Cause of worst mass extinction ever found

A new study reveals what caused most life on Earth to die out during the end-Permian extinction, also known as the Great Dying.

Credit: PaleoFactory, Sapienza University of Rome for Jurikova et al., Nature Geoscience 2020.
  • A new paper claims to identify the cause of the Great Dying that occured nearly 252 million years ago.
  • During the worst mass extinction event ever, most of Earth's life perished.
  • The study suggests a volcanic eruption in Siberia spread aerosolized nickel particles that harmed organisms on the planet.
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42,000 years ago Earth experienced "end of days" with mass extinctions

A reversal in Earth's magnetic field 42,000 years ago triggered climate catastrophes and mass extinctions. Can the field flip again?

Credit: Zenobilis / Adobe Stock.
  • The Earth's magnetic field flipped about 42,000 years ago.
  • This reversal caused major climate changes, electrical storms, and mass extinction of life.
  • The so-called "Adams Event" also may have led to the demise of the Neanderthals and remarkable cave art.
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    Rock study may have just revealed cause of Triassic mass extinction

    Rocks from two hundred million years ago show us how everything died and how nothing is new.

    Credit: Elenarts/Shutterstock
    • A new study suggests that the mass extinction that gave dinosaurs the evolutionary upper hand was caused by oceanic oxygen deprivation.
    • Using ratios of sulfur isotopes, researchers could estimate changes in ocean oxygen levels in ancient seas.
    • The authors suggest a similar mechanism as that which can cause dead zones in oceans today caused a mass extinction.
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    Polar bears could be extinct by 2100, says heartbreaking new study

    If Arctic ice continues to melt at its projected rate, the bears will go extinct due to starvation by the end of the century according to a first-ever projected timeline.

    • A new report on climate change by the University of Toronto is projecting that most of the polar bear population could reach extinction in under 100 years due to starvation.
    • Polar bears are dependent on sea ice for hunting seals, a primary component of their diet. As temperatures rise and sea ice continues to shrink it has become increasingly challenging for the carnivores to hunt for food.
    • The Arctic is likely to have warmed more than double the amount of the global average this year compared to pre-industrial temperatures.
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    Titanosaur footprints discovered on the roof of a French cave

    Scientists discovered footprints made by some of the largest creatures ever to walk the Earth.

    Credit: Jean-David Moreau et al./J. Vertebr. Paleontol.
    • Paleontologists published a paper on the discovery of dinosaur footprints on the roof of a French cave.
    • The prints are deep underground and were made during the Middle Jurassic period.
    • The footprints belonged to titanosaurs, the largest land animals ever.
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