HomeEarthVolcanic fertilization of the ocean caused mass extinction

Volcanic fertilization of the ocean caused mass extinction

University of Southampton researchers have found out that two intense periods of volcanism caused a period of global cooling and falling oxygen levels in the oceans. Scientists think that this has caused one of the most severe mass extinctions in Earth.

Researchers have studied how volcanic ash and lava affects ocean chemistry around 450 million years ago. This research paper has been published in Nature Geoscience.

This period bought intense cooling environment on Earth. This cooling down caused a mass extinction and about 85% of species living in the ocean extinct. This extinction caused reshaping of the entire course of evolution of life on Earth.

Scientists say that global cooling increased phosphorus in the ocean. Phosphorus helps tiny aquatic organisms to photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into organic matter. These organic matters settle down in the seabed and reduces the levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean which causes cooling.

Scientists are puzzled by this question that why glaciation and extinction happened in two different times.

Scientists identified two big volcanic explosions across the globe, one is in North America and another is in South China. These eruptions caused massive COrelease that caused massive cooling.

After lava is deposited in the ocean, it goes through rapid chemical alteration. This alteration released phosphorus that effectively fertilized the ocean.


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