Who would have ever guessed that there were SUV’s back in the Permian?
Apparently the end-Permian extinction may have so thoroughly wiped out plants, that the carbon cycle broke down…
Tropical Collapse in Early Triassic Caused by Lethal Heat: Extreme Temperatures Blamed for ‘Dead Zone’
A paleogeographic reconstruction of the Early Triassic world (Smithian substage) around 252-247 million years ago, showing a ‘dead zone’ in the tropics. Marine reptiles (ichthyosaurs), terrestrial tetrapods and fish almost exclusively occurred in higher latitudes (>30 °N and >40 °S) with rare exceptions. (Credit: Yadong Sun, University of Leeds
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2012) — Scientists have discovered why the ‘broken world’ following the worst extinction of all time lasted so long — it was simply too hot to survive.
The end-Permian mass extinction, which occurred around 250 million years ago in the pre-dinosaur era, wiped out nearly all the world’s species. Typically, a mass extinction is followed by a ‘dead zone’ during which new species are not seen for tens of thousands of years. In this case, the dead zone, during the Early Triassic period which followed, lasted for a perplexingly long period: five million years.
A study jointly led by the University of Leeds and China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), in collaboration with the University of Erlangen-Nurnburg (Germany), shows the cause of this lengthy devastation was a temperature rise to lethal levels in the tropics: around 50-60°C on land, and 40°C at the sea-surface.
Lead author Yadong Sun, who is based in Leeds while completing a joint PhD in geology, says: “Global warming has long been linked to the end-Permian mass extinction, but this study is the first to show extreme temperatures kept life from re-starting in Equatorial latitudes for millions of years.”
It is also the first study to show water temperatures close to the ocean’s surface can reach 40°C — a near-lethal value at which marine life dies and photosynthesis stops. Until now, climate modellers have assumed sea-surface temperatures cannot surpass 30°C. The findings may help us understand future climate change patterns.
One slight problem with their hypothesis: The Early Triassic rise in atmospheric CO2 followed behind the rise in temperature:
The only way their findings will ever “help us understand future climate change patterns,” will be if they finally accept the fact that the carbon cycle is driven by the climate cycle.