Recently in the Extinction events Category


Nuclear war would cause many immediate fatalities, but smoke from the resulting fires would also cause climate change lasting up to 15 years that threatens worldwide food production and human health, according to a study by researchers at Rutgers University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and other institutions.

Not long after the dawn of complex animal life, tens of millions of years before the first of the "Big Five" mass extinctions, a rash of die-offs struck the world's oceans. Then, for reasons that scientists have debated for at least 40 years, extinctions slowed down.

Earth's history knows catastrophes which are unimaginable for humans. For example, around 66 million years ago an asteroid impact marked the end of the dinosaur era. Long before however, 252 million years ago at the boundary between the Permian and Triassic epochs, Earth witnessed a far more extreme mass extinction event that extinguished about three-quarters of all species on land and some 95 percent of all species in the ocean.

Imagine reading by the light of an exploded star, brighter than a full moon - it might be fun to think about, but this scene is the prelude to a disaster when the radiation devastates life as we know it.

Recent studies of the effects on the Earth's atmosphere by astrophysical sources, such as nearby gamma-ray bursts or supernovae, have shown that these events could lead to severe changes in atmospheric composition.

Several exoplanets have been discovered to date, and the next step is the search for extraterrestrial life.

The Late Devonian was a protracted period of low speciation resulting in biodiversity decline, culminating in extinction events near the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. Recent evidence indicates that the final extinction event may have coincided with a dramatic drop in stratospheric ozone, possibly due to a global temperature rise.

It's not often that scientists are able to find tuff in continental sedimentation, but this was accomplished in the PreUrals region by Kazan Federal University, Borisyak Institute of Paleontology, and Institute of Geology (the latter two are parts of the Russian Academy of Sciences). This was a first such finding on the territory of European Russia. Radioisotopic analysis was conducted by Boise State University.

The mass extinction at the end of the Permian Peri od 252 million years ago -- one of the great turnovers of life on Earth -- appears to have played out differently and at different times on land and in the sea, according to newly redated fossils beds from South Africa and Australia.

Most researchers believe that the mass extinction 201 million years ago was caused by release of CO2 by volcanism with global warming as a consequence. Now, new data from fern spores suggest there might have been more to it than that.