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Re: Sulfate 'n soot kills dinos!
The bad thing about sulfuric aerosols is not only that they react with
water to form acid rain, but they would have also contributed to the cooling
of the climate. Those which were ejected the furthest out could have taken
years to wash out of the atmosphere (although the first few months would
have been the worst). Battery acid from the sky---not a pleasant scenario
(although being underground in alkaline soil would have helped a lot).
So the global vegetation got at least a triple-whammy:
(1) fire (and other direct blast effects); (2) acid rain (both nitric and
sulfuric acids); and (3) significant cooling of climate. Many animals
would have gotten a quadrupal-whammy: the three above, plus starvation.
I haven't read the following article but it certainly sounds relevant
to some of the questions John asked:
Retallack, 1996, entitled "Acid Trauma at the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary
in Eastern Montana" (GSA Today, 6(5):1-7).
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