New cause found for Earth’s mass extinction [2015/04/30 09:59]

A group of British scientists said they had found a new possible *cause of a *mass extinction 252 million years ago -- Siberian *volcanic eruptions followed by an oceanic change.

The group led by University of Edinburgh geoscientist Rachel Wood said that huge amounts of *carbon dioxide *spewed from the eruptions in the region had killed most land and sea *creatures.

The massive die-off happened because the eruptions had made the world’s oceans dangerously *acidic, Wood said.

He added: “This (finding) is *significant because we believe our modern oceans are becoming *similarly acidic.”

He explained that the finding would help understand the *threat posed by modern-day ocean *acidification.

The British scientists studied rocks in the United Arab Emirates that contained a detailed record of the changing ocean conditions, to find out the causal relationship between the acidic oceans and mass extinction.

They said that ocean acidification had long *been suspected of causing a mass extinction in the past but no direct evidence had been found.

The massive carbon dioxide emissions had changed the *chemical composition of the oceans, leading to the deaths of numerous creatures, the researchers said.
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