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Effects of magnetosphere loss
> Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998 13:59:59 -0400
> From: "Allan Edels" <email@example.com>
> Subject: Re: Mass extinction theories - critical omission
> I have mentioned several times that the bolide would probably remove a
> good portion of the Ozone layer, as well as other major parts of the
The Van Allen Belt is not part of the atmospher strictly speaking. It is the
interface between the solar magnetosphere and the Earths. Even if the Earth
didn't have an atmosphere it would have a magnetosphere (ie Van Allen Belt).
The disruption to the belt would not come from the loss of ejected gases but
rather the shift in the Earths center of gravity caused by the impact (and I
assure you a 100mi. dia. crater will make the Earth wobble and ring for
quite a while) and the em interactions of the impact (Q: has anyone
calculated the EMP from such an impact?).
> As to the Van Allen Belts, I'm not sure if we know how long
> they have been at their current size and density, or how quickly they grow,
> or deteriorate.
Actualy the Van Allen Belt can be measured in the geologic record by
measuring the magnetic stripes in the sea floor upwellings. These are 1-to-1
correllated since they come from the same thing - the Earths magnetic field.
Pick stripes of a given polarity and correlate the changes in magenetization
along that stripe in relation to other markers. One marker might be to
compare it to both measurements and models of the long-term solar output.
Seems to me that if there was an increased level of solar radiation (and I
don't mean the UV that the ozone layer blocks) the consequences would be
plastered all over both the geophysical and biological records. One would
simply have to look at the effects of increased radiation on long-lived
chemical and bio-chemical systems today and extrapolate backward looking for
those same tale-tales. It might be as simple as looking at the ratios of
isotopes in trapped air samples in the Antarctic and comparing them to the
mid-ocean upwellings mag stripes.
> We also don't know how to check for their existance or
> non-existance in the fossil record. (Perhaps in relation to certain kinds
> of extinction events???).
> I too have mentioned that stripping the atmosphere of its protective
> layers (or as you suggest, of a protective ionization layer) would allow
> increased radiation - which would kill now, kill later, AND ALSO MUTATE
> SPECIES RAPIDLY - SOMETIMES SUCESSFULLY!!!!.
Most mutations are neutral and don't effect the viability of the species or
the individual. Next comes mutations that are harmful and finaly, and least
likely, are mutations that are beneficial. While this is interesting it is
probably pointless. Even if a given species were to exhibit a beneficial
mutation the chances of the other ecologicaly linked species to have mutations
that allowed them to survive would nullify the beneficial events. However
powerful the positive forces might be they would not be sufficient to
compensate for the ecological damage on a broad front.
To understand is to invent
The Armadillo Group ,::////;::-. James Choate
Austin, Tx /:'///// ``::>/|/ firstname.lastname@example.org
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