The cause of the largest catastrophe in the history of the Earth has been proven

Science, technology and technology news

The cause of the largest catastrophe in the history of the Earth has been proven

An international team of scientists from Japan, the United States and China has proven that massive volcanic eruptions caused the largest extinction in Earth's history. The results of the study, published in the journal Geology, are reported in a press release on Phys.org.

The researchers analyzed sediment samples from southern China and Italy for organic matter and mercury. They found elevated levels of coronene (a hydrocarbon with six benzene rings) and mercury, which indicate the formation of a large magmatic province or traps, that is, a vast accumulation of volcanic rocks. At the same time, two outbursts were detected in the rock layers, which is associated with two periods of massive volcanic activity, separated by tens of thousands of years.

In those layers where there was a surge in the content of coronene and mercury, scientists also revealed a high content of plant biomarkers, but then their rapid decrease occurred, coinciding with the ecological catastrophe and the disappearance of marine multicellular animals. At the same time, terrestrial ecosystems suffered less than marine ones.

Strong volcanic eruptions contribute to the accumulation of sulfuric acid aerosols in the stratosphere and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which causes global climate change and is the cause of the death of land and marine life

The massive Permian extinction occurred about 252 million years ago and affected 90 percent of the world's species. It is believed that the cause was the outpouring of colossal volumes of magma, which led to the appearance of the Siberian traps.

Leave a Reply

3 + 18 =