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A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington suggests that atmospheric warming because of greenhouse gases triggered by erupting volcanoes caused the biggest extinction on Earth.
Researchers led by paleontologist Peter Ward said they have found no evidence for an impact at the time of "the Great Dying" 250 million years ago. It occurred at the boundary between the Permian and Triassic periods at a time when all land was concentrated in a supercontinent called Pangea.
"The marine extinction and the land extinction appear to be simultaneous, based on the geochemical evidence we found. Animals and plants both on land and in the sea were dying at the same time, and apparently from the same causes - too much heat and too little oxygen," ward said.
Biggest mass extinction tied to global warming
New evidence shows the culprit was volcanic gases
Scientists call it the Great Dying, a 250-million-year-old catastrophe that wiped out 90 percent of ocean species and 70 percent of land species in the biggest mass extinction in Earth's geologic history.
The cause of this cataclysm is a matter of great dispute among paleontologists, but research released Thursday offers new evidence that global warming caused by massive and prolonged volcanic activity may have been the chief culprit.
Huge amounts of carbon dioxide were released into the air from open volcanic fissures known to geologists as the "Siberian Traps," researchers said, triggering a greenhouse effect that warmed the Earth and depleted oxygen from the atmosphere, causing environmental deterioration and finally collapse.
Originally posted by klain
already covered sorry