Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2015 Apr 10;348(6231):229-32. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa0193.

Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction.

Author information

1
School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FE, UK. matthew.clarkson@otago.ac.nz.
2
Faculty of Geosciences and MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany.
3
School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FE, UK.
4
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Laver Building, North Parks Road, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK.
5
Institute of Earth Sciences, NAWI Graz, University of Graz, Heinrichstra├če 26, 8010 Graz, Austria.
6
School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
7
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK.

Abstract

Ocean acidification triggered by Siberian Trap volcanism was a possible kill mechanism for the Permo-Triassic Boundary mass extinction, but direct evidence for an acidification event is lacking. We present a high-resolution seawater pH record across this interval, using boron isotope data combined with a quantitative modeling approach. In the latest Permian, increased ocean alkalinity primed the Earth system with a low level of atmospheric CO2 and a high ocean buffering capacity. The first phase of extinction was coincident with a slow injection of carbon into the atmosphere, and ocean pH remained stable. During the second extinction pulse, however, a rapid and large injection of carbon caused an abrupt acidification event that drove the preferential loss of heavily calcified marine biota.

PMID:
25859043
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaa0193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center