Worst Mass Extinction Event in Earth's History Was Caused by Global Warming Analogous to Current Climate Crisis
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The global warming and oxygen loss simulated in the Earth System model Penn and team built matched reconstructions of these changes made from the fossil record of the end of the Permian period. The oceans lost about 80 percent of their oxygen, and around half of the ocean seafloor became completely oxygen-free, especially at lower depths.
The researchers then used published lab measurements on 61 modern marine species like crustaceans, fish, shellfish, corals, and sharks to examine how those animals might respond to those oxygen and temperature conditions. Today’s marine wildlife are expected to have similar tolerances to high temperatures and low oxygen as Permian animals because of the similar environmental conditions under which they evolved.
“Warming and oxygen loss would have led to a loss of aerobic habitat for marine animals by increasing their temperature-dependent oxygen demand amid declining supply,” Penn said. “The predicted geography and severity of the resulting mass extinction explain the patterns observed in the global marine fossil record from the ‘Great Dying.’”
In a statement, Curtis Deutsch explained that by combining species’ traits with the team’s paleoclimate simulations, the researchers were able to predict the geography of the extinction event. “Very few marine organisms stayed in the same habitats they were living in — it was either flee or perish,” Deutsch, a co-author of the Science paper, said.
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January 5, 2019 at 10:55 AM #8775Ohio BarbarianModerator
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In both extinctions, those species at the top of the food chain were wiped out. Not a good sign for the current species at the top of the food chain, is it?
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January 5, 2019 at 11:09 AM #8778ZimInSeattleParticipant
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Says nothing of the CH4 bomb ready to go off.
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