Photo: Scott Simper
Scientists in the US, Canada and Russia revealed that the cause of the largest extinction in Earth’s history could become a huge fire due to volcanic activity 252 million years ago. This was reported in an article published in the journal Geology.
The mass extinction of species at the boundary of the Permian and Triassic period called the Great extinction, is considered the most deadly in the history of the planet. Estimated to have died out 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of terrestrial creatures. It is believed that the main cause of the disaster were the Siberian traps — a massive continental outpouring of magma to the surface, which lasted about two million years. However, it remained unknown exactly how the volcanic activity was fatal to the biosphere.
According to one hypothesis, the main role played by the global warming, but volcanoes were not able to saturate the atmosphere with enough carbon. Scientists came to the conclusion that the Siberian trapps led to a global conflagration which burned huge amounts of fossil coal, carbonates and shale. This is confirmed by the results of the analysis of ancient volcanic rocks along the river Angara in Siberia.
The researchers found in the samples traces of burned coal and wood. This was direct evidence of fires due to magma flow. According to scientists, the picture is similar today, but now the cause is the burning of fossil fuels by mankind.
Video, photo All from Russia.