/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   News Updates

Poisonous Gas May Have Driven Prehistoric Mass Extinction: Chinese Scientists

Feb 17, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

Chinese scientists have developed a hypothesis that poisonous gas from the deep ocean may have driven one of the severest mass extinctions on the planet.

Sulfureted hydrogen in the depths of the sea may have contributed to the end-Permian extinction that wiped out more than 80 percent of marine life about 250 million years ago, according to the University of Science and Technology of China.

Scientists have posited many hypotheses explaining the mass extinction, including a possible celestial impact and volcano activity.

Through the study of samples of deep-sea sediment, the Chinese team believe they have found evidence indicating the presence of rich sulfureted hydrogen, a poisonous gas, said Shen Yan'an, head of the research.

The interaction between the gas in the deep water with oxygen-rich water on the surface is a deadly mixture, Shen said.

"Today, sulfureted hydrogen exists in some waters in Gulf of Mexico, California and India", said Shen, adding that the findings could also give insight into climate and environmental changes and inform policies.

The findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (Xinhua)

Attachment:

(Editor: CHEN Na)

Related Articles

mass extinction;Permian period;Permian extinction

Rare Geological Formation Hints at Cause of Mass Extinction 250 Million Years Ago

Mar 29, 2017

Recently, a scientific discovery in Qingchuan County, Sichuan province provided a possible clue about what precipitated the largest mass extinction in the earth's history, which happened 250 million years ago, Chengdu Business Daily reported.

USTC;University of Science and Technology of China;foreign student

USTC Sees Rise in Intl Enrollment

Dec 23, 2016

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017, released by the London-based magazine Times Higher Education on September 21, USTC ranks No 153 among the world's best universities and third on the Chinese mainland, only behind Beijing-based Pe...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - 2017 Chinese Academy of Sciences