Skip to comments.Earth's massive extinction: The story gets worse
Posted on 01/07/2012 6:23:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Scientists have uncovered a lot about the Earth's greatest extinction event that took place 250 million years ago when rapid climate change wiped out nearly all marine species and a majority of those on land. Now, they have discovered a new culprit likely involved in the annihilation: an influx of mercury into the eco-system.
"No one had ever looked to see if mercury was a potential culprit. This was a time of the greatest volcanic activity in Earth's history and we know today that the largest source of mercury comes from volcanic eruptions," says Dr. Steve Grasby, co-author of a paper published this month in the journal Geology. "We estimate that the mercury released then could have been up to 30 times greater than today's volcanic activity, making the event truly catastrophic." Grasby is a research scientist at Natural Resources Canada and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Benoit Beauchamp, professor of geology at the University of Calgary, says this study is significant because it's the first time mercury has been linked to the cause of the massive extinction that took place during the end of the Permian.
"Geologists, including myself should be taking notes and taking another look at the other five big extinction events," says Beauchamp, also a co-author.
(Excerpt) Read more at physorg.com ...
This graphic shows historical variations of Mercury (Hg) deposition before and after the Latest Permian Extinction event as recorded in a sedimentary section in the High Arctic, Canada. The vertical axis demonstrates the depth of the sedimentary section relative to the extinction boundary while the horizontal looks at the amount of mercury accumulation (concentration in the rock) as measured in milligram per kilogram. Credit: Hamed Sanei, Steve Grasby and Benoit Beauchamp. (Sanei et al., 2012, Geology).
Early Neanderthal EPA consequences of CFL light bulb compliance.
"Researchers at the University of Calgary believe they have discovered evidence to support massive volcanic eruptions burnt significant volumes of coal, producing ash clouds that had broad impact on global oceans... Grasby and colleagues discovered layers of coal ash in rocks from the extinction boundary in Canada's High Arctic that give the first direct proof to support this and have published their findings in Nature Geoscience.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Would traces of Mercury be detectable in Dinosaur bones affected by the event?
LOL! my first thought!
Nope. This way way before dinosaurs even existed.
I’m surprised someone hasn’t blamed volcanos on CO2, mercury, or some other natural product.
Personally, I think liberals cause volcanos. Now what can we do to eradicate liberals? It’s already proven that liberals are a danger to society.
Sacrifice them to the volcano gods?
Volcanic activity as a source of mercury runs a really, really, distant second to sub-sea erosion.
Both are, of course, exponentially greater sources than the burning of coal.
A man made extinction event (MMEE.)
When the contents of millions of these little fellows start reaching the water table we will have big trouble.
All nonexistent information here has been verified by Chokem, Hokem and Fiat.
But are you guys aware that old-fashioned standard fluorescent light bulbs (the long tube types in your shop fixtures, and the circular ones in the kitchen and bathroom) have just as much mercury if not more than CFLs?
The warning about not playing with broken fluorescent bulbs goes back at least to when I was kid in the 50's, and probably way before that.
Anyone like me, who has been in offices and factories where there are hundreds or thousands of 4-foot-long fluorescent tubes in the ceiling, views the current "OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!" reaction to CFLs with a certain amount of skepticism.
Not that the potential danger isn't there -- it is. My point is: it's not a new thing, and somehow civilization survives with all the long tube bulbs too.
The lesson here is: Don't confuse the social/political aspect of CFLs (having them crammed down our throats by bureaucrats) with the technical/scientific aspect which is the same-old-thing as with the long tubes.
I'm not disagreeing with you. Just pointing out that the problem has nothing to do with CFLs in particular, but instead with ALL fluorescent bulbs, including the long straight tubes, and the circular ones, etc. and that somehow we learned to deal with that in the past 60+ years. While there are more little CFLs than big tubes, the CFLs tend to have only a fraction of the mercury of the big ones. It evens out to a degree.
If you're going to complain about mercury in CFLs, be sure to include their bigger brothers too.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.