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Thread: If the atmosphere were thicker would the Dinosaurs have survived?

  1. #1
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    If the atmosphere were thicker would the Dinosaurs have survived?

    I've been wondering this for a while now. If the atmosphere of Earth were say 3x thicker would the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs have been destroyed or would it have not made much of a difference?

  2. #2
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    A thicker atmosphere would probably sustain particulates longer than a thin one, making the post-collision winter worse. Certainly a few miles deep layer of air is not going to deflect or disperse an asteroid of Dino Killer size, even at 3 bars.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #3
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    And in fact there's at least some evidence that the Earth's atmosphere was significantly denser back then.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  4. #4
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    Probably three times is worse as more ablation of the surface would occur and an explosion of the asteroid in the atmosphere is more likely = more dust. Neil

  5. #5
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    Probably three times is worse as more ablation of the surface would occur and an explosion of the asteroid in the atmosphere is more likely
    The impacting body had a diameter of around 10 km. The Earth's atmosphere has a depth of order 10 km, but is around 3000 times less dense than the asteroid. The mass of the impactor is at least 3000 times larger than that of the atmosphere through which it passes.

    Doesn't matter if the atmosphere is three times denser than its current value, or thirty times denser. That asteroid ain't breaking up in the atmosphere.

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