Biggest extinction known on Earth result of oceans turned acid by CO2, the main gas driving human-caused climate change.
Scientists have identified the lethal agency that caused the single most catastrophic event in the history of life on Earth.
The mass extinction at the boundary of the Permian and Triassic eras 252 million years ago was caused by the acidification of the world’s oceans, as a consequence of an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The Permian Extinction – sometimes called “the Great Dying” – seemed to all but obliterate life in the oceans, and perhaps on land. More than 90% of all species disappeared, more than 80% of all genera, and more than 50% of all marine families were extinguished in one prolonged calamity.
All life on Earth today has descended from the few survivors of this far-off episode. Palaeontologists, geologists, climate scientists and astronomers have all speculated on the probable cause.
The latest and most confident analysis is based on a new study of ancient marine sediments and delivers obvious parallels with processes that are – for different reasons − occurring again today.
Report: Global coral reef survey highlights climate threat
There has been recent evidence that this present change in the pH of ocean waters (pH is a measure of its acidity) as a consequence of fossil fuel combustion in the last two centuries has already disturbed the behaviour of some fish species, threatened to affect oyster fisheries and coral reefs, and even to alter whole ocean ecosystems. – See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/04/18/ocean-acidification-triggered-mass-extinctions-252-million-years-ago/#.dpuf
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