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In Nemesis Games, the 5th book of The Expanse series by (pseudonym) James S. A. Corey,

a disenfranchised group seeks to disrupt the solar system by "dropping rocks" on Earth (pushing or otherwise altering the orbit of small asteroids so as to cause multiple of them to strike the Earth over a short period of time). Those who survive the initial strikes strive to organize relief and ensure the survivability of those remaining and rebuilding of the infrastructure. The 6th book, Babylon's Ashes, suggests after just a few short years the Earth may be amenable to begin this healing.

However, scientists have stated the meteor which struck the Yucatan peninsula may have been responsible for the killing of the large dinosaurs and may have left dust storms and darkness covering the Earth for 1,000 years or more.

Therefore:

  1. If someone were to "drop rocks" (or one really big one) on the Earth, which seems like the more likely scenario?
  2. If the second scenario is more likely, what would you imagine conditions on Earth and quality of life would be like? Keep in mind, small dinosaurs and mammals were able to survive after the Yucatan meteor.
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! Here is a similar question that might help you a bit with your ideas. If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. As it stands this question is really broad. How big are those "rocks" you want to "drop" on Earth? The size makes a big difference. Please edit your question to provide more information about the concrete scenario you need help with. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 24 '17 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome! Is any assistance available from above the Earth's damaged atmosphere? Are there nay non-disenfranchised groups in space who might be willing to equip and/or assist the victims? $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Apr 24 '17 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ I read this question as about the results on the atmosphere of deep space impacts. Seems on-topic for the site. MarkAnthonySonger, I would add the tag science-based to get more rigorous answers, or even hard-science if you want something more math heavy. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Apr 25 '17 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ You should read the info-page of the tags that kingledion suggested. You should use either science-based or hard-science. Please don't use them in conjunction. Hard-science requires citations and explicit formulas. Answers without any citation can get deleted. If you want something less rigorous you should use science-based to get answers without citation. Using science-based could lead to more answers as the requirements are easier for people to answer. But it depends on what you want to see in answers. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 25 '17 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ "If someone were to "drop rocks" (or one really big one)" Well, if you dropped gravel you would get meteor shower (maybe) and if you dropped the moon then the planet would not exist anymore. This question is really broad, do you have a specific outcome you wish to achieve? Or are you asking about the result of a specific action? $\endgroup$ – amflare Apr 25 '17 at 16:20
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The second scenario presents the advantages to need less logistics, and it's more complicated to deflect a heavy asteroid (like, kilometers large) than many small ones.

In this case, the climatic disorders caused by the fall of the meteors last severals years. It's an augmentation of the rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, resulting from the large fires that the meteors cast and the death of most plants due to a lack of sunlight. A few animals would survive, because they live hidden underwater or in holes (like mammals, sharks and crocodiles, to name a few). They have to be little enough to survive and not starve to death during the long period with a lack of vegetation, too.

But in fact, there would be no more atmospheric damage (not really important at least), just a many year long winter, followed by a global warming, due to the release of carbon dioxid and other greenhouse effect gases. In this context, Humans can adapt and recreate farms, using vegetal species which don't need much light (like mushrooms or fern) and some easy to feed animals (like pigs or hen). With a stable food approvisionnement they could be able to reconstruct.

I'll finish by saying that the psychological impact could retard the reconstruction.

Thank you for reading

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