Skip to comments.Extreme Global Warming May Have Caused Largest Extinction Ever (Hottest Earth era ever detected?)
Posted on 10/18/2012 3:57:12 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Feverishly hot ocean surface waters potentially reaching more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) may have helped cause the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history, researchers say.
"We may have found the hottest time the world has ever had," researcher Paul Wignall, a geologist at the University of Leeds in England, told LiveScience.
The mass extinction at the end of the Permian Era about 250 million years ago was the greatest die-off in Earth's history. The cataclysm killed as much as 95 percent of the planet's species. One key factor behind this disaster was probably catastrophic volcanic activity in what is now Siberia that spewed out as much as 2.7 million square miles (7 million square kilometers) of lava, an area nearly as large as Australia. These eruptions might have released gases that damaged Earth's protective ozone layer.
After the end-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 apparently experienced a serious case of global warming, but the extremes this global warming reached were uncertain. To find out, scientists analyzed fossils dating from 253 million to 245 million years ago, shortly before and after the mass extinction. ..
Unraveling an isotope mystery
The researchers focused on isotopes or atomic variants of oxygen within these fossils. All isotopes of oxygen have eight protons in their atomic nuclei, but differ in the number of neutrons they possess ..
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."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Photo By NASA
Science these days....
“My superlative is bigger than your superlative!!”
Well, we ALL now know that the earth has a fever; below the surface, our planet is MILLIONS of degrees in temperature!
Yep, it’s true - AL Gore told us!
Those damn Republicans and their SUVs - oh, wait a minute.
Somebody post that picture of Raquel Welch in the fur bikini from One Million BC. The Hottest Era Ever.
They had SUV’s back then? I have seen some old rusty ones, so maybe it’s true.
To start with, what is the current temperature of the world’s oceans? Is it near freezing near the poles, or is it a comfortable 82F off the coast of Africa?
So how could the world’s ocean surface temperature be 104F?
She must have sizzled.
“The ratios of oxygen isotopes in their shells are entirely controlled by temperature.”
Don’t you love scientific sampling that spews out as dogma?
It was the coal powered heating & electrical systems of the stone age that did it.
Misleading. The key way nowadays (and I suspect even back then) is not terrestrial plants but ocean absorption and precipitation. The reason that could not happen then (I suspect) is geography, there were no downwelling currents to mix CO2 into the deeper ocean. That's not the case now. Geography is temperature destiny, both then and now.