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Carbon Implicated In Earth's Most Severe Extinction

11.02.2014 17:42 Age: 4 yrs

Click to enlarge. Artist's rendering of the landscape during end-Permian extinction. Courtesy: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT


By Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office

Pinning dates on an extinction


PNAS reports the significance of this paper as: Mass extinctions are major drivers of macroevolutionary change and mark fundamental transitions in the history of life, yet the feedbacks between environmental perturbation and biological response, which occur on submillennial timescales, are poorly understood. We present a high-precision age model for the end-Permian mass extinction, which was the most severe loss of marine and terrestrial biota in the last 542 My, that allows exploration of the sequence of events at millennial to decamillenial timescales 252 Mya. This record is critical for a better understanding of the punctuated nature and duration of the extinction, the reorganization of the carbon cycle, and a refined evaluation of potential trigger and kill mechanisms





High Precision Time Line For Earth's most severe Extinction by Seth D. Burgessa,Samuel Bowringa, and Shu-zhong Shenb published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.1317692111

Read abstract and get the paper here.



This report courtesy of the MIT News Office  here.