Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

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."

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Green

Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic Hurricane season? Watch

Image of One impact La Nina has is a more active Atlantic hurricane season.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Goodbye El Nino! The monster heating anomaly in the tropical Pacific has abated and experts now believe a La Nina event, the cool sister of El Nino, will come to dominate the tropical Pacific for at least the next year to come. It has implications for the United ... continue reading


Scientists surprised by sudden eruption on Costa Rica volcano. Could the same happen at Mt. Rainier? Watch

Image of Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica has erupted without warning.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A volcano has erupted in Costa Rica with sudden ferocity, surprising experts who did not believe an eruption was imminent. The plume of ash from the volcano has caused flights to be canceled or diverted. Hundreds of people have reported to the hospital with reports of ... continue reading


Is a Mt. St. Helens eruption imminent? Here's the secret you're not being told Watch

Image of Mt. Rainier as seen from Tacoma. Is this giant awakening from a long sleep? Are the people prepared if so?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A researcher, who has studied volcanoes for decades, has reached out to Catholic Online to share new information about volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest. It appears activity is spiking in the region, and neither the public, nor geologists, may be fully ... continue reading


Eruption imminent? Mt. St. Helens quakes as magma rises Watch

Image of Mt. St. Helens steams in this image showing the new dome within the crater.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over the past month, we've warned about volcanoes, earthquakes, and what feels like a sudden uptick in global activity.  Although all of the activity seems to fall within "normal" levels, it is still above average and making people uneasy. Now, new reports show ... continue reading


SEE THE SIMULATION: There's a monster sleeping in Southern California and when it wakes, there will be hell to pay Watch

Image of Worse than any shaking, will be the devastation to infrastructure upon which tens of millions of people rely for survival.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earthquakes are making the news, not because they're happening, but because they will happen soon, and they will be more violent than anything in recent memory. Great quakes threaten both the Eastern U.S. and the Pacific coast. Now a new revelation about the San ... continue reading


The Eastern U.S. rides atop a horrifying geologic secret. Are you sure you want to know? Watch

Image of The Eastern U.S. could have a major quake of its own, even larger than those that strike the Western U.S.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have a new explanation for why mysterious quakes strike the Eastern U.S. when no fault lines are present. The crust of the earth is falling away beneath your feet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Contrary to popular belief, Californians don't have a ... continue reading


Skinned alive and left to rot: 'I have no sympathy' (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Animals are inhumanely treated then killed in the name of fashion (TL McCormick).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Soft, cuddly, adorable little animals are slaughtered by the thousands in the name of commerce. One Russian fur farmer even admitted she felt satisfaction as she skinned some animals alive or injected them with lethal, but inhumane, drugs that slowly suffocate the ... continue reading


Thoughtcrime or free speech? Oil companies face prosecution for climate change denial, but should they? Watch

Image of Foolish to disbelieve in global warming? Perhaps. 

Criminal? No.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

At what point does it become criminal to promote an idea? Can any idea actually be off limits? These are questions that must be considered as the U.S. government begins a literal witch-hunt against climate change deniers and their corporate sponsors. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'We see it:' The realities of global warming are finally accepted around the world Watch

Image of The Paris climate agreement saw Sen. Jeff Merkley state global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With more and more nations agreeing that climate change is not only real, but also dangerous, more world leaders are making a move to save the planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Jeff Merkley took the Senate floor last week to say global warming is one ... continue reading


Volcanoes erupting everywhere! Is this a sign? Watch

Image of Popocatepetl erupts in Mexico. Prominent volcanoes in Russia and North Korea are also erupting.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty-eight volcanoes are erupting right now. Earthquakes are making the news. Is something supernatural about to occur? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Take care that no one deceives you," Jesus admonished his disciples in the book of Matthew. The Disciples were ... 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

  • Prayer to Holy Michael the Archangel HD Video
  • Benedict XVI to make public appearance?
  • Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:18-25
18 For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.13 For he ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2016 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical ... Read More