Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Microbes guilty of killing 90% of the world's former inhabitants

Methanosarcina are ocean living microbes , although they are part of the global ecosystem , scientists at MIT have directly blamed these small creatures for wiping out around 90% of Earth's former inhabitants some 252 million years ago . The sea living microbes survive on organic carbon and nickel pumped by volcanic eruptions , and in return they release methane giving rise to a highly acidic ocean and a poisonous atmosphere. Due to the apocalyptic event caused by a large meteor strike and uncontrollable volcanic eruptions ,the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ocean increased rapidly , however the volcanic eruptions , according to the new findings , was just one of the contributors for the downfall of Earths former biosphere. The MIT Team found signs of high carbon containing gasses in previous rock sediment research projects caused by the said Eruptions,however as the volcanoes die down , the level of Carbon gases should gradually decrease as well , but according to Gregory Fournier of MIT it is not so and "Instead, we see the opposite: a rapid, continuing increase". The reason behind this is now linked to our microbial culprits - Methanosarcina .

According to the study , the Microbes quickly adapted to their new CO2 rich waters and started producing Methane as output ,The increase in Nickel due to the eruptions might have also played a part and according to Gregory , "That suggests a microbial expansion. The growth of microbial populations is among the few phenomena capable of increasing carbon production exponentially, or even faster."

Due to this combination , the excess release of harmful gases affected the temperature of the oceans and the atmosphere making most marine life extinct ,creatures on land suffered a similar fate as most of the reptiles and mammals ran out of plant life for food leading to a collapse in the food chain . however creatures that escaped destiny adapted and grew into the bio-diverse world we live in now .

Sources - MIT ,SlashGear ,Reuters

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