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Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (D).

Answer choice (A):

Answer choice (B):

Answer choice (C):

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (E):

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
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Hi PowerScore,
With this one, I see how C is wrong but I don't see how D might also be wrong. The last paragraph says, "in support of the asteroid-impact model, it has been argued that the gradual cooling of the average ocean temperature would enable progressively smaller astroid impacts (which are known to occur more frequently than larger impacts) to cool the earth's climate sufficiently to induce ice-cap growth and reversals." At the pace I was going, I took this to mean that ice caps could cause changes in ocean circulation and therefore D could be ruled out.
I was between D and C on this. Did I just overthink D? I thought it was trying to play a trick and that the blobs played another role.
 Adam Tyson
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Answer D was what we sometimes call a "shell game" answer, Grace. That's where the authors take things from the passage and scramble them up in ways that the passage did not provide. In the passage, circulation was discussed, but it was circulation of the outer core fluid that mattered. Ocean temperatures were discussed as possibly contributing to reversals in polarity by making it easier for smaller asteroids to trigger the growth of the ice caps, but ocean circulation patterns were never mentioned. Since we are supposed to pick the one thing that was NOT mentioned as a cause, D is our winner!

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