• Пн. Сер 8th, 2022

Economic news / Економічні новини

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Cause of ancient climate catastrophe identified

Відadmin

Чер 25, 2022

Scientists from the University of Southampton (UK) and their colleagues from other countries have found that the stretching of ancient continents is likely to have caused one of the most extreme and catastrophic episodes of global warming in the history of the Earth. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Experts studied the impact of global tectonic forces and volcanic eruptions during the period of extreme environmental changes that occurred 56 million years ago. During this time, some sequence of events caused the planet to warm by 5-8 degrees Celsius, leading to the “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” or PETM, which lasted about 170 thousand years. This caused the extinction of many deep-sea organisms, changing the course of the evolution of life on Earth.

The researchers suggest that the extensive stretching of the continental plates in the northern hemisphere has significantly reduced the pressure in the interior of the Earth. This led to intense but short-term melting of the mantle. Scientists have determined that the resulting volcanic activity likely caused a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere associated with climate change.

Scientists analyzed rock samples taken from the seabed near the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The team found evidence of a sudden and wide-ranging episode of volcanic activity in the North Atlantic Ocean that lasted just over 200,000 years, matching the duration of PETM. A huge amount of carbon was released into the atmosphere, which, in turn, led to global warming.