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Giant mass extinction quicker than previously thought

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The largest mass extinction in the history of animal life occurred some 252 million years ago, wiping out more than 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of life on land -- including the largest insects known to have inhabited Earth. Multiple theories have aimed to explain the cause of what's now known as the end-Permian extinction, including an asteroid impact, massive volcanic eruptions, or a cataclysmic cascade of environmental events. But pinpointing the cause of the extinction requires better measurements of how long the extinction period lasted. The end-Permian extinction happened in 60,000 years -- much faster than earlier estimates, according to new research.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210161334.htm

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Could have been asteroid strike, we are only just being able to find out more of these now with the advent of satellite studies and I would not think it too unreasonable for the shock of the impact to trigger volcanic eruptions, so we end up with something rather globally catastrophic and that is without mentioning the initial heating then cooling of atmosphere, plus all the crap in the air which would not do the biosphere a lot of good.

Edited by mike Meehan

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My understanding is that an asteroid was unlikely. One of the better reasons i read of was that massive global warming had resulted in the desertification of Pangea and a collapse in the movement of the ocean currents resulting in the large-scale production of Hydrogen Peroxide (produced in stale swamps).

Edited by summer blizzard

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My understanding is that an asteroid was unlikely. One of the better reasons i read of was that massive global warming had resulted in the desertification of Pangea and a collapse in the movement of the ocean currents resulting in the large-scale production of Hydrogen Peroxide (produced in stale swamps).

We may never know, if it struck the sea, apparently the sea bed renews every 200 million years or so and there has been a lot of tectonic movement since then, so evidence of a crater could well be lost but such an event could easily have been a catalyst to set off others such as increased and global volcanic eruptions and other nasties which go with them.

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Could have been asteroid strike, we are only just being able to find out more of these now with the advent of satellite studies and I would not think it too unreasonable for the shock of the impact to trigger volcanic eruptions, so we end up with something rather globally catastrophic and that is without mentioning the initial heating then cooling of atmosphere, plus all the crap in the air which would not do the biosphere a lot of good.

 

A rapid extinction does seem to point in the direction of an asteroid/comet strike. 60,000 years would be the slowest speed of exinction, likely faster or much faster, just cannot be that precise.

 

That 96% of marine species died suggests to me a long period of darkness that shut down photosynthesis of plankton, algae in the oceans causing the entire ecosystem to collapse, similar to what happened after the meteor strike 65 million years ago but on a larger scale (around 75% of marine species died then). What else would kill 96% of marine life apart from a long period of pronounced darkness? What else could cause such a long period of pronounced darkness? Life on land is pretty resiliant, in the oceans even more so. I'd imagine it would be something truly catastrophic, global and likely fairly sudden.

 

But there are issues with all the theories put forward and the cause remains a mystery overall I suppose.

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Posted · Hidden by Bobby, February 11, 2014 - No reason given
Hidden by Bobby, February 11, 2014 - No reason given

The impact theory seems as good as any though.

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We may never know, if it struck the sea, apparently the sea bed renews every 200 million years or so and there has been a lot of tectonic movement since then, so evidence of a crater could well be lost but such an event could easily have been a catalyst to set off others such as increased and global volcanic eruptions and other nasties which go with them.

 

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113068160/mass-extinction-happened-faster-than-previously-believed-021114/

 

Evidence of a large increase in CO2 before.

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A rapid extinction does seem to point in the direction of an asteroid/comet strike. 60,000 years would be the slowest speed of exinction, likely faster or much faster, just cannot be that precise. That 96% of marine species died suggests to me a long period of darkness that shut down photosynthesis of plankton, algae in the oceans causing the entire ecosystem to collapse, similar to what happened after the meteor strike 65 million years ago but on a larger scale (around 75% of marine species died then). What else would kill 96% of marine life apart from a long period of pronounced darkness? What else could cause such a long period of pronounced darkness? Life on land is pretty resiliant, in the oceans even more so. I'd imagine it would be something truly catastrophic, global and likely fairly sudden. But there are issues with all the theories put forward and the cause remains a mystery overall I suppose.

Rapid ocean acidification combined with anoxia of the ocean depths could certainly cause havoc. It would be tricky to maintain darkness for 60,000 years.

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