Study: For Nature Communications
Source: McGill University
Summary of ScienceDaily: „A new study finds volcanic activity played a direct role in triggering extreme climate change at the end of the Triassic period 201 million year ago, wiping out almost half of all existing species.„
Method of Research
The international team of researchers, including McGill Professor Don Baker, investigated and analysed volcanic rocks.
The researchers found evidence of bubbles of carbon dioxide trapped within volcanic rocks which were dated to the end of the Triassic period (Triassic period: 251 million to 199 million years ago). Further analysis of the bubbles preserved within the rocks led to estimations of the amount of carbon dioxide which was released in a single eruption, as the article states it:
„[…] is likely equivalent to the total produced by all human activity during the 21st century, assuming a 2C rise in global temperature above pre-industrial levels.„
The finding supports the theory that volcanic activity contributed to the disastrous climate change which is believed to have caused the mass extinction. It wiped out half of all existing species back then.
According to the researchers, the volcanic carbon dioxide emissions at the end of the Triassic period may have been similar to those predicted in the future.
Lastly, Professor Don Baker said at the end of the article:
„Although we cannot precisely determine the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when these volcanoes erupted, the correlation between this natural injection of carbon dioxide and the end-Triassic extinction should be a warning to us. Even a slight possibility that the carbon dioxide we are now putting into the atmosphere could cause a major extinction event is enough to make me worried.“
The article is relatively short, that’s why sometimes I just phrased it a bit differently.