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Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:47 PM

The Day the Earth nearly Died


Here's the end of the documentary which wraps it all up. But I would suggest watching the whole thing below. Fascinating like a detective thriller. This animal pictured is practically the only animal that survived somehow. It is the ancestor of all mammals.




The Permian Extinction occured 250 Millions years ago, which caused extinction of 95% of all living species in both animals & plants life. This extinction was slow and took nearly 80000 years in 3 stages: -
1- Increase in world temperature by 5 degrees Centigrade caused by super lengthy eruptions of Siberian Traps
2-melting the frozen reservoirs of Methane gas in the seabeds and releasing Carbon 12 (C12), which is a green house gas and raised sea temp by another 5 degrees,
3-world temp raised 10 degrees and that caused the mass extinctions

It took Earth millions of years to recover and after 20 million years the Dinosaurs first appeared.

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Day the Earth nearly Died (Original post)
ErikJ Jan 2013 OP
byronius Jan 2013 #1
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #2
jimlup Jan 2013 #3
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #4
caseymoz Jan 2013 #8
ErikJ Jan 2013 #16
caseymoz Jan 2013 #19
ErikJ Jan 2013 #20
caseymoz Jan 2013 #21
MynameisBlarney Jan 2013 #14
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #5
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #7
Scuba Jan 2013 #6
FailureToCommunicate Jan 2013 #9
Speck Tater Jan 2013 #10
Scootaloo Jan 2013 #11
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #12
MynameisBlarney Jan 2013 #13
ErikJ Jan 2013 #17
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #15
cantbeserious Jan 2013 #18
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #22
ErikJ Jan 2013 #23
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #24
ErikJ Jan 2013 #25

Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:25 PM

1. Powerful. Great post.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:30 PM

2. That's really interesting.

I'll watch the full version when I have a little more time. We went to see the movie "Chasing Ice" this afternoon. I fear we may be on the same sort of trajectory.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:41 PM

3. The Permian Extinction Event is incredibly important for us to understand right now

We may well be facing this or worse. Yes, I know that I'm sounding alarmist. I think we should be freaking VERY ALARMED! If this is a 10% we are in deep deep shit and need to rethink our whole strategy as a civilization.

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Response to jimlup (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:35 PM

4. TBH, probably not on a Permian level.

And in fact, research suggests there may have been more than just those two factors to the Permian collapse......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian–Triassic_extinction_event#Causes_of_the_extinction_event

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Response to jimlup (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:01 PM

8. It did take 80,000 years.


Take it seriously, but don't panic.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:54 PM

16. CO2 injection far higher now than Permian extinction.

Life in the Sea Found Its Fate in a Paroxysm of Extinction

ALANNA MITCHELL
Published: April 30, 2012 NYTimes

It may never be as well known as the Cretaceous extinction, the one that killed off the dinosaurs. Yet the much earlier Permian extinction — 252 million years ago — was by far the most catastrophic of the planet’s five known paroxysms of species loss.

.....................................clip

“Corals, I think, are going to take it on the chin,” he said.

In a recent study, Dr. Langdon examined the effects of naturally high acidification on coral reefs in Papua New Guinea. They showed drastic declines in coral cover at acidity levels likely to be present in the ocean by the end of this century, especially among branching corals that shelter fish.

Hans Pörtner, an animal ecophysiologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, said his work showed that a warmer ocean with less dissolved oxygen and greater acidity had an array of negative physiological effects on modern marine animals.

The Permian extinction provides an archive of effects suggesting how modern marine creatures will fare as the carbon load in the atmosphere increases, he said.

Like Dr. Clapham, he cautioned that the trends between the two periods were not exactly comparable. Back in the Permian, the planet had a single supercontinent, Pangea, and ocean currents were different.

And he and Dr. Langdon noted that carbon was being injected into the atmosphere today far faster than during the Permian extinction. As Dr. Knoll put it, “Today, humans turn out to be every bit as good as volcanoes at putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/science/new-studies-of-permian-extinction-shed-light-on-the-great-dying.html?pagewanted=all

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 01:38 AM

19. Why didn't the Eocene Thermal Maximum lead to extinction then?

They estimate, by the latest information I have, that the Siberian Traps Eruptions triggered the disaster by raising global temperatures five degrees Celsius.

During the Eocene Thermal Maximum, 55 million years ago, temperatures went up six degrees Celsius over 20 thousand years and remained about that high for another 100 thousand years. There was no oceanic ice for 100 thousand years.

There was also no mass extinction even on the order of the Cretaceous, much less the Permian. For life, it was a mere speed bump.

Which two hundred years in the Permian extinction are they comparing this to? Look at the two previous theories they had on the Permian extinction, and how long did they last? Did those scientists sound any less certain than the ones now with the current theory? Trends you see in the previous 200 years say nothing about trends in the next.

I'm not saying do nothing about Global Warming; I'm not saying don't take drastic measures; I'm not saying even disbelieve the theory.

I'm saying the extinction scenario they describe is hardly deductive. Paleontologists studying periods hundreds of millions of years ago, from rather scant information compared to 100 thousand years ago, may be more careful about what they say if they knew their theories would be used to debate major policies.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:42 AM

20. Still most popular theory

The STraps rose the temp 5 degrees and then the melted methane raised it another 5.

Here's a recent article about the Eocene Thermal Maximum.

Methane May Be Answer to 56-Million-Year Question: Ocean Could Have Contained Enough Methane to Cause Drastic Climate Change
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109111542.htm

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:43 PM

21. Yes, but that should have caused a runaway increase to 10 degrees.


According to what they think happened in the Permian.

We're obviously going to have a very different planet when the methane is released. As powerful a greenhouse gas as methane is, there is some good news about it: unlike CO2, it isn't stable. It will react and "burn." Unfortunately, when it does, it produces Co2 and water vapor. Still, that's not as bad as methane.

Therefore, the greatest effect of methane is short lived. Meaning, with a big increase, you'll probably get broiling temperatures immediately which will drop back to simply "hot" in a year or two.

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Response to jimlup (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:57 AM

14. I think it's already too late

Just kick back and enjoy what's left of the ride.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:45 PM

5. Aren't they already worried about methane bubbling up in Antarctica?

This is scary.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:47 PM

6. Half reptile - half mammal. Sounds like today's Republicans.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:15 AM

9. ...after they lost the mammal half.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:44 AM

10. Very Interesting . I enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing. nt

 

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:24 AM

11. Lystrosaurus was not the ancestor of all mammals

The genus did become radically abundant after the Permian extinction event, but it wasn't the only survivor. Mammals hail from the order Theriodonta, while Lystrosaurus belong to Neotherapsida

Think of lystrosaurus as a rabbit, basically... they were bout the same size, and filled roughly hte same niche. Small herbivore. Like other small herbivores it was probably a choice food item and probably bred relatively swiftly; if you can imagine a world where rabbits lived after most of hteir predators dropepd dead, you can imagine the sort of world lystrosaurus inherited.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:13 AM

12. The Day The Earth Nearly Died - programme summary

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:55 AM

13. Thanks

I love this kinda stuff.

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:21 PM

17. YW. David Attenborough

Last edited Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:33 PM - Edit history (1)

I do too. Ive always loved paleontology and evolution especially since I first read Attenborough's book "Life on Earth". I almost decided to go for a paleontology MS degree but got sidetracked. I love geology too so this Permian extinction is very interesting. I just hope we dont repeat it now! They say CO2 output is higher now than the Permian.

We had a huge lava floods here in the PNW (far smaller than the Siberian Traps) from 17-13 million years ago and formed much of the PNW. It was from volcanic faults in NE Oregon from a "hot spot" in the earth's crust that has migrated since across southern Idaho to Yellowstone now.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:34 PM

15. So what is the natural process that unwound that 10c increase?

Carbon sequestration in the oceans/rocks? How long did it take for the earth to return to temperatures prior to the volcanic activity?

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:53 PM

18. Thank You For Sharing

eom

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:15 PM

22. Important to remember that we, and all our effects on the planet- while significant- are a blip.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:11 PM

23. Human carbon dioxide emissions dwarf global volcanic carbon dioxide emissions.

"Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions dwarf global volcanic carbon dioxide emissions," study researcher Terrance Gerlach, of the U.S. Geological Survey, said in a statement. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.

Gerlach crunched the carbon dioxide numbers from earlier studies of volcanic output, finding a range of 0.13 to 0.44 billion metric tons, or gigatons, of CO2 per year. In comparison, the estimated rate of human carbon dioxide emissions for 2010 alone is 35 billion metric tons.

http://www.livescience.com/14591-carbon-dioxide-emissions-humans-volcanoes.html

And as I said earlier, current human CO2 emmissions dwarf the Permian Siberian Traps CO2 emmissions as well.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:23 PM

24. Your last sentence is not backed up by the article you link to.

If you have data that says current human CO2 emissions dwarf speculated CO2 emissions levels from the permian extinction event (if indeed it was caused by Vulcanism) i would be interested in seeing that, however the article you link to states that human CO2 emissions dwarf current volcanic CO2 emissions. Not the same thing.

That said, please be clear that I am not minimizing the impact humans are having on the current Climate. However, it is not unprecedented. Mass extinctions, die offs and long-term climatlogical disasters are not "unprecedented" either, so I am also NOT suggesting that what we are doing is acceptable.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:18 PM

25. See post #16

The Permian extinction provides an archive of effects suggesting how modern marine creatures will fare as the carbon load in the atmosphere increases, he said.

Like Dr. Clapham, he cautioned that the trends between the two periods were not exactly comparable. Back in the Permian, the planet had a single supercontinent, Pangea, and ocean currents were different.

And he and Dr. Langdon noted that carbon was being injected into the atmosphere today far faster than during the Permian extinction. As Dr. Knoll put it, “Today, humans turn out to be every bit as good as volcanoes at putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/science/new-studies-of-permian-extinction-shed-light-on-the-great-dying.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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