Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 09:26:48 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Were The Dinosaurs Fried By Ultraviolet Light?
Were the dinosaurs fried by ultraviolet light?
BY NEIL ENGLISH
May 3, 2000
Over the past few decades, the rise and fall of the dinosaurs has captured
the imagination of the public and the scientific community alike. While it
is clear that the impact of a large asteroid straddling the coastline of
what is the Yukatan peninsula in Mexico some 65 million years ago, may have
wiped out these magnificent reptiles, the debate still rages as to precisely
how they met their demise.
In a recent paper communicated in Ecology Letters, they explain that the
levels of nitrogen and sulphur oxides produced during the impact event would
have all but destroyed the ozone layer, thereby doubling the levels of
lethal UV radiation incident on the earth's surface. This deluge of ionising
radiation would have put additional stresses on the biosphere already
stretched to the extreme by the impact.
Full story here:
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