Skip to main content

Monday, September 12, 2022

Today's Message

Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Biology-GLC Seminar: 'A Sulfurous End for the Dinosaurs' - September 12

Please join the Biology Department and the Great Lakes Center for the seminar "A Sulfurous End for the Dinosaurs," presented by Chris Junium, Ph.D., associate professor and director of graduate studies for geobiology, astrobiology, paleoclimate, and paleoceanography at Syracuse University, on Monday, September 12, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. in Bulger Communication Center 214. All Buffalo State students, staff, and faculty are welcome.

The timeline of Earth’s history is pockmarked with the impacts of comets, asteroids, and other planetary bodies. Surprisingly, impacts are quite common, with meteorites as large as a kilometer in diameter striking about every million years. The geologic record of life as we view it today reveals little about how impact events changed the course of life, except in the case of end-Cretaceous mass extinction. The 10 km asteroid that struck the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico 66 million years ago resulted in the annihilation of nearly 75 percent of animal life on Earth including the dinosaurs. This raises the question: Why did the Chicxulub impact have such a profound effect? It turns out that it may not be that large impacts happen, but where they strike. The sulfur-rich rocks of the Yucatan have long been implicated in the extinction, and new geochemical evidence shows that the injection of sulfur into the stratosphere caused decades-long cooling and served as the primary cause for the K-Pg mass extinction.

Submitted by: Matthew P Basista
Also appeared:
Monday, September 12, 2022