We do know that 3 months ago,(1) we did tell you that super volcanoes did cause the mass extinction at the P/T boundary of 250 million years ago (praise Science). We did tell you before that it was from the impacts of asteroids, but we will now tell you that we do have a new idea.(2) We know you will like it.
We do now assert that the mass extinction may have been the result of climate change. We do know that you are terrified of global warming (praise Science), and we hope you will be even more scared when we are done telling you about just how catastrophic climate change has been in the past.
We do now say that great salt lakes emitted a high level of halogenated gases, which did so dramatically change the composition of the atmosphere as to irretrievably damage vegetation.
According to one of our faithful:
“Our calculations show that airborne pollutants from giant salt lakes like the Zechstein Sea must have had catastrophic effects at that time”, states co-author Dr. Ludwig Weißflog from the Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research (UFZ). Forecasts predict an increase in the surface areas of deserts and salt lakes due to climate change. That is why the researchers expect that the effects of these halogenated gases will equally increase.
With a great salt lake the size of France, we predict that the emissions would have been catastrophic. We then make the direct link to today’s global warming and the CO2 cycle (praise Science). We do hope you are paying attention, so we can save you from dying off like some of our last common ancestors did a long long time ago. We do so, perhaps, knowing full well that we are standing in the way of our motto: “Through death comes life and progress.”
Based on both of these findings the researchers were able to form their new hypothesis: At the end of the Permian Age the emissions of halogenated gases from the Zechstein Sea and other salt seas were responsible in a complex chain of events for the world’s largest mass extinction in the history of the earth, in which about 90 percent of the animal and plant species of that time became extinct.
According to the forecast from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), increasing temperatures and aridity due to climate change will also speed up desertification, increasing with it the number and surface area of salt seas, salt lagoons and salt marshlands. Moreover, this will then lead to an increase in naturally formed halogenated gases. The phytotoxic effects of these substances become intensified in conjunction with other atmospheric pollutants and at the same time increasing dryness and exponentiate the eco-toxicological consequences of climate change.
We do hope you are pleased with our latest tale, and want you to know that we are working to incorporate this into future climate models in a desperate attempt to save your life.
(1). New Theory on Largest Known Mass Extinction in Earth’s History, Science Daily, 3/31/09
(2). A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXII, 12/31/08