ANSWERS: 3
  • Man's impact is nothing compared to nature's fluctuations. There have been iceages before, and much hotter times too. Deseases have huge impact, but not enough to kill almost everyone on this planet. Neither does a major volcanic eruption. I put my money on a meteor.
  • Definetely a meteor
  • Below are the current hypotheses that are accepted in the scientific community for mass extinction events. 1. Impact Event- The impact meteor or comet that is of sufficient size to make it past our protective atmosphere and either explode in mid-air or by directly impacting the ground or body of water. Such an event has been known to occur every 60-90 million years on average. These events, depending on how they explode and where the impact can cause Megatsunsmis, world wide fire storms and cause what is known as a :nuclear winter” from the dirt and dust that would be thrown into the upper atmosphere from a ground or water impact. 2. Climatic Changes - Such events are capable of changing the entire world’s weather pattern and thereby affecting the ability of species world-wide to live. These events have occurred many time over the earth’s existence. There have been periods of ice ages where ice has covered close to half the surface of the earth,. A recent hypothesis known as “Snow Ball Earth” proposed by Joseph Lynn Kirschvink, professor of geology at the California Institute of Technology 1992 tries to explain a explain a number of phenomena noted in Earth’s geological record by proposing that an ice age that took place in the Neoproterozoic era which was so severe that even the entire Earth, including it’s oceans where completely frozen with only the heat from the Earth's interior allowed some liquid water to persist under ice more than two kilometers thick. More on this can be viewed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_earth. 3. Oceanic Anoxic Events – Heavy Volcanic activity above ground and below sea cause the oceans of the Earth become oxygen depleted below the surface levels. And hydrogen sulfide levels greatly increase. This results in toxic gases that are released poisoning life on both land and sea and destroying the ozone layer further adding to the disaster. Although anoxic events have not occurred for hundred of millions of years, they have occurred in the past. 4. Volcanism – Formation of large igneous areas which involve millions of cubic kilometers of lava are believed to poison the atmosphere and oceans in such a manner that mass extinction occurs. This type of events has occurred in the End Cretaceous, End Permian, End Triassic, and End Jurassic extinctions. Statistically, the most prevalent of the above events are Meteor or Comet impacts. When you consider the historic record of such events, we are currently overdue for such an event.

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