Science/Environment

Global Warming Killed 90% of Life on Earth?

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Could be true.

Mounting evidence suggests a supervolcano located in modern-day Siberia may have killed 90% of life on Earth by wrecking havoc on the planet’s climate. The event happened 250 million years ago at the end of the Permian era.

The theory is the supervolcano’s magmas intruded on massive coal fields and turned the volcano into the world’s largest carbon burning plant, spewing out 100,000 gigatons of carbon. Reaction with salt deposits may have also shot methyl chloride into the atmosphere, causing the ozone layer to effectively collapse. The volcano remained active for 200,000 years, so the timeframe for this climate destruction remains unclear.

Global warming has been an increasingly popular theory as to what caused the Permian mass extinction. The question is, can our own carbon spewing ways lead to a similarly drastic result? In total, humanity is responsible for the emission of about 8 gigatons of carbon a year. But I’m guessing our planet and climate are quite different from that found 250 million years ago. Nevertheless, the research is fascinating.