Canadian scientists have discovered one of the perpetrators of mass extinction on Earth 250 million years ago is mercury.
'Nobody knows, bankruptcy is the main culprit causing the extinction of most oceanic and land-based creatures 250 million years ago. This is the period when the most active volcano in the history of the Earth has released a lot of mercury , 'said Dr. Steve Grasby, co-author of the article recently published in the Journal of Geology.
'We estimate the amount of mercury released from volcanic eruptions at that time was 30 times greater than the average released mercury of current volcanic activities and actually caused events. catastrophic , 'Mr. Grasby said.
According to Dr. Benoit Beauchamp (professor of geology at the University of Calgary, Canada), this is an important finding because for the first time it helps scientists identify one of the main causes of mass extinction in Permian century.
Dr.Hamed Sanei, TS.Steve Grasby and TS.Benoit Beauchamp
At the end of the century, the amount of mercury was too great for the ocean cushion to be destroyed, causing 95% of marine life to be destroyed.
'Normally, algae have the function of burying mercury in sediments, which helps to reduce the effect under the ocean. But when too much mercury is released, algae cannot work to prevent damage , 'said Dr. Hamed Sanei, one of the researchers, said.
About 250 million years ago, the period before the dinosaurs dominated the Earth and the continent had not been divided, most of the life in the ocean and on land was wiped out. Explaining this phenomenon, scientists often assume that volcanic eruptions burning coal, releasing C02 and deadly toxins are direct causes.
Although compared to the amount of mercury released into the human environment today, the amount of late Permian mercury is much higher, but scientists say in many lakes near the kilns, where the water system is located. Contaminated, mercury levels were found to be similar to those of the Permian ocean. This makes scientists worried that the extinction scenario will once again occur if countries do not take strong measures in time.