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For asteroid or comet impacts, the mass of the projectile or bolide and its velocity control the scale of damage and secondary catastrophes induced, and the impact flux can be used to determine whether such an impact was likely to occur at the time of interest. Impact cratering processes are still orders of magnitude more deadly than volcanism when considering the potential for atmospheric loading of deleterious particulate and gaseous materials, due to the extraordinarily rapid transfer of energy. Based on impact flux, there could have been sufficient large impactors to cause one or more of the “Big Five” mass...

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