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Scientists have new suspect in the "Great Dying"

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posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 08:36 AM
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www.cbsnews.com...

(Livescience.com) A great explosive burning of coal set fire and made molten by lava bubbling from the Earth's mantle , looking akin to Kuwait's giant oil fires but lasting anywhere from centuries to millennia, could have been the cause of the world's most-devastating mass extinction, new research suggests.

The event, called the Great Dying, occurred 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period. "The Great Dying was the biggest of all the mass extinctions," said study researcher Darcy Ogden of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. "Estimates suggest up to 96 percent of all marine species and 70 percent of all land species were lost."



Studies earlier this year found evidence of a compound called fly ash, one of the products of coal combustion, in rocks laid down right before this extinction event. The finding suggested a large amount of coal had combusted over a period of tens to thousands of years.

The researchers already knew a series of volcanic eruptions, which gave rise to a region of volcanic rock called the Siberian Traps, occurred around this time and covered up to 2.7 million square miles (7 million square kilometers) in lava. These lava floods, made of molten basalt rock, could have taken out the animals and plants directly in their paths. To have any global impact, however, the volcanic eruptions also would have needed to send airborne ash, soot and gases high into the atmosphere, the researchers noted.

Coal also seems to have been present in the area of the Siberian Traps, and the researchers thought that perhaps the lava burned up a large amount of coal and left the fly ash — but they weren't sure whether it was physically possible. They ran computer simulations of these processes and found evidence that a coal explosion could have been the cause of worldwide climate change and the Great Dying.



The study was published Dec. 19 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


This is rather interesting research into the possible cause of "The Great Dying". This could be one more piece of the puzzle describing the extinction of early life on our planet. There has been many theories as to the cause of the great dying, and this helps support earlier theories of climate change.




posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


How would this cause aquatic life forms to die off?



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


Probably because of the toxic content of the fly ash being mixed into the oceans, and the possibility of the ph of the ash altering the ph of the oceans.

en.wikipedia.org...

Toxic constituents depend upon the specific coal bed makeup, but may include one or more of the following elements or substances in quantities from trace amounts to several percent: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins and PAH compounds.[1][2]

In the past, fly ash was generally released into the atmosphere, but pollution control equipment mandated in recent decades now require that it be captured prior to release. In the US, fly ash is generally stored at coal power plants or placed in landfills. About 43 percent is recycled,[3] often used to supplement Portland cement in concrete production. Some have expressed health concerns about this.[4]

In some cases, such as the burning of solid waste to create electricity ("resource recovery" facilities a.k.a. waste-to-energy facilities), the fly ash may contain higher levels of contaminants than the bottom ash and mixing the fly and bottom ash together brings the proportional levels of contaminants within the range to qualify as nonhazardous waste in a given state, whereas, unmixed, the fly ash would be within the range to qualify as hazardous waste.



edit on 27-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


That could do it. Also, there might have been sulfur in the coal, which would have caused acid rain. Interesting theory.



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 09:00 AM
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what a scary thought. imagine not seeing the sun for 10,000 years in a row. its like a nuclear winter designed by the earth itself and not some atomic scientist. that would lower the temperature of the oceans and the food chain would slowly crumble to a fraction of what it was. same goes for land animals too, not enough food to survive. its amazing these things happened in our far history but we know little to nothing about. I surmise that yellowstone will be the next extinction level event.



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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This reminded me of Centralia, Pennsylvania where the underground coal burning has been going on for decades.



Centralia, Pennsylvania



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by TheLieWeLive
This reminded me of Centralia, Pennsylvania where the underground coal burning has been going on for decades.



Centralia, Pennsylvania
According to Wikipedia there are thousands of coal seam fires like that taking place now.

So if it was a coal fire that caused the great dying, it must have been an extraordinarily large fire and deposit of coal that burned.

Too bad, in another few centuries we'll probably wish we had the coal that burned up.



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 11:44 AM
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Also theres a huge hole in the ground thats burning natural gas off at a prodigious rate....The Russians made that one.....
Look up the door into hell youll find it.....
The extinction level event may be a combination of things.....
The hit in the south east gulf of a large meteor or whatever, may have caused the magma upheaval on the reverse side of the planet.....Mars shows this evidence as well (of damage on the reverse side of big (2000 mile across) crater on the other....
In fact the planet bulged out ward too.....
I could well imagine there would be a shock wave of unbelievable strength meeting itself as it hits the antipodes of the collision site....

edit on 27-12-2011 by stirling because: Simply to say that if the coal fires were the result of magma ejected from the core by the reaction to an earth killer asteroid,Then they would have been far and away the LEAST of earths problems......



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