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Earth’s ‘dead zone’ was way too hot

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The “dead zone” period that followed the worst extinction of all time lasted 5 million years because it was simply too hot to survive.

The end-Permian mass extinction, which occurred around 250 million years ago in the pre-dinosaur era, wiped out nearly all the world’s species. Typically, the period during which new species are not seen following a mass extinction lasts for tens of thousands of years—not 5 million.

“Global warming has long been linked to the end-Permian mass extinction, but this study is the first to show extreme temperatures kept life from re-starting in Equatorial latitudes for millions of years,” says lead author Yadong Sun, who is based at the University of Leeds.

Full story at Futurity.

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