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Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

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Earth has so far gone through five mass extinction events – scientists are worried we’re on course to trigger a sixth – and the deadliest one happened 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian geologic period. In this event, coined “the Great Dying,” over 90% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species went extinct. It took about 10 million years for life on Earth to recover from this catastrophic event. Scientists have proposed a number of possible culprits responsible for this mass extinction, including an asteroid impact, mercury poisoning, a collapse of the ozone layer, and acid rain. Heavy volcanic activity in Siberia was suspected to play a key role in the end-Permian event. Recently, geologist Dr Benjamin Burger identified a rock layer in Utah that he believed might have formed during the Permian and subsequent Triassic period that could shed light on the cause of the Great Dying.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/mar/12/burning-coal-may-have-caused-earths-worst-mass-extinction


Posted by on Mar 13 2018. Filed under News at Now. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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