Scientists have revealed how the greenhouse disaster killed almost all life on Earth

An international group of scientists led by Khana Yurikova studied the isotopes of the boron element in calcareous

shells of fossil brachiopods - mollusc-likeorganisms. With his help, she found out the rate of ocean acidification at the border of the Permian and Triassic. Because ocean pH and atmospheric carbon dioxide are closely related, the team was able to reconstruct changes in atmospheric CO2 at the beginning of the disappearance of boron and carbon isotopes. They then used an innovative geochemical model to study the environmental impact of carbon dioxide injection.

Scientists' results showed that the eruptionsvolcanoes in the then active province of basalts "Siberian traps" emitted into the atmosphere a huge amount of carbon dioxide. These emissions lasted several millennia and led to the strongest greenhouse effect in the late Permian, causing severe warming and acidification of the ocean.

Abrupt changes on land have impactedproductivity and nutrient cycling in the ocean and ultimately led to extensive deoxygenation of the ocean. As a result, several environmental factors combined to destroy a wide variety of animal and plant groups.

“We are dealing with a cascading disaster in whichthe increase in the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused a chain of events that consistently destroyed almost all life in the seas, - emphasizes Dr. Yurikova. “Ancient volcanic eruptions of this type cannot be directly compared to anthropogenic carbon emissions. In addition, all modern reserves of fossil fuels will not be enough to emit this amount of carbon dioxide in hundreds of years, let alone thousands, as it was 252 million years ago. But surprisingly, humankind's CO2 emissions are currently 14 times the annual emissions at the time of the greatest biological disaster in Earth's history. ”

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