THE ROLE OF CLIMATE
Could a climate change have been enough to send the dinosaurs and the other creatures in the Cretaceous into extinction? Did a simple warming or cooling of the climate lead to the extinction?
The question is not whether the climate change caused the extinction; but what caused the change in the climate. If the climate changed gradually then there would no explanation for the abrupt end to lineages observed in the record. If the climate changed abruptly, what caused that change? Many of the species that went extinct at the K/T boundary usually resided in climatically delicate ecosystems. Slight changes in climate would have sent the ecosystems teetering off their optimal zones. But there has to be a driving force for these changes. And it must have caused a relatively quick change in climate to lead to the extinction. There is also the catch 22 dealing with climate: did climate change because of an event? Or was it changing naturally and the events were simply affiliated with the change? How can interpret the two looking at paleoclimate data?
Every extinction is accompanied with a change in climate; when looking at these changes, the proverbial 5 W's must be asked to understand what caused that change. When there lacks a working model to understand the change, then the notion of climate is utterly useless to an extinction theory.