Public Release: 

Atmospheric soot and Cretaceous mass extinction

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Climate simulations suggest that large injections of soot into the atmosphere estimated to have occurred at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary would have blocked more than 99% of sunlight from reaching Earth's surface for more than 1 year, preventing photosynthesis, reducing global average temperatures by as much as 16 °C for several years, and depleting the ozone layer through stratospheric warming and moistening, with these effects likely contributing to mass extinction.

Article #17-08980: "On transient climate change at the Cretaceous?Paleogene boundary due to atmospheric soot injections," by Charles G. Bardeen, Rolando Garcia, Owen Toon, and Andrew Conley.

MEDIA CONTACT: Charles G. Bardeen, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO; tel: 303-497-1752; e-mail: <>


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