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How Methane-Producing Microbes Caused The Largest Mass Extinction The World Has Ever Seen

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posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 05:40 AM
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About 250 million years ago, nearly all life on Earth suddenly died. One expert believes the die-off — which killed 90 percent of all species and is known as the end-Permian extinction event — happened over the course of just 100,000 years. But until now, most hypotheses about what caused it have seemed like pure speculation: asteroids, volcanoes, and massive coal fires among them.

www.isciencetimes.com...

A new theory, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a different conclusion. And it's one most people have some familiarity with: climate change caused by greenhouse gases. Without humans around to spur it on, however, the scientists behind the research (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing) needed a new culprit. They found their suspect in tiny microbes called Methanosarcina. Through metabolism, these microscopic organisms emit enormous amounts of methane, which is extremely effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

I just found this interesting, Cows today, microscopic organism yesterday.
I guess anything is possible.

Enjoy the read.




posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by keenasbro
 


This of course, isn't science ... it's politics.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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Interesting read, Iv'e always found it fascinating that there has been 5 or 6 (I can't remember) mass extinctions. Who knows what life would be like today if even one of them didn't happen and it's only a matter of time before it happens again...



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by bjarneorn
 


Actually, it only became politics with your post.

The possibility that climate change brought about past mass extinctions is hardly new. When some organisms started producing oxygen, it made the atmosphere toxic to many other organisms living in that era, and brought about the first mass extinction we know of. In the process, it also made possible the existence of beings like ourselves.

We can study and discuss the causes of past mass extinctions without necessarily implying anything about the current one.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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keenasbro
About 250 million years ago, nearly all life on Earth suddenly died. One expert believes the die-off — which killed 90 percent of all species and is known as the end-Permian extinction event — happened over the course of just 100,000 years. But until now, most hypotheses about what caused it have seemed like pure speculation: asteroids, volcanoes, and massive coal fires among them.

www.isciencetimes.com...

A new theory, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a different conclusion. And it's one most people have some familiarity with: climate change caused by greenhouse gases. Without humans around to spur it on, however, the scientists behind the research (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing) needed a new culprit. They found their suspect in tiny microbes called Methanosarcina. Through metabolism, these microscopic organisms emit enormous amounts of methane, which is extremely effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

I just found this interesting, Cows today, microscopic organism yesterday.
I guess anything is possible.

Enjoy the read.


Cows today, microscopic organism yesterday....that is why yesterday's mass extinction took 100,000 years, because it was microscopic organisms at fault. This time it will only take decades because cows and man are a lot bigger than tiny little microbes.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by keenasbro
 


It's distinctly possible that a specific microbe could actually create a great deal of havoc on the planet. We can find present day corollaries where an uptick of temperature is likely behind some microbe flourishing to dreadful consequence. I can cite two microbial fungi that are considered serious candidates for the wipe out of millions of bees and bats. These fungi were always around but it wasn't until the global temp ticked upward that their populations flourished to the demise of their hosts. Really brutal stuff when you looking at the bats. The problem with persistent warming is that it allows both movement into new areas that may not have an ecosystem built to withstand the newest neighbor or the proliferation of things that flourish in warmth. Microbes are definitely one of those things that flourish in warmth.

Both the bees and the bats (and possibly starfish) are all falling to infectious diseases but in a lot of ways, these creatures could be our canaries in the mine. Mother Nature has a whole lot of diverse tricks up her sleeve and we could grow into an environment where things that have always been with us become deadly.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 01:25 PM
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Rezlooper
Cows today, microscopic organism yesterday....that is why yesterday's mass extinction took 100,000 years, because it was microscopic organisms at fault. This time it will only take decades because cows and man are a lot bigger than tiny little microbes.
Actually it is still microscopic organisms inside the cows (and other grazing animals) who produce the methane emitted by cows.

www.milkproduction.com...

The capacity of an adult dairy cow’s rumen is about 184 liters (49 gallons) and the reticulum is about 16 liters (4.25 gallons). It is one of the most dense microbial habitats in the world. Microscopic organisms called rumen microbes break down (or digest) ingested feed by a fermentation process. ...The cow does not secrete any of her own acids or digestive enzymes in the rumen. Rather, all rumen digestion is done by the microbes....

Dairy cows produce 30-50 liters (8-13 gallons) of gas per hour. Carbon dioxide (CO2) (about 60%) and methane (CH4) (about 40%) are the main waste gases produced by the rumen microbes.
The big concern about methane extinction isn't from cows, it's from all the frozen methane under the ocean. It's thought a temperature rise could cause these large reserves of methane to be released, causing more temperature rise and more methane to be released in a runaway greenhouse effect.

So if you want to worry, the methane frozen in the ocean seems to be more to worry about than methane from cows.

Melting Arctic Ocean Raises Threat of ‘Methane Time Bomb’

Scientists have long believed that thawing permafrost in Arctic soils could release huge amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Now they are watching with increasing concern as methane begins to bubble up from the bottom of the fast-melting Arctic Ocean...

What concerns some scientists is evidence from past geological eras that sudden releases of methane have triggered runaway cycles of climate upheaval.


edit on 2-4-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by keenasbro
 


Oh those pesky gases.

F&S&



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Yep. Methane emissions contribution from cattle is a very small portion of total methane emissions. It's like 1-3% of it. Methane reservoirs are a much, much bigger concern. Great article, btw, on the arctic methane.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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So carbon and nickel were needed to make it bad enough to release that much methane? The article doesn't say how much of these things are in the ocean or atmosphere now but I will assume no nickel since no increase in volcanic activity.

Yesterday I was wondering how the extra warmth impacts the core of the earth. If the planet is heating up faster than it can cool itself back down (keep balance) where is the extra kinetic energy going? It's being absorbed by the earth but how is that distributed? We know the oceans are taking up a bunch of the extra energy but it's not clear to me yet where the rest is going.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by Dianec
 


We know the oceans are taking up a bunch of the extra energy but it's not clear to me yet where the rest is going.
It isn't going anywhere. It's heating the atmosphere, and as you said, the ocean.



posted on Apr, 2 2014 @ 04:55 PM
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Dianec
So carbon and nickel were needed to make it bad enough to release that much methane? The article doesn't say how much of these things are in the ocean or atmosphere now but I will assume no nickel since no increase in volcanic activity.

Yesterday I was wondering how the extra warmth impacts the core of the earth. If the planet is heating up faster than it can cool itself back down (keep balance) where is the extra kinetic energy going? It's being absorbed by the earth but how is that distributed? We know the oceans are taking up a bunch of the extra energy but it's not clear to me yet where the rest is going.



I disagree with you here. I think volcanoes are increasing quite a bit although it's been quiet for the past few weeks (funny how earthquake activity has picked up during that time). Last year had a record-setting 83 eruptions last year. January and February were very active this year, especially in Indonesia.

I think earthquake activity is up as well. I know, I know, the experts say it isn't, but I think small quake activity is way up while the large ones are down and that may be due to less stress from the small quakes relieving it. I also believe the world is experiencing a lot of micro-quakes or fracturing events that are too small to register as quakes and that's why all the sinkholes, land cracks, land slides and slips going on...also could explain the many reports of people hearing loud house-rattling boom sounds without any USGS reports of quakes.

So, that may be where the energy is going...to earthquakes and volcanoes.

And what about the atmosphere. It's hard to deny that there is a lot of extra energy in the weather over the past few years from two of the most powerful hurricanes ever with Sandy and Haiyan, along with massive amounts of moisture in each storm, whether it be summer or winter (snow and rain), and not to mention the power of the wind. Just last week Nova Scotia had a blizzard that packed powerful hurricane-force winds, which was unprecedented. People said they have never seen anything like that in their entire lives.

It seems like we hear a lot of those statements from those who are living through these storms lately. "Never seen anything like it" and that's becoming the new normal. Hard to believe these climate change-deniers can deny all this with a straight face.



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