Scientists from China, Canada, USA and Switzerland in a joint study proved the impact of volcanic eruptions in Siberia on the largest ecological disaster in the history of the earth – the Permian extinction, when up to 90% of marine species and 75% of terrestrial species died. Writes about this Phys.org.
In their article in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists presented the results of the analysis of nickel isotopes in sedimentary rocks collected in the Arctic part of Canada. The samples have the lightest nickel isotopic ratios ever measured in sedimentary rocks, and the only plausible explanation is that nickel was obtained from volcanic topography.
“The results of the study provide compelling evidence that the nickel-rich particles were aerosolized and widely dispersed in both the atmosphere and the ocean,” said co-author Laura Wasylenki of Northern Arizona University.
Scientists have concluded that environmental destruction began long before the extinction – perhaps 300,000 years before it, she said. Magmatism in Siberia melted sulfide nickel ores, and the resulting aerosols fell out, including over the Arctic part of Canada.
The high concentration of nickel has led to violent activity of microorganisms in the ocean, emitting methane, disrupting the oxygen balance and the formation of huge dead zones. And the emissions of gas and methane from volcanoes in Siberia changed the climate and increased oxygen starvation in the oceans. Thus, 251 million years ago, almost all marine animal species and most of the terrestrial ones became extinct.
Earlier, an international team of scientists published an article in Frontiers in Conservation Science predicting a mass extinction of people if large-scale efforts to prevent global warming are not taken soon. In their opinion, the main reason for future cataclysms is climate disturbance. Experts are confident that humanity will face not only an off-scale mortality rate, but also a general deterioration in health, new pandemics, mass migrations, and wars for resources.
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