Left Menu
Development News Edition

Severe mass-extinction occurred on Earth 260 million years ago: Study

PTI | Newyork | Updated: 16-09-2019 17:06 IST | Created: 16-09-2019 16:52 IST
Severe mass-extinction occurred on Earth 260 million years ago: Study
Image Credit: Flickr

The Earth experienced a previously underestimated severe mass-extinction event, which occurred about 260 million years ago, raising the total of such major events in the history of our planet to six, according to a study. "It is crucial that we know the number of severe mass extinctions and their timing in order to investigate their causes," said Michael Rampino, a professor at New York University in the US.

"Notably, all six major mass extinctions are correlated with devastating environmental upheavals -- specifically, massive flood-basalt eruptions, each covering more than a million square kilometers with thick lava flows," Rampino said. Scientists had previously determined that there were five major mass-extinction events, wiping out large numbers of species and defining the ends of geological periods: the end of the Ordovician (443 million years ago), the Late Devonian (372 million years ago), the Permian (252 million years ago), the Triassic (201 million years ago), and the Cretaceous (66 million years ago).

Many researchers have raised concerns about the contemporary, ongoing loss of species diversity -- a development that might be labelled a "seventh extinction" because such a modern mass extinction, scientists have predicted, could end up being as severe as these past events. The study, published in the journal Historical Biology, focused on the Guadalupian, or Middle Permian period, which lasted from 272 to about 260 million years ago.

The researchers observe, the end-Guadalupian extinction event -- which affected life on land and in the seas -- occurred at the same time as the Emeishan flood-basalt eruption that produced the Emeishan Traps, an extensive rock formation, found today in southern China. The eruption's impact was akin to those causing other known severe mass extinctions, Rampino said.

"Massive eruptions such as this one release large amounts of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide and methane, that cause severe global warming, with warm, oxygen-poor oceans that are not conducive to marine life," he noted. "In terms of both losses in the number of species and overall ecological damage, the end-Guadalupian event now ranks as major mass extinction, similar to the other five," the researchers said.



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...


Latest News

Tennis-Halep taking her game to a higher plane after shutdown

Simona Halep said she had found inner calm during tenniss coronavius shutdown and that she had returned to the courts with more maturity and perspective on the game. Halep won the Dubai title before the WTA Tours suspension in March and lif...

Parliament passes Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Parliament passes Banking Regulation Amendment Bill, 2020....

Many coop banks came under stress during COVID; their finances being closely monitored by regulator RBI: FM in Rajya Sabha.

Many coop banks came under stress during COVID their finances being closely monitored by regulator RBI FM in Rajya Sabha....

Italy's bond yields hold near 7-month lows as Salvini falls short

Italys borrowing costs fell on Tuesday towards their lowest levels in seven months on a perceived reduction in political risk as right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini failed to make the breakthroughs he had hoped for in regional elect...

Give Feedback