Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/19/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Permian Era saw the extinction of 95 percent of all life

While there is much talk today about global warming, there was a time when the world's ocean's broiled at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. That age, around the Permian Era caused the vast majority of life on Earth to become extinct, scientists say.

It's estimated that the upper part of the ocean may have reached about 100 degrees, and sea-surface temperatures may have exceeded 104 degrees.

It's estimated that the upper part of the ocean may have reached about 100 degrees, and sea-surface temperatures may have exceeded 104 degrees.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/19/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Permia Era, global warming, volcanic activity, research


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We may have found the hottest time the world has ever had," Geologist Paul Wignall at the University of Leeds in England says.

The Permian Era was about 250 million years ago and marked the greatest die-off in Earth's history. One of the chief factors behind this hellish environment was probably catastrophic volcanic activity. Great volcanoes spewing lava and ash in the area that is now known as Siberia and occupied as 2.7 million square miles of boiling lava. These eruptions may have released gases that damaged Earth's protective ozone layer.

Following the conclusion of the Permian mass extinction came a time "called the 'dead zone,'" Wignall said. "It's this 5-million-year period where there's no recovery, where there is a very low diversity of life."

The dead zone experienced extremes of global warming. Scientists have analyzed fossils dating from 253 million to 245 million years ago, shortly before and after the mass extinction.

Researchers studied isotopes or atomic variants of oxygen within these fossils. As marine creatures form shells, bones and teeth, "they tend to use lighter isotopes of oxygen under warmer conditions," Wignall said. "You can still see this today when looking at modern-day sea creatures. The ratios of oxygen isotopes in their shells are entirely controlled by temperature."

Strange, eel-like creatures known as conodonts, known mainly by their elaborate mouthparts came from the Nanpanjiang Basin in south China, which helped reconstruct what temperatures were like around the equator at the end-Permian.

Different conodonts helped determined what temperatures were at different depths. One group dubbed the Neospathodus, lived down about 230 feet deep, while others, such as Pachycladina, Parachirognathus and Platyvillosus lived near the surface.

"We had to go through several tons of rock to look at tiny conodont fossils," Wignall said. "People always thought the end-Permian extinctions were related to temperature increases, but they never measured the temperature then in much detail before, since it involves a lot of hard work looking at these microfossils."

The research revealed the largest "case of extreme global warming, the most extreme ever seen in the last 600 million years," Wignall said. "We think the main reason for the dead zone after the end-Permian is a very hot planet, particularly in equatorial parts of the world."

It's estimated that the upper part of the ocean may have reached about 100 degrees, and sea-surface temperatures may have exceeded 104 degrees. By comparison, today's average annual sea-surface temperatures around the equator are 77 to 86 degrees.

"Photosynthesis starts to shut down at about 395 degrees, and plants often start dying at temperatures above 104 degrees," Wignall said. "This would explain why there's not much fossil record of plants at the end-Permian- for instance, there are no peat swamps forming, no coal-forming whatsoever. This was a huge, devastating extinction."

Without plants to absorb carbon dioxide, more of this heat-trapping gas would stay in the atmosphere, driving up temperatures further. "There are other ways of taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, but the planet lost a key way for millions of years," Wignall said.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Green

California drought likely to worsen as El Nino observed weakening Watch

Image of A sign intended to build public support for water rights for farmers now has a new significance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bad news for California is about to get worse. The state, wracked with drought, is eagerly anticipating the formation of a strong El Nino event in the Pacific, which would bring significant rainfall to the region. However, the El Nino may not develop as strongly as ... continue reading


Bats are the super animals, science says! New study reveals that not only can these flying pest eaters see sound, but they can also see invisible light Watch

Image of Bats can see with polarized light, and may use it to navigate with, a new study says.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Polarized light may be a useful tool for bats to navigate, and the greater mouse-eared bat-Myotis myotis-is the first mammal known to navigate using polarized light. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Polarized light is light waves that are parallel to each other ... continue reading


Bald eagles make a surprising comback in California! Watch

Image of Bald eagles, which had disappeared from the Channel Islands in the 1960s, have made a comeback following a re-population effort started in 2002.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in more than 50 years, a nesting pair of bald eagles have been found on San Clemente Island, officials reported on July 17. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This discovery means that bald eagles have re-established territories on five of the ... continue reading


TO FEED THE HUNGRY: More efficient agricultural systems could feed three billion more people Watch

Image of When it comes to water, rice and wheat are the crops that create the most demand for irrigation worldwide.

By Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Targeted efforts to make food systems more efficient in key parts of the world could meet the basic calorie needs of 3 billion extra people and reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture without using additional land and water, researchers said on Thursday. ... continue reading


Four wings: Amazing prehistoric raptor fossil found in China Watch

Image of This nightmare creature traveled light. Only four feet long and nine pounds heavy, the Changyu lived about 125 million years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Since gaining popularity in the "Jurassic Park" movies, raptors, next to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, are probably the most feared dinosaur by modern man. Short and compact with razor sharp teeth and claws, their speed and agility make for real nightmare fodder. ... continue reading


Ancient flesh crawler 'resurrected' with computer generated imagery Watch

Image of Comparing them to living arachnids, the researchers used an open source computer graphic program called

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There would be few reasons as to why anyone would want to bring an ugly spider, long extinct, back to life. Thanks to computer generated imagery generated by fossils of a 410 million-year-old arachnid, however, scientists have been able to recreate how it ... continue reading


What is a 'zombie' weather station and why is it bad? Watch

Image of Zombie outbreak locations? No, this is a map of  NOAA weather stations that are not made up.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forbes has published an article which alleges that U.S. climate scientists have manipulated climate data, using "zombie" weather stations that did not exist and "estimating" temperature data there. The article also states that a standardized network of NOAA monitoring ... continue reading


Despite climate change -- Antarctic sea ice hits second all-time record in a week Watch

Image of Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center says that somehow counter-intuitively that sea ice growth was specifically on account of global warming.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The given notion is that Arctic ice is melting, sending levels of seawater over their usual levels. However - Arctic ice INCREASED to an all-time high in a week. Why is this? Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center says that somehow ... continue reading


Watch out! This Brazilian snake can melt a man's flesh Watch

Image of The golden lancehead viper is one of the worlds deadliest snakes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 4.6 million square foot island located 20 miles off the coast of Brazil is the only place on earth where the terrifyingly deadly golden lancehead viper can be found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicknamed "Snake Island", Ilha de Queimada Grande is off ... continue reading


Yosemite National Park celebrates its 150th birthday Watch

Image of Classic nature photographer Ansel Adams frequently visited the Yosemite National Park.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Visited by people from around the world, Yosemite National Park marked its 150th anniversary this week. The park has been in existence ever since 16th American President Abraham Lincoln signed an act protecting the park for generations of visitors. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter