Global Warming: From the Great Dying to humanity at risk

On this Halloween, who needs ghosts and goblins? The real spooky stuff is in the science.

First, from Science Daily:

The greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history also may have been one of the slowest, according to a study that casts further doubt on the extinction-by-meteor theory.

Creeping environmental stress fueled by volcanic eruptions and global warming was the likely cause of the Great Dying 250 million years ago, said USC doctoral student Catherine Powers.

Writing in the November issue of the journal Geology, Powers and her adviser David Bottjer, professor of earth sciences at USC, describe a slow decline in the diversity of some common marine organisms.

Obviously, this wasn’t a human-caused event, but it demonstrates just how catastrophic such a catastrophe can be. As this NASA article explains, in the Great Dying, up to 90% of marine species and up to 70% of land species were wiped out. All life on Earth almost ended, even as it was still beginning, and global warming seems to have been one of the reasons why.

There is such a steady stream of stories on the current era of global warming, but here are just two new examples…