Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Methane-spewing microbe was culprit in mass extinction, scientists say

Nearly all life on Earth became extinct 252 million years ago. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT scientists, the culprit was not an asteroid striking the planet, but a methane-spewing microbe.

The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Methane, extinction, Permian-Triassic


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daniel Rothman, MIT Professor of Geophysics, says that massive volcanic eruptions and chemical changes coincided to dramatically change the climate and the chemistry of the ocean.

"When one examines old rocks that were deposited at the time, the results of those geochemical analyses indicate that there was a large influx of carbon into the Earth's system - that is, the oceans and the atmosphere - and that carbon likely entered system as CO2," Rothman says.

It is better to light one tiny candle than to curse the darkness --

The massive change happened in the "geological blink of an eye;" about 60,000 years, which killed 96 percent of life in the ocean and 70 percent of life on land. This era was known as the Permian-Triassic extinction event. In more concrete terms, the Great Dying.

The carbon dioxide that erupted from volcanos was a potent greenhouse gas. The process warmed the air and turned oceans acidic. Rothman now says that the volcanic activity in what is today Siberia cannot solely account for the global geo-chemical change.

"It's a gross correlation, and the question is how it might be related," he says. "It's not the only question, but it is the one of the questions we address in our paper." 

An analysis of the genomic record that revealed a marine microbe that produces methane and could be an important player in the massive die-off.

"Methane-producing microbes had already been present, but this was a particular microbe that could do it a little bit more efficiently than the others," he explains. "And so we've hypothesized that it might have been responsible for the outburst of carbon into the system - originally methane - and the methane would have been oxidized to CO2."

Rothman and colleagues report that the methane microbes experienced an explosive growth which was fueled by the mineral nickel, which they found in sedimentary rocks from those Siberian eruptions.

The nickel concentrations rose considerably just before extinction, which would have made a very favorable environment for the methane-producing microbes.

The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

"It's not that unusual in the history of life for such things to occur," Rothman says. "The point is that life and the environment interact. They always have and they always will."

---


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


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Green

You won't believe how many Americans actually care about global warming! Watch

Image of While a threat to humanity, global warming is of very low concern to the majority of most Americans.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Climate change - or global warming, has a wide range of apocalyptic possibilities - drought, fire, famine and government collapse are promised by the world's soaring temperatures. However, according to a recent poll - Americans just do not care, or express much concern ... continue reading


NOAA caught adjusting temperature data to make global warming worse! But why did they do it? Watch

Image of NOAA: And we would have gotten away with it if not for you pesky skeptics!

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Global warming is probably the most serious issue facing the world today. If global temperatures are spiking, then the world as we know it will change. Even the U.S. military considers global warming to be a major threat to national security. But what if the climate ... continue reading


Here's what a plague of locusts looks like (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of When grasshoppers swarm, they become known as locusts. Their colors and behaviors change dramatically.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Amid news that the largest locust swarm in five decades is devouring crops in Argentina, some people have wondered just what such a thing looks like. Here's what a plague of biblical proportions looks like.  [media id="17873"][media id="17875"][media ... continue reading


Will the symbolic Doomsday Clock move closer to the fatal end? Watch

Image of Doomsday Clock is currently set three minutes to 12.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic visual of the world's impending doom. Once the clock strikes midnight, the world as we know it will come to an apocalyptic halt -all of our own doing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) is ... continue reading


El Nino DISASTER looms for California: 'ATMOSPHERIC RIVER EVENT' possible, could be followed 'VERY LOW SNOW LEVELS' Watch

Image of The ARkstorm scenario has been modeled in California. In 1862, an actual ARkstorm hit the state. Similar, but less destructive storms have hit in 1938, 1968, and 1986.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A long range weather forecast for California predicts the state may be hit by a major El Nino storm next weekend. That storm could be followed by abnormally cold temperatures that could put snow on the valley floor, a rare event for the region. UPDATE: Wednesday, 1/27, ... continue reading


SHOCKING reality facing oceans: Plastic pollution 'equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute' Watch

Image of The ocean is already full of plastic -but more is on its way (LiveScience).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Everyone has heard of the spread of plastic pollution in our oceans -but how many of us realize just how serious the situation really is? According to the World Economic Forum, the amount of plastic currently dumped into our oceans each year is the equivalent of one ... continue reading


Global warming devours lake twice the size of Los Angeles Watch

Image of A fisherman displays his license. Without any water or fish, his livelihood has evaporated. Bolivia has declared a national disaster.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Climate change may be a debate topic in the United States, but for people who have been impacted by warming weather, it is a harsh reality. This is painfully evident in Lake Poopo, Bolivia, that nation's second-largest lake, which has now dried up to just 2 percent of ... continue reading


NOAA: 2015 officially hottest year on record. -- Skeptics just insist all scientists are lying Watch

Image of According to NASA and NOAA, 2015 was the hottest year on modern record.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

More evidence. There's more proof the planet is warming, and it's not even a debatable subject anymore. According to NOAA, 2015 is the hottest year on record, by far. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Last year was the hottest recorded year since record-keeping ... continue reading


Hey California, love the weather? There's a nasty surprise coming for Californians Watch

Image of A luxury home collapses in California in March, 1998.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Californios have been pleasantly surprised by the El Nino rains this year. The rain hasn't been overwhelming, and temperatures have been mild.  Windows can often be left open all night in many places. There's plenty of snow on the slopes, so skiing is on. It's a ... continue reading


BACK TO LIFE MIRACLE: Organisms, frozen for 30 years, successfully revived and brought back to life Watch

Image of Frozen, tardigrades enter a state called cryptobiosis. Their metabolic processes shut down and they show no visible signs of life.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a remarkable feat worthy of Rip Van Winkle, two tardigrades - also known as "Waterbears" and "moss piglets" were successfully revived after being frozen or 30 years. One survived for only a few days - the other thrived and was able to hatch further eggs. LOS ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 HD Video
  • Stations of the Cross - Series HD Video
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, February 09, 2016
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey
  • St. Apollonia: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More