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Re: Mystery of Mass Extinctions Is No Longer Murky

> From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
> Subject: Re: Mystery of Mass Extinctions Is No Longer Murky
> To: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008, 7:10 AM
> I don't understand why some people insist that a mass
> extinction cannot 
> possibly have a single cause. 

I don't either.

> Sure everything tends to turn
> out to be more 
> complicated than we thought at first, but why start with
> the maximally 
> munificent hypothesis?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "don ohmes" <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 5:17 PM
> > If: [...]
> >    2) our current climate system is such that a
> "run-away" greenhouse can 
> > occur.
> If by "runaway" you actually mean
> "runaway", as on Venus, then it isn't. 
> There is no chance that it could get so hot it doesn't
> rain anymore.

In practical terms I agree, although will point out that life as we know it 
might be over before that point is reached. However, due to my continuing 
skepticism re the constancy of atmospheric N through post-Archean time, I don't 
have your level of certainty. 

You seem to be saying that even a 97% CO2 atmosphere (er, from some totally 
hypothetical extraterrestrial CO2 source for example) wouldn't start a runaway 
on Earth. This aroused my curiosity. Is that what you meant?

> But a sea-level rise of a single meter, let alone three, is
> bad enough. 
> We're talking about hundreds of millions of people
> having to move. Even if 
> spread through decades, that's horror enough. 


> And I
> haven't even mentioned 
> the golden toad yet.

Phew! Thanks! I definitely am not yet spiritually prepared to contemplate the 
golden toad.