global Warming will destroy this world.

See! It was Bush's fault! (1)

1-dollar (830721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780904)

I knew it! George W Bush killed the dinosaurs! Global Warming = Dinosaurs dead it seems to be generally agreed upon worldwide that Bush is enemy #1 of Global Warming so therefore, it logically follows that George Bush killed the dinosaurs! Finally, the people have some solid evidence to charge him with a crime!

Global warming killed them eh? (2, Insightful)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17780934)

If I remember correctly during the age of the dinos the earth was MUCH warmer than today. The O2 content of the atmosphere was also MUCH higher. Also believe it or not the whole asteroid/comet thing killing the dinos off is a theory. Not all of the scientific community is convinced that theory is correct.

about those Indian volcanoes... (4, Interesting)

Varmint01 (415694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781162)

A professor of mine once pointed out something very interesting about the Indian volcano theory for the extinction of the dinosaurs. The Indian subcontinent was, 65 million years ago, more or less on the exact opposite side of the Earth from what would eventually become the Yucatan Peninsula. Remember that the Earth is really like a huge ball of liquid, molten rock (the mantle) with a thin crust of solidified material on the outside. What happens when you flick a water balloon really hard with your finger, but don't break it? The force of the blow causes waves to radiate throughout the water from the point of impact in all directions, and dissipates against the inside of the balloon. The point of strongest force for these waves will be on the direct opposite side of the balloon from the point of impact, which bubbles out briefly before returning to place.

On a global scale, a massive meteor impact would actually cause massive and very sudden volcanic eruptions on the opposite side of the Earth as it causes a wave of magma to concentrate on one very small spot.

Ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17781366)

Damn wannabes and their junk science. Researcher Gary Larson found the explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs [kidsgrowth.com] a LONG time ago.

Please slashdot, forget the sensationalism and stick to real science.

The time machine hypothesis (1)

hexadecimate (761789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781458)

This is the evidence I've been waiting for to prove my hunch!

Sometime in the coming century we invent a time machine, see. And we use it to send all the greenhouse gases back in time to just around the KT period. It's our only chance to keep the planet habitable into the future.

The greenhouse gases, following in the wake of a gigantic asteroid impact, cause a mass extinction event, which creates conditions that lead to the worldwide reserves of petroleum we exploit through the Industrial Revolution and beyond, bringing us full circle.

It's brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you!

Uh, just a sec. There's somebody at the door asking to speak to a "John Connor." Be right back.

thought (1)

abstrak_tokatl (866054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17781512)

it would seem to me that one can lead to the other. that the culmination of results would effect the outlining out come. I.E. astroid leads to earth quakes, earth quakes lead to volcanic erruptions.
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