Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck earth at ‘deadliest possible’ angle

Imperial College London

IMAGE
IMAGE: Original artwork depicting the moment the asteroid struck in present-day Mexico. view more  Credit: Chase Stone

The simulations show that the asteroid hit Earth at an angle of about 60 degrees, which maximised the amount of climate-changing gases thrust into the upper atmosphere.

Such a strike likely unleashed billions of tonnes of sulphur, blocking the sun and triggering the nuclear winter that killed the dinosaurs and 75 per cent of life on Earth 66 million years ago.

Drawn from a combination of 3D numerical impact simulations and geophysical data from the site of the impact, the new models are the first ever fully 3D simulations to reproduce the whole event – from the initial impact to the moment the final crater, now known as Chicxulub, was formed.

The simulations [2] were performed on the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) DiRAC High Performance Computing Facility.

Lead researcher Professor Gareth Collins, of Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, said: “For the dinosaurs, the worst-case scenario is exactly what happened. The asteroid strike unleashed an incredible amount of climate-changing gases into the atmosphere, triggering a chain of events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. This was likely worsened by the fact that it struck at one of the deadliest possible angles.

“Our simulations provide compelling evidence that the asteroid struck at a steep angle, perhaps 60 degrees above the horizon, and approached its target from the north-east. We know that this was among the worst-case scenarios for the lethality on impact, because it put more hazardous debris into the upper atmosphere and scattered it everywhere – the very thing that led to a nuclear winter.”

The results are published today in Nature Communications.

Crater creation

The upper layers of earth around the Chicxulub crater in present-day Mexico contain high amounts of water as well as porous carbonate and evaporite rocks. When heated and disturbed by the impact, these rocks would have decomposed, flinging vast amounts of carbon dioxide, sulphur and water vapour into the atmosphere.

The sulphur would have been particularly hazardous as it rapidly forms aerosols – tiny particles that would have blocked the sun’s rays, halting photosynthesis in plants and rapidly cooling the climate. This eventually contributed to the mass extinction event that killed 75 per cent of life on Earth.

The team of researchers from Imperial, the University of Freiburg, and The University of Texas at Austin, examined the shape and subsurface structure of the crater using geophysical data to feed into the simulations that helped diagnose the impact angle and direction. Their analysis was also informed by recent results from drilling into the 200 km-wide crater, which brought up rocks containing evidence of the extreme forces generated by the impact.

Peak performance

Pivotal to diagnosing the angle and direction of impact was the relationship between the centre of the crater, the centre of the peak ring – a ring of mountains made of heavily fractured rock inside the crater rim – and the centre of dense uplifted mantle rocks, some 30 km beneath the crater.

At Chicxulub, these centres are aligned in a southwest-northeast direction, with the crater centre in between the peak-ring and mantle-uplift centres. The team’s 3D Chicxulub crater simulations at an angle of 60 degrees reproduced these observations almost exactly.

The simulations reconstructed the crater formation in unprecedented detail and give us more clues as to how the largest craters on Earth are formed. Previous fully 3D simulations of the Chicxulub impact have covered only the early stages of impact, which include the production of a deep bowl-shaped hole in the crust known as the transient crater and the expulsion of rocks, water and sediment into the atmosphere.

These simulations are the first to continue beyond this intermediate point in the formation of the crater and reproduce the final stage of the crater’s formation, in which the transient crater collapses to form the final structure (see video). This allowed the researchers to make the first comparison between 3D Chicxulub crater simulations and the present-day structure of the crater revealed by geophysical data.

Co-author Dr Auriol Rae of the University of Freiburg said: “Despite being buried beneath nearly a kilometre of sedimentary rocks, it is remarkable that geophysical data reveals so much about the crater structure – enough to describe the direction and angle of the impact.”

The researchers say that while the study has given us important insights into the dinosaur-dooming impact, it also helps us understand how large craters on other planets form.

Co-author Dr Thomas Davison, also of Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, said: “Large craters like Chicxulub are formed in a matter of minutes, and involve a spectacular rebound of rock beneath the crater. Our findings could help advance our understanding of how this rebound can be used to diagnose details of the impacting asteroid.”

###

From EurekAlert!

181 thoughts on “Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck earth at ‘deadliest possible’ angle

  1. Geology of the impact site location also contributed to severity of end-Cretaceous “climate change”. Equating the effects of this collision with an increase in atmospheric plant food concentration from three to four molecules per 10,000 dry air molecules since AD 1850 is beyond ludicrous.

    • All research now includes a nod to climate change as a peer review pass go ticket. They really didn’t need it in this case for another dinosaur extinction headline grabber, but then one must always be thinking about the next pub and their track record in the long march of the Climate Crusades. Laggards or occasional players in the march will not get ahead. Just ask members in the founding families of the CCP and their elite status today.

      • Yes, obligatory to kowtow and prostrate oneself before the Great God CACCA.

        Sulfur aerosols were important in the end-K mass extinction event, but far from the only destructive force.

        • The Maastrichtian Age, last of the Cretaceous Period and Mesozoic Era, enjoyed two hot excursions, with CO2 estimated at 1000 to 1400 ppm. One of these came at the very end of the age, ie was in effect when the Yucatan impact occurred.

          Terrestrial Evidence for Two Greenhouse Events in the Latest Cretaceous

          https://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/13/12/pdf/i1052-5173-13-12-4.pdf

          So falling CO2 didn’t cause the sudden demise of the nonavian dinos and other land and sea creatures.

      • All research now includes a nod to climate change as a peer review pass go ticket.

        Right on, ….. ResourceGuy

        Excerpt from article:

        Drawn from a combination of 3D numerical impact simulations and geophysical data from the site of the impact, the new models are the first ever fully 3D simulations to reproduce the whole event – from the initial impact to the moment the final crater, now known as Chicxulub, was formed.

        The simulations [2] were performed on the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) DiRAC High Performance Computing Facility.

        Me thinks just another case of SISO generated by computer “modeling” software.

        But the Wikii explanation was just as believable, to wit:

        The Chicxulub crater is an impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It was formed when a large asteroid or comet about 11 to 81 kilometers (6.8 to 50.3 miles) in diameter, struck the Earth.

        The date of the impact coincides precisely with the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, slightly less than 66 million years ago, and a widely accepted theory is that worldwide climate disruption from the event was the cause of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, a mass extinction in which 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct, including all non-avian dinosaurs.

        The crater is estimated to be 150 kilometers (93 miles) in diameter and 20 kilometers (12 miles) in depth,

        The emission of dust and particles could have covered the entire surface of the Earth for several years, possibly a decade, creating a harsh environment for living things. The shock production of carbon dioxide caused by the destruction of carbonate rocks would have led to a sudden greenhouse effect.

        Over a decade or longer, sunlight would have been blocked from reaching the surface of the Earth by the dust particles in the atmosphere, cooling the surface dramatically. Photosynthesis by plants would also have been interrupted, affecting the entire food chain

        Some critics, including paleontologist Robert Bakker, argue that such an impact would have killed frogs as well as dinosaurs, yet the frogs survived the extinction event.

        Thus a lot of “association = causation” thingys to ponder over:

        The date of the impact coincides precisely with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

        But, the event only “extincted” the large dinosaurs, ….. but not the small avian dinosaurs, …. nor very many of the small animal species became extinct.

        A kermonstrous asteroid strike causing selective species extinctions, … DUH!!!

        The emission of dust and particulate could have covered the entire surface of the Earth for 10 years.

        That alone would have caused the extinction of most all animals and plants.

        Over a decade or longer, sunlight would have been blocked from reaching the surface of the Earth.

        No sunlight for 10 years = no photosynthesis for 10 years = no food production for 10 years = all plants and animals die of starvation and/or hypothermia (because those 10 years would have been as frozen as a well diggers butt in the Klondike in February).

        The shock production of CO2 would have led to a sudden greenhouse effect

        Ya can’t be having a “sudden greenhouse effect” if all Sunlight was blocked for 10 years from reaching the surface by the airborne dust and particulate situate in the atmosphere.

        • Larger animals were affected disproportionately, but lots and lots of smaller species were wiped out, too. Very few then extant bird species survived, for instance. Prominent among those which did were little seed-eaters. Also some water fowl near Antarctica.

          The seas were devastated as well as the land.

          • Bigger animals can survive longer periods between eating. Reconcile that.

            I’ll wait…

          • Doesn’t even have to be years.
            Once the trees stop putting out new leaves, the big dinosaurs that need hundreds of pounds of leaves per day to live, won’t last long.
            Once they are gone, the big dinosaurs that eat the big leaf eaters won’t last long either.

            As the foliage continues to fail, the larger plant eaters go first, as the smaller ones can still find shrubs and grass to eat. Until much of that is gone as well. Their predators follow soon after.

            What remains are the smallest animals that are for the most part, omnivorous and that live in burrows, where they have been protected from the temperature extremes.
            They can eat roots and insects during the worst of the climate disruptions, then come out and scavenge on the scraps that the bigger animals missed as well as the remains of the bigger animals themselves.

          • Another point is that prior to the planet cooling because of blocked sunshine, it got very hot for a few hours.
            The impact tossed millions of tons of debris into sub-orbital trajectories. When these particales re-entered the atmosphere, they heated the atmosphere enough to kill many animals that were trapped out in the open.

          • Warm blooded animals with smaller volume need to eat more often due to the ratio of volume to surface area causing faster heat loss. While they may eat less at each feeding, they need to feed far more often especially in colder weather.

          • Mark,

            True. Giants need to keep eating or starve.

            Gary,

            Which is why so many modern birds descend from small, seed-eating ancestors/

          • John Tillman – May 26, 2020 at 6:00 pm

            Gary,

            Which is why so many modern birds descend from small, seed-eating ancestors/

            HUMMMMMM, …..interesting.

            So, the big ole dinosaurs descended down to small, seed-eating birds ….. and then those small, seed-eating birds evolved into the many large modern birds.

            The big question is, … at what stage of the dinosaur-to-bird evolution did they evolve their feathered epidermis and flight muscles for soaring/gliding on “updrafts” and/or “sea-to-shore” breezes.

            It seems obvious to me that the early aves (birds) had to evolve “soaring” skills long before evolving “flying” skills. (Like learning to walk before you can run.)

          • MarkW – May 26, 2020 at 5:46 pm

            Doesn’t even have to be years.

            Once the trees stop putting out new leaves, the big dinosaurs that need hundreds of pounds of leaves per day to live, won’t last long.

            Way to go, MarkW, two great “common sense” posts that define how an “extinction” progresses.

            Of course I still don’t ascribe to said “Chicxulub Impact extinction” event …….. but attribute it to a steady decrease in atmospheric CO2 from 2,500 ppm @ 250 mya to like 700 ppm @ 66 mya.

          • And the more oxygen it would need to survive. A fall in earth’s O2 level from 30% to 20% would put the largest dinosaurs at a disadvantage. For similarly shaped organisms, O2 requirements go up (roughly) by the cube of its size; O2 assimilation only by the square of its size.

          • Samuel,

            The ancestors of birds had feathers for millions, if not tens of millions, of years before they started flying. Even tyrannosaurs had fuzzy feathers, which are a trait characteristic of coelurosaur theropods, and possibly even more dinosaurian groups.

            They served for thermoregulation, brooding, coloration and display before evolving into flight feathers.

            Evolving larger and small sizes happens all the time, in most lineages.

          • Far from all dinos were big. There were lots of little dinosaurs besides the birds, although the smallest dinosaurs are birds.

          • Jorge,

            Scientists can’t seem to agree on Mesozoic O2 levels.

            While some studies find high Late Cretaceous oxygen concentration, ie ~28%, others don’t. Some conclude O2 levels were lower than presnt (~21%) throughout the Mesozoic Era, while others find them lower in the Triassic and part of the Jurassic, but higher in the Cretaceous. Some conclude levels were higher during most or all of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, ie the whole Era.

            The largest dinosaurs, sauropods, benefited from their bird-like breathing systems, making efficient use of whatever oxygen was available. Their fellow saurishians, ie bird-ancestor theropods of course shared this respiratory apparatus. Ornithischians, not so much.

          • Given that, how can changes in body size be compared to fluctuations or lack thereof in O2 concentration?

            https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-did-sauropods-get-so-big-71843199/

            How Did Sauropods Get So Big?

            The authors of the paper considered everything from changes in levels of oxygen in the atmosphere and the availability of nutritious food to the lightweight construction of sauropod bones as explanations for the prodigious growth of the sauropods. The picture that emerges from all this is that a combination of features allowed sauropods to grow large. That the sauropod lineage evolved long necks early, for example, allowed them to exploit a range of food sources to fuel their bodies, and their light bones allowed them to overcome structure constraints felt by mammals due to the heavier bones of the latter group. More than that, becoming larger would provide them some relatively safety (at least as adults) from predatory dinosaurs.

            The scientists determined that changes in sauropod body size do not track changes in atmospheric oxygen content, carbon dioxide content or changes in temperature, all of which had been hypothesized as driving sauropod body size. Instead it appears that some traits sauropods inherited from their ancestors, such as swallowing large amounts of food without chewing, allowed the beginnings of increased body size, which was further allowed by the development of evolutionary novelties along the way (i.e. a bird-like breathing system that would have allowed oxygen to be supplied to their bodies more efficiently). To put it another way, there was no single cause for the observed trend in body size, but rather an intertwined mass of pressures and constraints which shaped the evolution of these dinosaurs—a constant interplay between what was evolutionarily possible and what was advantageous to local conditions at a given time. While the review does not once and for all solve the mysteries of sauropod size, its recognition of contingency and constraint in their evolution will remain important to the ongoing debate about these dinosaurs.

          • John Tillman – May 28, 2020 at 11:20 am

            The largest dinosaurs, sauropods, benefited from their bird-like breathing systems, making efficient use of whatever oxygen was available.

            John, ….. I’ve had this problem for many years of trying to imagine how much O2 was required to enable a 200 feet long sauropod dinosaur, …. weighing around 120 tons (240,000 pounds), ….. to be walking around on the ground, ….. on four “stubby” legs, ….. searching for editable “green-growing” biomass.

            Help me out there, John, …… “paint” me a picture.

            In comparison to elephants:
            Length: 18 – 21 ft.
            Mass: African bush elephant: 13,000 lbs, Asian elephant: 8,800 lbs, African forest elephant: 6,000 lbs

        • That’s why plants make seeds so durable. You could get absolute killing of all plants, but years later, the seeds are ready to do their thing! Maybe avery much reduced population of animals could live on dead plant and animal material from the devastation. It would be like hay and jerky.

        • Hope this doesn’t become a duplicate, but my reply appears lost in cyberspace.

          The Maastrichtian Age enjoyed intervals of elevated CO2, ie 1000 to 1400 ppm, including at its end. So too little CO2 doesn’t explain the sudden demise of the nonavian and most avian dinosaurs, plus other land and sea creatures.

          https://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/13/12/pdf/i1052-5173-13-12-4.pdf

          Terrestrial Evidence for Two Greenhouse Events in the Latest Cretaceous

    • Not just angle of impact and site geology, but time of year was also bad:

      https://www.nature.com/articles/352420a0

      I don’t know if this 1991 study determining late June remains unchallenged or not, but the case is good.

      Harder to have an impact winter in the actual northern winter. Thanks to a largely ice-free Antarctica, there was more vegetated land in the SH than now, but the NH still ruled the biosphere.

      Some of the birds which survived did so on Antarctica.

      • John Tillman – May 26, 2020 at 12:34 pm

        Some of the birds which survived did so on Antarctica.

        But, but, but, ….. shouldn’t Antarctica have been impacted just as much as areas in the Northern Hemisphere given the “blowout” trajectory from the impact site?

        To wit:

        “Our simulations provide compelling evidence that the asteroid struck at a steep angle, perhaps 60 degrees above the horizon, and approached its target from the north-east.

        • No.

          Too far away from Mexico, with atmospheric circulation protecting it. The debris cloud would have thinned out as it spread. The NH tropics and temperate zone was hardest hit. But, large animals in the SH died off, too.

          • John Tillman – May 26, 2020 at 1:22 pm

            But, large animals in the SH died off, too.

            John T, …. how could that possibly have happened given your claim that the SH was spared/safe from the debris cloud … “ with atmospheric circulation protecting it”?

            Please explain the SH “die off”.

            But John, one thing the SH was NOT spared …….was the world-wide steady and consistent decline in atmospheric CO2, from 2,600 to 500 ppm, that began approximately 155 million yBP as denoted on this proxy graph.

            John T, …. please note the coincidence of the “66m dinosaur extinction date” ….. and the decreasing to “500 ppm CO2 date”.

          • Samuel,

            It wasn’t spared all the effects of the impact, which in toto were overkill. Any one or a few of them could have caused a mass extinction, preferentially of larger animals. Sparing was also relative. High SH latitudes were hit less hard than the northern tropics and temperate zones, as I noted.

            There is zero evidence that falling CO2 killed most dinosaurs, marine reptiles, ammonites, etc. There is not even good evidence that CO2 at 66 Ma was much lower than at the mid-Cretaceous thermal maximum, although it must have been somewhat lower.

          • John Tillman – May 28, 2020 at 2:19 pm

            There is zero evidence that falling CO2 killed most dinosaurs, marine reptiles, ammonites, etc. There is not even good evidence that CO2 at 66 Ma was much lower than at the mid-Cretaceous thermal maximum, although it must have been somewhat lower.

            The Cretaceous Thermal Maximum (CTM), also known as Cretaceous Thermal Optimum, was a period of climatic warming that reached its peak approximately 90 million years ago (90 Ma) during the Turonian age of the Late Cretaceous epoch. The CTM is notable for its dramatic increase in global temperatures characterized by high carbon dioxide levels (1,500 ppm). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous_Thermal_Maximum

            John, cease with the “child’s play” of covering your eyes so you can’t see the facts in front of you. Do you really give a hoot what the CO2 level was @ 90m yBP, which by the way was about 1,500 ppm. And which, by the way, WAS 900 ppm greater than at 66 Ma.

            And that was after it decreased from 2.600 ppm @ 155m yBP, ….. to 1,500 ppm @ 90m yBP, ….. and then to 600 ppm @ 65m yBP.

            Wikii: “The period, which spans from about 252 million years ago to about 66 million years ago, was also known as the age of dinosaurs.

            The rise of the dinosaurs began with the rise in CO2 ppm @ 252 mya and the dinos remained dominant until CO2 began seriously decreasing @ 144 mya and the dinosaurs started perishing due to lack of food resulting from atmospheric CO2 decreasing below 700 PPM post 65 mya.

            John T: “There is zero evidence that falling CO2 killed most dinosaurs

            “YUP”, when the dinos ran out of “green” biomass ….. they started eating fish, ……..fresh, dried and pickled.

            https://miro.medium.com/max/1320/0*3Vm0copgT8K-pcRm.gif

        • Can you think of any seasonal differences between the northern and southern hemispheres?

          • The primary difference is that they are 180 degrees out-of-phase.

            And South Pole winters are colder than North Pole winters.

        • The suborbital stuff would mostly impact relatively near Yucatan. The debris that got into very eccentric orbits would preferentially impact near the antipodal point (near India) and this “hotspot” would then move west as the Earth rotated. The stuff that got into more stable orbits would quickly collapse into a ring like Saturn’s and gradually re-impact close to the Equator.

          Antarctica would be less affected in all three cases. Over most of the Earth the impact layer is typically several millimeters thick, though this does not include volatiles like sulfur.

          Recent research has however shown that the effects were very severe even in New Zealand, which was then close to West Antarctica:

          https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233846479_Multiproxy_analysis_of_a_new_terrestrial_and_a_marine_Cretaceous-Paleogene_K-Pg_boundary_site_from_New_Zealand

          • Thanks for that.

            I had imagined that Zealandia was attached with Australia to East Antarctica.

      • It’s difficult to sort out second order effects from this impact, since it delivered anywhere from 2,000 to 1,000,000 times the energy of the entire nuclear arsenals of the Earth at the height of the Cold War (~22,000 megatons in said arsenals).

        The biggest nuclear explosion ever was a 50 megaton bomb developed by the Soviet Union, the Tsar Bomba. It was set off at 4 km altitude, and thus didn’t put a great deal of material into the atmosphere. But it completely destroyed an abandoned village 34 miles away, and broke windows nearly 600 miles away. Heat from the blast could be felt 170 miles away.

        Extrapolating this to an event that may have released as much as 440 million times as much energy is difficult, to say the least. The rule of thumb for explosive damage is that the destructive radius of a blast is proportional to the cube of the energy yield. That doesn’t hold above a certain energy, of course, but if it did, the Chicxulub event could have had a destructive reach of 34 x (440E6)^(1/3) = 25,860 miles. Since the furthest one can get from “ground zero” is 12,437 miles, that pretty much means that everything on the surface of the earth would be destroyed.

        We’re out of our league as a species trying to comprehend the effects of an event of this magnitude.

    • Authors cite “climate-changing gases” as the evil-doers, but then say what actually caused the damage were solids, i.e., debris and particles:
      “put more hazardous debris into the upper atmosphere and scattered it everywhere – the very thing that led to a nuclear winter.”
      “The sulphur would have been particularly hazardous as it rapidly forms aerosols – tiny particles that would have blocked the sun’s rays, halting photosynthesis in plants and rapidly cooling the climate.”

  2. We’ve come a long way from the Canadian doubters of the Sudbury crater formation theory.

  3. Haven’t we had enough of “models?”

    How many times does Lucy get to “pull the football” out?

    Fact: we will never have exact proof. Assumptions, yes, proof, no.

    And, yes, it’s fun to speculate… but, that’s all it is.

    • Simulations based upon geophysical evidence are sounder than GIGO GCMs or epidemiology models, based upon assumptions.

      • Yes, it can be “sounder”, but it’s important to note even geophysical evidence from, what, 65 million years ago, or so, has it’s limitations.

        • In geology, 66 million years is about 1.4% of Earth’s history. comparable to a year in an average human lifetime.

          There is abudant evidence from different lines as to the angle of impact and other parameters of the catastrophic event.

          • Really? Didn’t you state above that it could be a comet, not an asteroid?

            That difference may impact (pardon the pun) the parameters.

            Assumptions, without scientific experiments, is problematic… yes, it goes on… especially in field sciences, but humility in scientific endeavors… is a guardrail against erroneous “group-think” that can turn into dogma which ultimately stifles the search for truth.

            That’s the quest of science… truth.

          • The angle of attack is subject to experiment and field comparisons. It’s science.

            The composition of a comet can be simulated as well as the various kinds of asteroids. For old comets, it’s practically a distinction without a difference. After many passes past the Sun, comets lose their volatile gases and dust, such that their nuclei come to resemble small asteroids.

            The various theories of gravitation require models. Ditto heat and light. The models make testable predictions. Same with impact angle models.

            “Climate science” and post-modern epidemiology have given modeling a bad name.

          • The difference between a comet and an asteroid at those speeds is relatively inconsequential.

          • The physics of high velocity impacts have been studied using special “guns” to shoot high velocity pellets into various materials. The results of these experiments closely match the output of these models.

        • What evidence are you contesting?
          That there was an impact at this site, at that time is not in doubt.

      • John Tillman – May 26, 2020 at 10:36 am

        Simulations based upon geophysical evidence are sounder than GIGO

        Simulations, ….. HUH?

        And just how many different “simulations” did their computer modeling program “digest” and report on before they chose one (1) that looked to be the “soundest” one of the bunch?

        And just how many times did they hafta tweak their computer modeling program before their “simulation” runs started looking feasible?

        Tell me John T, cause this ole computer designing dinosaur and systems programmer is curious to know.

    • James
      I think your missing a very important point. This time a model was used to present a theory of how an event happened for which there is much physical evidence. Unlike the models being used to try and predict future climate or the spread of a contagious disease.

      A second point. What financial benefit or desired social change would be gained by willfully distorting the model to support a predetermined outcome for this impact event?

      Think of it this way. The conclusion of the paper is more likely to hurt those desiring to use “science” to change our financial. social, political structures because it presents evidence that we should be concentrating more revenue on trying to prevent death from hunks of rock or ice from space and thus less on modeled dooms day bogymen.

    • Just because GCMs are bad and are being misused, is not evidence that all models are crap.

  4. The other possibility is that it was a vertical strike and the shock waves caused a rupture of the crust at the antipode of the strike which initiated volcanism which produced the Indian subcontinent. Plate techtonics then moved India across the equator to its present position. The one – two punch, the meteor strike and the ensuing volcanism were sufficient to finish off the dinosaurs.

    • The Reunion Hotspot predates the end-Cretaceous. The Indian Plate just happened to be passing over it around this time. The hotspot does not lie at the antipodal node from the Yucatan impact site.

    • It doesn’t matter what the angle of impact is, the shock waves will always concentrate again at the antipode.

    • To be sure it is possible that the Chicxulub impact may have stimulated Deccan volcanism, the most intensive eruptive phase cannot be separated chronologically from the impact. It is known that the seismic effects of an impact are focussed at the antipodal point.

      Unfortunately no one has yet managed to identify the fallout layer in Deccan.

        • Code from simple physics, supported by observation, is not like epidemiology or GCM code.

          The output can even be checked by experimentation, creating craters in the lab, and by comparison with other craters in similar geology.

          Models, even complex ones, can be quite reliable when based on sound physics, as is the case with modeling H-bomb reactions, the original purpose of the supercomputers hijacked by “climate scientists”, as at Boulder. Problem is, even present GCMs lack sufficient resolution by orders of magnitude realistically to model climate without bogus “parameterization”.

          • Epidemiology models, like climate models, are off by orders of magnitude. Consider the original estimates of covid fatality rates compared to the present cdc estimate of 0.26%. But at least we can quickly see how wrong those projections were.

          • The models might not be as bad as they seem, but the programmers lacked good data to enter, due to the ghoulish gangster goons who run the CPC and WHO.

            It’s now clear that the infection rate is much higher than the case rate, although it’s still not known by how much. Based on the Case Fatality Rate available when the alarming model was run, the output looked plausible. Relying on past viral pandemics, like the Asian and Hong Kong flus, to me at first glance the estimate of 2.2 million dead in the US seemed too high by an order of magnitude. But its perpetrators said that figure was for if we did nothing.

            Hence tens of millions out of work, trillions in treasure lost, and possibly even more lives lost than would have been with less drastic and extensive shutdowns, but more protection afforded the most vulnerable. Even early fragmentary info out of Wuhan already showed the elderly and sick more susceptible, backed up by Italian data.

          • The problem with the epidemiology models is that the one of the biggest factors Ro can be dramatically influenced by human behavior. As a result, it can never be more than a best guess that changes dramatically over time in unpredictable ways.

        • They weren’t written by the same people, why would you assume that they are of the same quality?

      • Different department from Ferguson’s I think and they did cooperate with two other institutions, but yeah, that was my first thought too.

  5. Imperial College London via its “members” have proved that they are damaged goods, big time.
    They are also taking in huge rafts of money from the Bill Gates foundation.

    Nothing, will persuade me, that this organisation stands for anything good.

  6. Would make a good core scenario for elaborating a video game. I don’t know if range of Hz frequencies the sounds dinosaurs’ made would suit our ears though.

  7. I thought at high speeds the angle didn’t matter. I’ve seen experiments confirming it. I’ll ummm… “let the dust settle” before accepting this new interpretation.

      • Not much at such impact velocities. Except for quite low angles the extra energy in the downrange direction is not significant compared to the total energy releases. That is also why most craters are close to circular.

  8. The dinosaurs didn’t die. They’re alive and living in Argentina just like what’s his name. Hiller, Hibler, something like that. 🙂

    Didn’t dinosaurs evolve to become birds? link Talk about adaptation or what!

    • Yup. To be scientifically correct, the article should read, “non-avian dinosaurs”, although lots of birds were also wiped out.

  9. “climate-changing gases…”
    Wait – there’s more than one? I thought “carbon” was the climate control knob. They mention sulfur, CO2, and water vapor. The sulfur would have an immediate, cooling effect, but lasting only a few years, diminishing over time. Meanwhile, according to their own climate mythology, “carbon” would be going the opposite way, warming the planet. Water vapor would also have a warming effect. Whoops, there goes their cherished “nuclear winter” idea.

    • “Impact winter” is more like it. The cooling effect was just one catastrophic consequence of the impact. The GHG effects were overridden by blocking sunlight for long enough to k!ll many species. The global wildfires didn’t help, nor the tsunami nor megaquakes, among other disastrous results.

      The paper naturally emphasizes the “climatic” effect of gases, which isn’t to say it’s wrong. But other effects might have been even deadlier.

    • It works for me.

      There have been no blog posts in the past week, but feel free to check out previous entries! Posts are normally made when there are active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic.

    • Rah, I just accessed it via Safari/google using Levi tropicaltidbits. No posts in the past week since Arthur fell apart..

    • Thank you all. For some reason through edge/bing it won’t let me access. But I tried in chrome and it came right up. Weird. I’m not having problems accessing any other site through edge. Guess I’ll report it and see what happens. Now I’m out the door on another run. Thank you all again!

      • I had no problem getting it to come up in Edge; I am using the new Chromium-based version of Edge.

  10. It was probably a bad day for whatever lived when the Vredefort crater formed. The algal mats did okay afterward though. And the nematodes are doing okay at depth now.

    • Prokaryotes are pretty hardy. Not clear if eukaryotes had developed before 2.02 Ma or not, but probably.

  11. Tsunami and tidal bore, yes, but it didn’t come close to covering the whole world.

    Sorry I didn’t see your reply, but your quotation is utter and complete nonsense and gibberish, ie a deliberate lie.

    Every human is born with an average of four mutations, and we accumulate more as we age. Those in germ cells can be passed on to the next generation. Old fathers are important in human evolution. Why do you fall for such obvious falsehood?

    Most mutations in animals are indeed deleterious, or at least half. The rest are either neutral or beneficial. What was bad in a previous environment can become good in another, as with the nylon metabolism mutation in sugar-eating bacteria.

    As for animal macroevolution, consider the transition from lobe-finned fish to tetrapods. The skeletal anatomy of early tetrapods is virtually identical to that of their lobe-finned ancestors. The main difference is a simple mutation, ie increased calcification and fusing of fin rods into proto-bones of the wrist, hand and fingers (also ankle, foot and toes). In their tidewater environment, this development offered selective advantage and rapidly spread through the population.

    This process is visible not just in the moleccular fossils of tetrapod genomes, but in the macrofossil record. Early tetrapods had seven or eight digits, eventually becoming standardized at five on both hands and feet. Modern amphibians have only four fingers, however, and some of us amniotes have gotten down to only one or two fingers and toes, as in the ungulates. The dinosaur ancestors of birds evolved just three fingers and toes. In most birds, two of the fingers are fused, with the “thumb” free to operate as a leading edge slat at high angles of attack.

    Sorry, all the evidence in the world shows the fact of evolution, with none against it. All organisms evolve, as a result of reproduction. So too do replicants like viruses. It’s unavoidable. The whole industries of genetic engineering, directed evolution and synthetic biology are based upon the fact that genomes are mutable, especially in RNA replicants.

  12. PS: Philosophy graduate Paul Nelson knows absolutely nothing about biology, so now wonder his opinion is so laughable. But at least he was honest enough to testify under oath in court that ID isn’t science. Behe, the guy who concocted ID to try to get around the unconstitutional teaching of creationism as science, also admitted under cross-ex that evolution is a fact.

    • Science and religion should stay well clear of each other. example

      The neighborhood crazy cat lady said I should read the Tao of Quantum Physics, or something like that. Oh dear. Come to think of it, science should stay well clear of string theory.

      • OMG!

        Yes, science and religion are different ways of understanding, if that’s the right word, and never the twain should meet.

        Indeed, real Christianity, as opposed to the blasphemous cult of Creationism, recognizes that its God must remain hidden. Hence trying to argue that clearly pre-scientific biblical myths are literally “true”, is against the whole point of faith, which has to be blind to have any value.

        As Luther said, “Who would be a Christian must tear the eyes out of his reason”. Faith requires belief in the absurd, such as resurrection after three days indubitably dead.

        Science and religion could not possibly be more distantly separated, the former being doubt and the latter faith.

        Creationism is even falser theology than it is anti-scientific nonsense. Among the most important Christian theologians, Augustine and Calvin, both recognized that the creation myths in Genesis and elsewhere in the OT cannot possibly be literally true. But to them, as it shouldn’t to any Christian today, it didn’t matter.

        Creationism is the blasphemous sin of bibliolatry, the worship of a compilation written by men (and possibly one woman) over a millennium, rather than the Deity its authors, compliers, editors, copiers and forgers try to understand.

        • If by “fangirl” you mean observer of reality, and by “protest too much” you mean state the facts, then you’re right.

          Obviously, you can’t find any fault with the facts which I’ve offered you, so you’re reduced to ad hominem jabbering.

          No surprise there.

        • Dean,

          You fall for creationist lies since you’ve never studied biology, geology or any other relevant science. This video might help to start clueing you in:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyiZaHIRM6w

          Dobzhansky was a devout Orthodox Christian, ie a real Christian, not a creationist cultist.

          Creationism is a pack of blasphemous lies against God. The Discovery Institute’s bearers of false witness will have a lot of explaining to do.

      • Just spouting more lies out of total ignorance. You have been completely hoodwinked by paid, professional liars, such as the Discovery Institute.

        Scientists in the 16th and 17th centuries did indeed believe in God, and even some after that time. But their claims to be looking for God were just window dressing to keep the Inquisition at bay. Copernicus was so afraid or the Inquisition that he only published in the year of his death, 36 years after convincing himself that, contrary to the Bible, the Earth goes around the Sun.

        They sought natural explanations of nature, free from the authority of Church and ancients, just as much as any atheist scientist today. Science is the search for natural explanations of nature. Invoking supernatural stories has no place.

        Newton was a unitarian Christian, who actually thought that Earth was less than 7000 years old in AD 1700, but that had no effect on his theory of universal gravitation, nor his studies on light nor his telescope design.

        If you really believe that there are valid scientific arguments against the fact of evolution, please try to make them rather than regurgitating the blathering of creationist liars.

      • No one worships Darwin. Scientists and historians of science evaluate his many contributions to the advancement of our understanding of the natural world as dispasionately as we do any of his great predecessors or followers.

        On any list of the most important scientists Darwin finishes in the top ten, and probably top five. He was limited by not knowing how inheritance works, but that didn’t stop him from making astonishing contributions to biology and geology.

        The mendacious falsehood spewers at Discovery Institute, OTOH, have contributed less than nothing. You have been hoodwinked by paid shills. They are either appallingly ignorant or shamless liars. Since some actually have degrees in relevant subjects, it must be the latter.

    • Why do you keep citing information theory as somehow contradictory to the fact of evolution? Nothing could be farther from the truth. You’ve cited one religious computer scientist who sees such a problem. I showed you where he’s wrong, and pointed out that the vast majority of information theory experts know that evolution is a fact, including the best. But that’s argument from authority.

      Here’s how information theory shows evolution a fact.

      https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2016.0416

      Your imagined Achilles Heel is instead an important arch supporting the reality of evolution. Please study real biology rather than parrot the Discover Institute’s lies.

      No conflation. No hand-waving. Micro- and macro-evolution are the same process, just with more time in the latter case. Please state what barrier you imagine exists to stop evolution at some micro level. Mutations keep occurring and selection and stochastic processes continue introducing novel sequences in genomes.

      You don’t even have hand-waving. You’ve got nothing but blasphemous lies against Nature’s God, whom you accuse of cruelty, deception and incompetence.

    • PS: Since you want to witness your false religion here, why don’t you testify under your real name? What do you have to hide? God sees all. He knows your blasphemy already, and how out of ignorance you’ve been led astray diabolically by DI’s paid ID liars.

      • More lies, which you lack the education to see through. “Loss of function” is not a concept unique to Behe or the anti-scientific religious doctrine of ID. Au contraire, it is a natural concomitant of evolution.

        Please give up. You’re just embarrassing yourself by regurgitating such utter garbage packs of lies.

      • Before presuming to comment on a subject of which you are entirely free of information, please begin your education and liberation from self-satisfied ignorance with this Nobel Prize lecture by Laureate biochemist Frances Arnold, who made important contributions to the directed evolution industry:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hOZ5e0g9Uo

        Please quit reading creationist cant and study the real world, ie God’s works, not the clearly incorrect words of prescientific people trying to understand Him.

      • Dr. Arnold and her two fellow 2018 Laureates:

        I hope that you can compare and contrast their achievements in using evolution to improve life for humans with the shameless lies of the worse than worthless philosophy grads and religious computer programmers upon whose abject, total, complete and utter ignorance and mendacity you rely, because you don’t know any better.

        These great scientists and humanitarians have used evolution to make new enzymes which don’t occur in nature. I must admit however that I wish Dr. Arnold hadn’t mentioned “sustainability”.

        https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2018/smith/facts/

        https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2018/winter/facts/

        https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2018/arnold/facts/

        It’s a heinous, laughable lie that genomes are immutable because “information theory”.

        Please wake up. You won’t because you’re too blinkered by false religion.

      • Why are monotremes aquatic and burrowing in Australia? Because marsupial joeys would drown in water or suffocate in burrows:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQRDc2SKw2I

        Again, please try to explain reality rather than posting further creationist lies whenever your ridiculous, baseless assertions are shown risibly false.

      • It means “God más been gracious Grey”.

        I’m praying that God will strip away the cataracts on your understanding, but don’t hold out much hope.

        But glad that you realize that you have no rational leg upon which to stand. I’m betting that you couldn’t be bothered to read the Royal Society link or watch the Nobel video. It’s sad that the devil has such a strong hold on you. I don’t hold out much hope for your salvation, being so resistant to reality.

        My prayers might be more effective if I knew your real name. Your cowardice is yet another sign of your demonic possession.

      • “Because marsupial joeys would drown in water or suffocate in burrows”

        Wombats are marsupials and live in burrows. There is even a marsupial “mole” (Notoryctes). And the yapok is an aquatic marsupial.

        Notoryctes has a pouch that opens backwards, so it won’t get filled by earth, and the yapok has a sphincter muscle that seals the pouch. Wombats don’t have any special adaptations as far as I know.

      • Tty,

        Thanks for info on burowing marsupials.

        But hard for joeys to survive water, and for evolution to find a way around the life aquatic for pouched mammals.

  13. … and a brood of cicadas have slept throughout it all.
    “Noise warning as cicadas emerge from 17-year sleep
    They emerged into the spring sunshine in Virginia and North Carolina and soon their plaintive cry sounded on the air as millions of males clamoured for a female who was free and willing to mate.
    Billions of cicadas from a brood that burrowed into the soil 17 years ago have begun emerging in parts of the United States.
    The class of 2020, or Brood IX as they are known to entomologists, buried themselves back in about 2003 in southwest Virginia, West Virginia and in parts of North Carolina. There are 15 such broods, as well as a species of annual cicadas that emerge to hum yearly.
    But the “periodicals” and their lengthy sojourn underground puzzle biologists. ”
    The self enforcing lock down and social distancing is over for Virginia and Carolina cicadas.

  14. A lot of the dinosaurs are entombed in black shales which are of mainly silicate composition; the black shale sequences are geochemically aligned to acid volcanics. As time is involved in the extinction process then this mechanism is more likely than the big bang theory. The volcanicentres are likely to be in Russia as the source of the material for P/T boundary and the extinction of the species worldwide. Closer inspection of fossil shows the preponderance of black mud or black shale as the main host for most other extinction periods as well. That is not to say the impact did not occur but it is overly simplistic to blame the mass extinction of the time on just the one event.

    • Please state where end Cretaceous dinosaurs are entombed in black shales. Thanks!

      You reference the P/T, which is the Great Dying at the end of the Paleozoic Era, ~252 Ma, not the end of the Mesozoic, ~66 Ma.

      The Yucatan impact all by itself well explains the end-K mass extinction event.

        • Sure, it’s possible that the flood basalt event contributed to the mass extinction event (MEE). The hypothesis that it was THE cause has been Greta Keller’s career, undeterred by the (in this case valid) consensus.

          IMO, the Deccan Traps could not alone have caused a MEE, and the impact would have done so without the flood basalts. But who can say with certainty that no organism died away from the Indian Plate because of the gases emitted. There’s a good chance that some local life forms were wiped out by the lava floes.

          • John Tillman May 27, 2020 at 3:59 pm
            Sure, it’s possible that the flood basalt event contributed to the mass extinction event (MEE). The hypothesis that it was THE cause has been Greta Keller’s career, undeterred by the (in this case valid) consensus.

            Actually her name’s Gerta, and she was undeterred by the personal abuse and insults that she received. The support for the consensus at meetings is more normally about 50%.
            A model for the mass extinction that was proposed was that it was caused by an impact, then they went looking for the evidence, once they found a crater about the right time they proclaimed it the ‘holy grail’. Gerta, on the contrary, went looking for detailed evidence and accurate timing of events which showed evidence for gradual extinctions prior to the collision. Also the long time duration of the emissions from the Deccan Traps would favor extinction events.

            IMO, the Deccan Traps could not alone have caused a MEE, and the impact would have done so without the flood basalts. But who can say with certainty that no organism died away from the Indian Plate because of the gases emitted. There’s a good chance that some local life forms were wiped out by the lava floes.

            Gerta’s evidence of extinctions are from over 300 sites worldwide, not just local.

          • “There’s a good chance that some local life forms were wiped out by the lava floes.”

            However there are dinosaur fossils in the intertrappan beds, so at least the early part of the Deccan eruptions didn’t even kill off dinosaurs in India (which was an island at the time).

          • Oops on the typo.

            She’s wrong on her Yucatan impact date and much else. In science, the case should seldom be closed, but IMO her hypothesis has little support and huge amounts of evidenc against it, with more accumulating with time.

          • Tty,

            Good points.

            Thanks.

            Nonavian dinos on the Island of India, racing across the Indian Ocean at tectonic record pace, died out when they did everywhere else.

          • Which have all been refuted. I should think the Tanis site will be the end of the “gradual extinction” paradigm:

            Care to give your evidence for the gradual extinction of the forams?

          • Which have all been refuted. I should think the Tanis site will be the end of the “gradual extinction” paradigm:

            Care to give your evidence refuting the gradual extinction of the forams?

            (Sorry post entered in error)

    • As you must be aware, black shales form in anoxic shallow seas. Dinosaurs were predominantly terrestrial creatures, except for a few seabirds and some semiaquatic land dwellers. Dinosaur corpses did wash out to the sea, but evidence of “a lot” of them in black shales, I’d like to see.

      Thanks.

  15. Arguably the best angle, as any other might have produced a different outcome and we would not be here; to the chagrin of the misanthropes.

  16. Isn’t this whole “worst angle” kerfuffle akin to saying “If we had been 100 feet away from that hydrogen bomb when it exploded, it would have better than being only 8 feet away”?

  17. A sixty degree impact angle suggests that blivet was on an orbit that was highly inclined Earth’s orbit. And there is always a chance that it was an interstellar body passing through.

    • When Jupiter tosses things around, it doesn’t limit itself to tossing along the plane of the other planets.

    • Actually, with a high enough orbital eccentricity (including parabolic and hyperbolic trajectories), any object could impact Earth at a sixty degree angle while still being in the plane of the Earth’s orbit (that is, with said object’s trajectory having approximately zero inclination w.r.t. Earth’s orbital plane).

  18. My chemistry lecturer taught that great heat on calcium carbonate produced calcium oxide and carbon dioxide gas.
    Next lesson, calcium sulphate with heat does NOT yield sulphur dioxide OR native sulphur.

    So what is the origin of speculation about sulphur species following impact?

    Illustrated comic books appear to inform the minds of those seekers of natural horrors who pretend to use science to frighten small children. I am hard pressed to imagine any useful consequences from the present paper. Can you, dear reader?

    Maybe it is more productive to read about near Earth objects. There is at least one that on present knowledge has a modest possibility of hitting Earth in our lfetimes (maybe not mine, I am an oldie). See 2010RF-12. The amount of actual, not imaginary, preparation for this possible impact, by comparison with Corona virus, would be a lovely bureaucratic exercise in verbal excuses for after the event, by the World Health Organisation, if it exists by then.

    • The Chicxulub impact released a huge quantity of sulfur trioxide into the atmosphere, where it would have rapidly combined with water vapor to form sulfuric acid aerosol particles. Among other dire consequences, larger silicate particles ejected during the impact would efficiently scavenge sulfuric acid aerosol particles and deliver the sulfuric acid to the surface within a few days. The rapid surface deposition of sulfuric acid would cause severe ocean acidification and account for preferential extinction of planktonic over benthic foraminifera.

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261547719_Production_of_sulphate-rich_vapour_during_the_Chicxulub_impact_and_implications_for_ocean_acidification

      This would be real acidification, on land as well as in the oceans, not just making seawater mildly less basic.

      Earth-crossing asteroids and pandemics are real threats. CACA, not so much. As in, not at all.

      • John,
        Which chemical reactions, pertinent to this discussion, produce sulphur trioxide?
        Industrially, catalysts are used because of the high chemical energy needed.
        Might be hard to invoke catalysis from impact bodies.
        So, can you point me to some references as to how SO3 and/or SO2 are formed?
        Geoff S

        • Lots of energy is provided by the impact of an object 11 to 81 kilometers in diameter, with a mass between 1.0×10^15 and 4.6×10^17 kg, striking the Earth at a velocity of roughly 20 kilometers per second.

          This energy would be on the order of 100 million 50-megaton Tsar Bombas, the world’s highest yield thermonuclear detonation, itself about 4000 Hiroshima A-bombs.

        • Under normal circumstances in the solar system, S3 occurs naturally on moon Io (Jupiter I) in volcanic emissions. S3 also likely appears in the atmosphere of Venus at heights of 20 to 30 km, where it is in thermal equilibrium with S2 and S4. The reddish color of Venus’ atmosphere at lower levels is probably due to S3. Lots of sulfur chemistry strange to Earth occurs in the atmosphere our hot, hot, hot sister planet.

    • 2CaSO4*2H2O -> 2CaO + 2SO2(g) + O2(g) + 4H2O(g) deltaG = -4.168 kcal @ 900 C
      From my old copy of HSC Chemistry v5.0, which is the version I have. Very reliable data. I’ve used it extensively for chemical thermodynamic calcs over many years. Latest release seems to be v10.0.

      Thermodynamics are important. There’s no doubt that an impact with that energy would cause a vast emission of SO2 into the stratosphere. We know from many volcanic eruptions what that can do to global temperature. Which is keeping with the Svensmark mechanism and the CERN CLOUD experiment results.

      • Yup. The marriage made in Heaven (or Hell) of high energy chemistry with atmospheric physics.

  19. 1. IIRC, experimental data regarding impact inclinations showed that only the most extreme angles can form non-circular craters.

    2 The variables regarding size, composition, etc. are all up for debate. Does inclination have any special property that cannot be reproduced in a half dozen other ways?

    3. So not only were there enormous tsunamis, but also a massive shockwave and incredible heat produced by this impact. Dr. Bakker is no fool in this regard, and his observation about frogs is particularly stinging. When you consider all the species that survived, one major trait is shared: they all depended heavily upon shelters.

    • For some the shelter was simply aquatic. Many marine species perished, but mainly because of lost food sources or oceanic chemistry changes. Also distance from the impact site. Antarctic surival has been noted, but also North Polar crocodilian relatives survived.

      And of course, we mammals, then mainly small, burrowing, nocturnal creatures.

  20. No world wide flood but I wouldn’t have wanted to have been holidaying in my beach shack.

    As for…” billions and billions of dinosaurs and other animals and plants laid down suddenly and violently all over the world IN WATER?”
    If they hadn’t been laid down in water and subsequently covered in silt and mud we wouldn’t know about them. If their carcasses were left scattered about on land surviving scavengers would have dispersed their remains.

    • Volcanic eruptions can also bury carcasses, leaving behind excellent detail. But even just normal windborne deposits can create fossils should by chance no predator find the remains and spread them around.

      But deposition in shallow, anoxic water is the best way to make fossils, especially the most detailed, in Lagerstätten.

  21. So any reason this simulation/model is likely to be any more useful than the infamous COVID/WuFlu model? Just asking.

  22. Bruce,
    Still worried about mechanisms able to produce SO2.
    Is there supporting evidence that 900C is possible and wisespread from impacts?
    Is your equation derived with air present or absent?
    How would 900C affect shock patterns in crystals? Annealing?
    Many possible sulphur to SO2 or SO3 require oxidants like a lot of oxygen.
    Sulphide ore blast furnaces rely on oxgen. Inorganis sulphides are formed by a lot of reduction chemistry energy, hard to reverse to SO2.
    Is the mix after an impact strongly oxidising or reducing?
    Is there enough time after impact to allow mixing and heat to produce much SO2?
    It is not axiomatic.

    Note: I am not claiming that impacts make no SO2 and SO3.
    I am postulating that these are hard to make and that researchers should not assume willy nilly that they would be created abundant enough to do all of the many amazing things claimed by global warming scaremongering. Geoff S

    • Geoff – The impactor fell onto an area with a large substratum of gypsum. Freeport has extracted elemental sulfur in that area for many years due to bioreduction of the same stratum. And I’ve actually calcined similar compounds in a TGA – they do dissociate into oxide plus SO2 above about 900 C. I’ve even a patent or two on such things.

      Above 900C the sulfates are in thermodynamic equilibrium with SO2, O2 and the oxides. SO2, SO3 and O2 also tend to be in an equilibrium above a certain temperature. I’d have to look it up.

      Temperatures well in excess of 900C are very likely under a kilometre sized lump of rock falling at 20km/s.

      Once I donned a suit and stuck my head into a SO3 absorption tower. We were trying to find out why we were getting mercury contamination of our sulfuric acid. It was fun.

      • Thanks for your expertise and experience. Here’s an incomplete link to 1994 expeerimental research on sulphate production at the impact site:

        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1994LPI….25..413G

        High-Temperature Vaporization of Gypsum and Anhydrites: Experimental Results

      • Bruce,
        And my young family and I lived for a year about 500 m from the unscrubbed smelter chimney at Mt Morgan, so high SO2 was a fact of life.
        People often find it hard to envisage geologic dimensions and time scales. I have spoken with many people who have no idea of stuructures below their feet. Many believe in sunlit underground streams where living creatures frolic like in fairy tales. Concepts like soil horizons and stratification are unknown to them. Sometimes such people write about earthly phenomena that are nothing to do with reality.
        There is no doubt that bodies from the sky can hit the Earth at high velocity. There are estimates of the energy transfer, but then matters can become more speculative. Like, people invoke large quantities of SO3 with little experience of whether it can form under the conditions of impact and the time allowed. It requires strong oxidation. Where does the oxidant come from, how long is it there, can it mix, can much SO3 escape to air before becoming sulphate? My point is that mathematical calculations with chemical processes are needed, not just an assumption that evaporites were present so SO3 must form. Geoff S

      • “Temperatures well in excess of 900C are very likely under a kilometre sized lump of rock falling at 20km/s.”

        Much, much more. The stagnation temperature on a re-entering satellite (8 km/s) is typically 3,000-4,000 C. A meteorite is literally hotter than the sun. Those dinosaur in the illustration at the top would be dead within a second or two after the the bolide entered the atmosphere.

        Look at the videos of the Chelyabinsk bolide on Youtube, then multiply by several billions…

        • Yup. A bad day in Black Rock, Baja and locations much farther afield.

          Of known craters, the third biggest. The two larger hit within less than 200 million years of each other in the Paleoproterozoic, ie Vredefort, South Africa, ~2.02 Ma, and Sudbury, Canada, ~1.85 Ma.

          Hot, hot, hot in the Yucatan that doomsday.

  23. Such a strike likely unleashed billions of tonnes of sulphur, blocking the sun and triggering the nuclear winter that killed the dinosaurs and 75 per cent of life on Earth 66 million years ago.

    That is gibberish. The strike unleashed a stratospheric blocking ‘winter’. The so called ‘nuclear winter’ is just an effect of models. It is not a real thing.

    • The soot-based “nuclear winter” scare was bogus, but sulfur aerosols do block sunlight.

  24. Bruce,
    And my young family and I lived for a year about 500 m from the unscrubbed smelter chimney at Mt Morgan, so high SO2 was a fact of life.
    People often find it hard to envisage geologic dimensions and time scales. I have spoken with many people who have no idea of stuructures below their feet. Many believe in sunlit underground streams where living creatures frolic like in fairy tales. Concepts like soil horizons and stratification are unknown to them. Sometimes such people write about earthly phenomena that are nothing to do with reality.
    There is no doubt that bodies from the sky can hit the Earth at high velocity. There are estimates of the energy transfer, but then matters can become more speculative. Like, people invoke large quantities of SO3 with little experience of whether it can form under the conditions of impact and the time allowed. It requires strong oxidation. Where does the oxidant come from, how long is it there, can it mix, can much SO3 escape to air before becoming sulphate? My point is that mathematical calculations with chemical processes are needed, not just an assumption that evaporites were present so SO3 must form. Geoff S

    • Mixing large quantities of superheated sulfur into an atmosphere with 20+ % oxygen can hardly result in anything but large quantities of SO2 and SO3. Undoubtedly there were immense quantities of NOx as well, and large amounts of chlorine compounds as well from evaporated seawater.

      • Tektite glass forms only in the heat of asteroid impacts and high-yield nuclear detonations. Inside T of a nuclear fireball reaches 100,000,000 degrees C. The Yucatan impact released on the order of 100,000,000 times more energy than 50-MT Tsar Bomba, the largest thermonuclear detonation. Granted, the physics of impacts differ from atomic explosions, and between ground air air bursts, but that bad day surely yielded local temperatures at least in the thousands of degrees C.

  25. Really, the Imperial College? Aren’t these the same fools who predicted we would have devastating deaths due to the Coronavirus? So we’re suppose to believe this bullshit that they have put out there? Who created the code for their models?

Comments are closed.