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Largest extinction in Earth's history linked to mass oxygen spike

250 million years ago, 96% of the planet's marine life and 70% of the land animals died, and researchers think they know why.

@Jak_ConnorTT
Published Thu, Aug 5 2021 2:33 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Sep 7 2021 12:36 AM CDT

Researchers have been able to link an oxygen event 250 million years ago to Earth's largest extinction event.

Largest extinction in Earth's history linked to mass oxygen spike 01 | TweakTown.com

The largest extinction in Earth's history, where 96% of the planet's marine life and 70% of the land animals died, has been linked to an oxygen event. The largest extinction event to ever happen on Earth marked the ending of the Permian period 250 million years ago, and now according to a new study published in Nature Geoscience by researchers from Florida State University (FSU), a sudden rise and then a drop in the ocean's oxygen levels coincided with the mass extinction event.

Sean Newby, the lead author on the study and FSU graduate research assistant, said, "There's previous work that's been done that shows the environment becoming less oxygenated leading into the extinction event, but it has been hypothesized as a gradual change. We were surprised to see this really rapid oxygenation event coinciding with the start of the extinction and then a return to reducing conditions."

Researchers already knew that the ocean's oxygen content was decreasing, but what was the new finding was the sudden spike in oxygen levels. So, what caused the sudden spike? Researchers can confirm anything as of yet, but speculation is pointing to several hundred years of volcanic eruptions that caused the spike, and then as the eruptions slowed, the ocean's oxygen levels crashed.

If you are interested in reading more about this story, check out this link here.

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NEWS SOURCES:nature.com, phys.org

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest news. Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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