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Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:49 AM

Almost all life on Earth was wiped out 2 billion years ago, a new study says

Source: CNN

Almost all life on Earth was wiped out 2 billion years ago, a new study says

By Scottie Andrew, CNN
Updated 0402 GMT (1202 HKT) September 5, 2019

(CNN) — The most catastrophic wipe-out on Earth didn't happen to the dinosaurs.

A new study found extreme changes in the atmosphere killed almost 100% of life on Earth about 2 billion years ago.

Researchers sampled barite, a mineral more than 2 billion years old, in subarctic Canada's Belcher Islands. Rocks that old "lock in chemical signatures," helpful clues for researchers to uncover what the atmosphere was like when the rocks first formed, co-lead author and Stanford University Ph.D. candidate Malcolm Hodgskiss told CNN.

There is such thing as too much oxygen

The study focused on a phenomenon called the "Great Oxidation Event." It goes like this: Billions of years ago, only micro-organisms survived on Earth. When they photosynthesized, they altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere, creating a glut of oxygen they ultimately could not sustain.

Micro-organisms exhausted the nutrients they needed to create oxygen, which knocked the Earth's atmosphere off-kilter. This led to an "enormous drop" in the biosphere -- the amount of life on Earth. Scientists weren't sure just how drastic the drop was until now.

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Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/04/us/life-on-earth-wiped-out-2-billion-years-scn-trnd/index.html

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Related: A productivity collapse to end Earth’s Great Oxidation (PNAS)

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Reply Almost all life on Earth was wiped out 2 billion years ago, a new study says (Original post)
Eugene Sep 2019 OP
empedocles Sep 2019 #1
democratisphere Sep 2019 #2
cstanleytech Sep 2019 #3

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:51 AM

1. Something about longview perspectives, to help one's perspective

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 07:07 AM

2. Carbon dioxide overload will create a similar result.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 04:40 PM

3. I would honestly be more worried about the heat from our power generation which includes automobiles

as a significant portion of it ends up flowing into the rivers and eventually making its way into the oceans causing the temperature to increase and it will probably take a long time for the oceans to get rid of it.
Carbon though can be locked in place via plants but the effects of the heat on the oceans is not as easy to get rid of.

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