NOVA: Permian Extinction
January 28, 2011
You may have seen this week’s post on how new evidence from northern Canada about Earth’s greenhouse past was a smoking gun in a 250 million year old mystery – how 90 percent of everything alive on the planet could have gone extinct, in a massive, nightmarish spasm known as the Permian Extinction.
Over the last few decades, a growing body of evidence has come to light indicating that the Permian was not, like the much more recent extinction that killed the dinosaurs, the result of an asteroid strike, but rather, a volcanically kick-started Greenhouse event.
A few years ago, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, astrophysicist and Project Scientist at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, hosted a NOVA piece that outlined the major puzzle pieces of what we know about this catyclysm, and why it matters today.
Can we drop the “CO2 was higher in the past, so it’s harmless” crock, now?