by Peter Brannen, June 14, 2017
“It is absolutely critical to recognize that I am NOT claiming that humans haven’t done great damage to marine and terrestrial [ecosystems], nor that many extinctions have not occurred and more will certainly occur in the near future. But I do think that as scientists we have a responsibility to be accurate about such comparisons.”
Many popular science articles take this as a given, and indeed, there’s something emotionally satisfying about the idea that humans’ hubris and shortsightedness are so profound that we’re bringing down the whole planet with us.
by University of Tromso, May 5, 2017 in ScienceDaily
Bedrock of Earth got severely beaten up by hothouse climate conditions during one of planet’s mass extinctions some 200 million years ago. But the process also allowed life to bounce back.
The hothouse conditions of this mass extinction caused oceans to eventually become depleted of oxygen, and thus become unbearable to live in. But weathering of silicate in the bedrock of Pangea, and subsequent formation of carbonate, tied up the CO2 into the minerals, slowly removing the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
by University of Adelaide, April 18, 2017 in ScienceDaily
Studies of bones from Ice Age megafaunal animals across Eurasia and the Americas have revealed that major increases in environmental moisture occurred just before many species suddenly became extinct around 11-15,000 years ago. The persistent moisture resulting from melting permafrost and glaciers caused widespread glacial-age grasslands to be rapidly replaced by peatlands and bogs, fragmenting populations of large herbivore grazers.
The idea of moisture-driven extinctions is really exciting because it can also explain why Africa is so different, with a much lower rate of megafaunal extinctions and many species surviving to this day, says Professor Cooper.
by Eric Worrall, March 27, 2017
A paper published in Paleoworld worries that a repeat of the greatest mass extinction event in Earth’s history could be triggered by Anthropogenic CO2. But Cambridge Professor Peter Wadhams, our favourite sea ice alarmist, thinks the attempt to link the Permian extinction to modern events is a bit wild.
by Björn Baresel et al., March 6, 2017, Nature
Since the early days of stratigraphy, mass extinctions were noticed to coincide with major and global sea-level changes1,2 that significantly alter extinction patterns and time-series of geochemical proxies. In the case of the Permian-Triassic boundary mass extinction (PTBME), the system boundary itself has been initially placed during a global eustatic regression3, but was subsequently placed during a global transgression4 …
Shock finding : P-T mass extinction was due to an ice age, and not to warming