Navigation Links
Fossil record supports evidence of impending mass extinction

Global temperatures predicted for the coming centuries may trigger a new mass extinction event, where over 50 per cent of animal and plant species would be wiped out, warn scientists at the Universities of York and Leeds.

The research team has, for the first time, discovered a close association between Earth climate and extinctions in a study that has examined the relationship over the past 520 million years almost the entire fossil record available.

Matching data sets of marine and terrestrial diversity against temperature estimates, evidence shows that global biodiversity is relatively low during warm greenhouse phases and extinctions relatively high, while the reverse is true in cooler icehouse phases.

Moreover, future predicted temperatures are within the range of the warmest greenhouse phases that are associated with mass extinction events identified in the fossil record.

The research, published in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B., was carried out by University of York student Gareth Jenkins, together with his supervisor, Dr Peter Mayhew, and University of Leeds Professor Tim Benton, both of whom are population ecologists.

Dr Mayhew says: Our results provide the first clear evidence that global climate may explain substantial variation in the fossil record in a simple and consistent manner. If our results hold for current warming - the magnitude of which is comparable with the long-term fluctuations in Earth climate - they suggest that extinctions will increase.

Of the five mass extinction events(1), four - including the one that eliminated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago - are associated with greenhouse phases. The largest mass extinction event of all, the end-Permian, occurred during one of the warmest ever climatic phases and saw the estimated extinction of 95 per cent of animal and plant species.

The long-term association has not been seen before, as previous studies have largely been confined to relatively short geological periods, limited geographical extents and few groups of organisms, says Professor Benton. But the evidence is striking.


Contact: David Garner
University of York

Related biology news :

1. Scientists find fossil proof of Egypts ancient climate
2. Oldest fossil human protein ever sequenced
3. Oldest cranial, dental and postcranial fossils of early modern European humans confirmed
4. Researchers find new giant amphibian fossils in Africa
5. Molecular fossils uncover link between viruses and the immune system
6. Evidence of 600-million-year old fungi-algae symbiosis discovered in marine fossils
7. Spider blood found in 20 million year old fossil
8. Space matters: Estimating species diversity in the fossil record
9. Virginia Tech, Nanjing Institute researchers discover half-billion year-old fossils
10. Missing fossil link Dallasaurus found
11. Bugs expose underground carbon traffic system 10 times more important than fossil fuel burning
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... and Patent Infringement Risk Analysis" report to their ... Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent a fast ... Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of the number ... the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and 2017 (source ...
(Date:11/20/2015)... OXFORD, Connecticut , November 20, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... its CEO, Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed ... The interview will air on this weekend on ... Bloomberg Latin America . --> NXTD ) ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... authentication market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes BIO-key with the ... Strategy Leadership. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this ... comprehensive product line catering to the needs of the ... which the product line meets and expands on customer ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Oregon , November 25, 2015 ... Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth ... industry.      (Logo: ) ... overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications ... is provided for the international markets including development ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the ... (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost ... but higher volume share for the region in ... however, margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today announced that ... and invited investors to participate via webcast. ... 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time --> ... 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time --> ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or ... financial results for the quarter ended September 30, ... Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial Reporting ... ," said Andrew Rae , President ... iCo-008 are not only value enriching for this ...
Breaking Biology Technology: