Researchers, assisted by CASP, identify a new mechanism for end Devonian mass extinction
Remote geological fieldwork conducted over several years by researchers from the University of Southampton and The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge, and supported by CASP has led to a recent publication in Science Advances.
The findings investigate an extinction event at the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary whose cause, unlike other mass-extinction events recorded in Earth history, cannot be readily attributed to a meteorite impact or massive volcanic eruptions. Instead, the research team led by Prof. John Marshall of the University of Southampton, use evidence from misshapen and dark-pigmented spores to suggest that the mass extinction was triggered by the collapse of the ozone layer for a short period, exposing life on land to harmful levels of UV radiation. The event occurred during a period of rapid global warming, and has implications for climate change and life on Earth today.
27 May 2020