"The Permian mass extinction is now thought to have been caused by
gigantic volcanic eruptions that triggered a runaway greenhouse effect
and nearly put an end to life on Earth."
Source: Copyright 2003 Sydney Morning Herald
Date: June 20, 2003
Researchers at Bristol University have discovered that a mere 6
degrees of global warming was enough to wipe out up to 95 per cent
of the species which were alive on earth at the end of the Permian
period, 250 million years ago.
United Nations scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change predict up to 6 degrees of warming for the next 100
years if nothing is done about emissions of greenhouse gases,
principally carbon dioxide, the chief cause of global warming.
The Permian mass extinction is now thought to have been caused by
gigantic volcanic eruptions that triggered a runaway greenhouse
effect and nearly put an end to life on Earth.
Conditions in what geologists have termed this "post apocalyptic
greenhouse" were so severe that only one large land animal was
left alive and it took 100 million years for species diversity to
return to former levels.
This dramatic new finding is revealed in a book by Bristol
University's head of earth sciences, Michael Benton, which
chronicles the geological efforts leading up to the discovery and
its potential implications.
Professor Benton said: "The Permian crisis nearly marked the end
of life. It's estimated that fewer than one in 10 species
"Geologists are only now coming to appreciate the severity of this
global catastrophe and to understand how and why so many species
died out so quickly."
Other climate experts say they are appalled that a disaster of
such magnitude could be repeated within this century because of
Global warming author Mark Lynas, who recently travelled around
the world witnessing the impact of climate change, said the
findings must be a wake up call for politicians and citizens
alike.He said: "This is a global emergency.
"We are heading for disaster and yet the world is on fossil fuel
lot." There needs to be an immediate phase-out of coal, oil and
gas and a phase in of clean energy sources. People can no longer
ignore this looming catastrophe."
(degrees in C)
Major extinctions: Permian (250 mya) and PETM (55 mya)
> carbon dioxide, the chief cause of global warming<
The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER!
Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today!