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TitleEnvironmental crises at the Permian-Triassic mass extinction
AuthorDal Corso, J; Song, H; Callegaro, S; Chu, D; Sun, Y; Hilton, J; Grasby, S EORCID logo; Joachimski, M M; Wignall, P B
SourceNature Reviews Earth & Environment 3, 2022 p. 197-214, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210351
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf
ProvinceCanada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 90.0000 -90.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; paleontology; geochemistry; sedimentology; stratigraphy; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; extinctions, biotic; tectonic setting; magmatism; volcanism; ecosystems; paleoenvironment; paleoclimates; oceanography; atmospheric geochemistry; sea water geochemistry; geological history; marine environments; biostratigraphy; faunas; type sections; fossils; microfossils; statistical analyses; Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province (STLIP); Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction; Signor-Lipps Effect; Biodiversity; Terrestrial ecosystems; Aquatic ecosystems; Phanerozoic; Mesozoic; Triassic; Paleozoic; Permian
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; bar graphs; biostratigraphic charts; geochemical profiles; schematic representations; plots; correlation charts
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Western Arctic Project Management
Released2022 02 22
AbstractThe link between the Permian-Triassic mass extinction (252 million years ago) and the emplacement of the Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province (STLIP) was first proposed in the 1990s. However, the complex cascade of volcanically driven environmental and biological events that led to the largest known extinction remains challenging to reconstruct. In this Review, we critically evaluate the geological evidence and discuss the current hypotheses surrounding the kill mechanisms of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. The initial extrusive and pyroclastic phase of STLIP volcanism was coeval with a widespread crisis of terrestrial biota and increased stress on marine animal species at high northern latitudes. The terrestrial ecological disturbance probably started 60-370 thousand years before that in the ocean, indicating different response times of terrestrial and marine ecosystems to the Siberian Traps eruptions, and was related to increased seasonality, ozone depletion and acid rain, the effects of which could have lasted more than 1 million years. The mainly intrusive STLIP phase that followed is linked with the final collapse of terrestrial ecosystems and the rapid (around 60 thousand years) extinction of 81-94% of marine species, potentially related to a combination of global warming, anoxia and ocean acidification. Nevertheless, the ultimate reasons for the exceptional severity of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction remain debated. Improved geochronology (especially of terrestrial records and STLIP products), tighter ecological constraints and higher-resolution Earth system modelling are needed to resolve the causal relations between volcanism, environmental perturbations and the patterns of ecosystem collapse.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
As part of GEM research several key findings have been made in the Canadian Arctic related to volcanic induced greenhouse climates that lead to the most severe mass extinction in Earth history, at the end of the Permian 252 million years ago. Given the importance of these findings to understanding earth response to greenhouse climates the editors of Nature, the worlds most prestigious science journal, requested that Grasby and a group of others prepare a review paper on the topic. Findings point to the dramatic warming caused by CO2 emissions of volcanoes that lead to run away global warming, affecting first terrestrial environments and then later marine ecosystems, leading to loss of over 90% of species on Earth.

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