Skip to content

MASS EXTINCTION: All life on Earth went extinct 252 million years ago

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/4/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.


Comments


More Green

Congressional hearing on global warming asked the wrong question. Here's what we should be talking about Watch

Image of

It's the Scientists vs. the Representatives as congressional hearings zero in on climate change and the scientific method. Unfortunately, ... continue reading


What caused the California drought? Global warming, and here's the study that could prove it Watch

Image of Folsom Lake was entirely drained during the drought that ravaged California. That drought is now believed to have been caused by human-induced global warming.

Extreme weather events are on the rise around the world. Bigger storms, longer droughts, and more of them. Yet explaining why has been ... continue reading


Scientists discover a way to turn CO2 into methanol, could THIS be the key to reversing global warming? Watch

Image of There may be a way to convert factory emissions to methanol, which is a valuable industrial product.

Carbon dioxide has a bad reputation. It is criticized as the gas responsible for global warming. And while the global warming issue is more ... continue reading


The polar caps are melting, but there's a greater danger we need to talk about Watch

Image of Will the cure worse than the disease? The polar caps melt, then grow back. But there's a greater danger than this lurking among us --our response to the problem.

Sea ice has reached its lowest levels in recent, recorded history according to NASA. Arctic sea ice reached a maximum that is well below ... continue reading


Scientific discovery could rewrite evolutionary textbooks - should we trust science? Watch

Image of Red algae is still common, and can sometimes stain water the color of blood.

Scientists think they will have to rewrite the evolutionary history of the planet after discovering evidence of the first plants. Their ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.