Mass extinction 252 million years ago was caused by a ‘toxic soup’ of greenhouse gas emissions, high temperatures and abundant nutrients – and humans today are ‘following this recipe,’ experts warn

- Advertisement -


  • The end of the Permian mass extinction killed 9 out of every 10 species on Earth
  • Experts say this was caused by accelerated greenhouse gas emissions, high temperatures and a ‘toxic soup’ of abundant nutrients
  • The team says this has led to an increase in toxic algae blooms in lakes and rivers
  • Microscopic algae and cyanobacteria that stunt the recovery of freshwater ecosystems ‘perhaps for millions of years’.
  • The team has warned that today humans are also walking on the same path.

- Advertisement -

Earth experienced its worst mass extinction some 252 million years ago that was caused by a ‘toxic soup’ – and scientists warn that humans today are ‘following the same recipe.’

The lethal mix was a mix of accelerated greenhouse gas emissions, high temperatures and abundant nutrients, but the new study now identifies toxic microbial blooms as the fourth culprit.

advertisement

A team from the University of Connecticut found that three ‘components’ caused an increase in microscopic algae and cyanobacteria that stunted the recovery of freshwater ecosystems ‘perhaps for millions of years’.

This is because blooms lack free oxygen and release toxins into the water that normally feeds vegetation, soil, and wildlife.

- Advertisement -

Researchers say there is a ‘parallel to today’ with a rise in temperature at the end of the Permian, coinciding with a massive increase in wildfires, which is currently occurring in California.

Tracy Frank, head of the Department of Geology, said Statement: ‘We are seeing more and more toxic algae blooms in lakes and shallow marine environments related to increased temperatures and changes in plant communities that are increasing the contribution of nutrients to freshwater environments.’

The poisonous soup was a mix of accelerated greenhouse gas emissions, high temperatures and abundant nutrients, but new study now identifies toxic microbial blooms as the fourth culprit

The end of the Permian mass extinction, or ‘Great Dying’, killed nine out of every 10 species on the planet

study, published in nature communication, notes that when volcanic eruptions caused an uptick in greenhouse gases and a dramatic increase in temperature.

This led to deforestation which caused the soil to flush nutrients into the body of water and feed the microbes that created the giant poisonous blooms.

The team determined this by studying the fossil, sedimentary and chemical record of rocks near Sydney, Australia.

Researchers say a rise in temperature at the end of the Permian has much of a 'parallel to today', coinciding with a massive increase in wildfires, which is currently happening in California (pictured)

Researchers say a rise in temperature at the end of the Permian has much of a ‘parallel to today’, coinciding with a massive increase in wildfires, which is currently happening in California (pictured)

And when the team compared the fossil record of various warming-related mass extinctions, they found extremely similar fossil records.

‘This implicates deadly microbial blooms as the culprit of freshwater extinctions during extreme warming events,’ the team shared in the press release.

Treacy Frank, head of the Department of Geology, said in a statement: ‘We are seeing more and more toxic algae blooms in lakes and in shallow marine environments that are related to increased temperatures and changes in plant communities leading to increased growth. . Contribution of nutrients to freshwater environments.

‘Volcanoes were a source of CO2 in the past but we know that the rate of CO2 input that was observed at that time was similar to the rate of CO2 we are seeing today due to anthropogenic impacts.’

According to this year’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the impact of humans on the changing climate is ‘unequal’, creating conditions conducive to the spread of these heat-loving microbes. In combination with the influx of nutrients from water pollution, mostly from agriculture and deforestation, this has led to a sharp increase in toxic blooms.

The end of the Permian mass extinction, or 'Great Dying', killed nine out of every 10 species on the planet

The end of the Permian mass extinction, or ‘Great Dying’, killed nine out of every 10 species on the planet

The result: massive fish die-offs, serious human and livestock health impacts, and annual costs measurable in the billions of dollars.

Professor Chris Fielding, co-author of the study, said in a statement: ‘The End-Permian is one of the best places to look for parallels with what is happening now.

‘The other big parallel is that the increase in temperature at the end of the Permian coincided with a huge increase in wildfires.

‘One of the things that destroyed entire ecosystems was fire, and we’re seeing that right now in places like California. One wonders what are the long term consequences of such incidents as they are becoming more and more widespread.

What was the Permian mass extinction, known as ‘The Great Dying’, that killed 9 out of every 10 species?

About 248 million years ago, the Permian period ended and the Triassic period began on Earth.

Marking the boundary between these two geologic epochs is the Permian mass extinction, nicknamed ‘The Great Dying’.

This devastating event wiped out almost all life on Earth.

Scientists believe that about 95 percent of all marine life perished during the mass extinction, and less than a third of life on land survived the event.

Overall, it is believed that 90 percent of all life was destroyed.

About ten percent of all life on Earth today is the descendants of animals, plants and microbes that survived the Permian mass extinction.

Previously, it was believed that a giant explosion covered the Earth in a thick haze, blocking the Sun’s rays from reaching the planet’s surface.

However, new findings suggest that a massive volcanic eruption, which lasted nearly a million years, released a vast reservoir of deadly chemicals into the atmosphere that stripped Earth’s ozone layer.

This wiped out the only protection Earth’s inhabitants had against the sun’s deadly UV rays.

This high-energy form of radiation can cause significant damage to living organisms, causing the death toll to skyrocket.

advertisement

.

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories