At Arizona State University, the scientists believe that the changes in climate that occurred 250 million years ago should blame the burning of coal in Siberia. A group of the researchers at Arizona University found a direct evidence to that assumption. They believe that the massive burning of coal caused the extinction of living organisms in Permo-Triassic deposits.
As part of the study, a group of specialists focused on volcanic rocks in the territory of modern Russia, where the Siberian traps are located. They could form mass eruptions, and these events, the scientists called the largest volcanic phenomena in the last 500 million years.
The eruptions lasted a long period of time, affecting the Permian-Triassic border. Today, the territory of these events is ideal for the researchers who want to understand the causes of the extinction that occurred on the Earth about 252 million years ago. During that period, 96% of all the marine species and almost 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species have disappeared.
Calculating the temperature of sea water of that period of time, the researchers found out that at the peak of extinction, the planet underwent very powerful warming. And to restore the lost species to the planet, it took several million years. Among the possible causes of events, the science is considering the massive burning of coal.
That could lead to catastrophic warming, which turned out to be destructive for the life on the Earth. The study of volcanic strata in the Siberian regions was difficult. The researchers have discovered the high cliffs made up of volcanic rocks. Basalt was present in their composition and these rocks are located on the Angara River.
The scientific expedition lasted six years, all the samples were subjected to the various types of analyzes, and most of them looked like a burnt coal. Similar samples, but in small numbers, were found in Canada. It gives a reason to believe that huge volumes of flowing magma burned a huge amount of coal and organic matter during the eruption. It could indeed cause a change in climatic conditions.