What We Can Learn From The Biggest Extinction In The History Of Earth
Approximately 250 million years ago, vast numbers of species disappeared from Earth. This mass-extinction event may hold clues to current global carbon cycle changes, according to Jonathan Payne, assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences. Payne, a paleobiologist who joined the Stanford faculty in 2005, studies the Permian-Triassic extinction and the following 4 million years of instability in the global carbon cycle.
In the July issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin, Payne presented evidence that a massive, rapid release of carbon may have triggered this extinction.
"People point to the fossil record as a place where we can learn about how our actions today may affect the future course of evolution," Payne said. "That's certainly true: The deep geologic record provides context for modern events. We may miss very important processes or underestimate the magnitude of changes in the future by using only the past couple thousand years as a baseline."
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Randll Reese Besch - 8/16/2007
What was the combined characteristics that caused the CO2 increase and a runaway greenhouse effect to cause such a huge extinction of 90%!
Though we must also contend with rising levels of nitrous oxide which is some 946 times as destructive as the same amount of CO2 and I am not sure it can be processed by native plant life.
Such added data will be paramount in understanding what is going on and how we might curb its affects or be abel to eventually negate it.
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