Doom & Gloom

Posted by
DA Morgan on Jun 11, 2002 at 13:15

A massive asteroid impact, not volcanic activity, caused the climate change that wiped out the dinosaurs, new fossil evidence suggests.

David Beerling at the University of Sheffield and colleagues analysed fossilised leaves from plants living before and after the extinction. The work suggests the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased suddenly and dramatically 65 million years ago.

The increase was the equivalent of injecting at least 6,400 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, they say - enough to warm the Earth by as much as 7.5 degrees C and dramatically change the environment.

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