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Turning up the heat for the Tertiary



There's a paper online which may be of interest to those who like their meat
well grilled, especially if they want the restaurant to burn down as part of
the experience.  It takes a look at the implications of vast amounts of
burning debris returning to base, and playing havoc with the Earth within
the first few hours of the Cenozoic.

I'm not a great enthusiast for mass extinctions myself.  After all, the
Cretaceous was populated by large numbers of small, squeaky mammals and
that's still our typical occupation.  Not all that much has changed.

Robertson DS, McKenna MC, Owen BT, Hope S & Lillegraven JA, 2004, Survival
in the first hours of the Cenozoic, Geological Society of America Bulletin,
116 (5/6), p.760-768.

http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~presto/cenozoic.pdf

<<Abstract
For several hours following the Chicxulub impact, the entire Earth was
bathed with intense infrared radiation from ballistically reentering ejecta.
The global heat pulse would have killed unsheltered organisms directly and
ignited fires at places where adequate fuel was available. Sheltering
underground, within natural cavities, or in water would have been a
necessary but not always sufficient condition for survival.  Survival
through sheltering from an
initial thermal pulse is not adequately considered in literature about
Cretaceous-Tertiary nonmarine extinctions. We compare predicted intense,
short-term, thermal effects with what is known about the fossil record of
nonmarine vertebrates and suggest that paleontological evidence of survival
is compatible with theoretical results from bolide physics.>>