The Late Ordovician Extinction – the Tragic Period that Caused the Death of 85% of the Marine Species on Earth

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Scientists have warned that not too long ago, a massive volcanic eruption has caused the extinction of around 85% of the world’s marine species on our planet. The historical event happened 450 million years ago, during the Late Ordovician extinction when both high levels of radiation and the toxic metals present in the atmosphere have influenced global cooling.

Or at least that was believed until now since researchers are coming with more evidence to support the theory that this massive event was caused by volcanic eruptions. According to David Bond, professor at the University of Hull, as well as DR. Stephen Grasby, a scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada, the world’s most aggressive worldwide event was caused by global warming.

Extensive research has shown that during the Late Ordovician period, our planet’s tectonic plates were suffering from a constant movement, making volcanic eruptions and earthquakes normality daily. This theory is supported by a set of Ordovician rocks, which originate from southern Scotland and present impressive amounts of molybdenum, uranium, and mercury.

The ongoing eruptions were emitting so much carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere that global warming was triggered and, slowly but steadily, diminished the levels of oxygen in the oceans, until it remained nothing. To explain this worldwide concern, Professor Bond has used the analogy of a bottle of cola. Therefore, if you live the can outside, in direct sunlight, you will soon end up with a flat Coke, since the carbon dioxide quickly evaporates.

This dark period of Earth’s evolution has brought in more theories, and one of them suggests that the Late Ordovician extinction has been responsible for a widespread glaciation phenomenon at the end of its life. According to experts, this might be the main cause of extinction of the marine ecosystem, but there does not seem to be enough evidence to support this belief.