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Palaeontology

World's first animals caused global warming

July 3, 2018 | Comment icon 43 comments



Human activities are not the only cause of climate change. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nobu Tamura
Climate change is not a new thing, as evidenced by global warming that occurred over 500 million years ago.
Back during the Paleozoic era, some of the first animals to have emerged in the world's oceans had begun to break down the organic material found on the seafloor, leading to a rise in carbon dioxide.

This lead to a global warming effect that lasted well over 100 million years.

"Like worms in a garden, tiny creatures on the seabed disturb, mix and recycle dead organic material - a process known as bioturbation," said Professor Tim Lenton from the University of Exeter.

"Because the effect of animals burrowing is so big, you would expect to see big changes in the environment when the whole ocean floor changes from an undisturbed state to a bioturbated state."
Scientists believe that this process may have resulted in several mass extinction events.

"When we ran our model, we were surprised by what we saw," said Dr. Benjamin Mills from the University of Leeds.

"The evolution of these small animals did indeed decrease the oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere, but also increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to such an extent that it caused a global warming event."

"We knew that warming occurred at this point in Earth history, but did not realise it could be driven by animals."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (43)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #34 Posted by Trenix 4 years ago
Explain to me what's wrong with my attitude. Do you believe that some cultures are bad or not? If you feel every culture is unique and good in their own way, than why are you wanting to change African tribes or the caste system and other type of cultures that in the modern world to us is otherwise known as barbaric? Liberals are the same people that fight for feminism, but look the other way when you have a religion that oppresses women with a hijab. We even live in a time where clothing stores in American and Europe, try to be inclusive and try to sell this oppressive clothing to the obliviou... [More]
Comment icon #35 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
Too bad you couldn't come up with a real-life example. There are some out there, you know. Doug
Comment icon #36 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
A friend of mine, a retired professor, is in Africa trying to do just that. He just started his second year of a two-year tour. When he gets back, I'll ask him. A colleague from Zimbabwe has invented a new tree-planting technique. He hopes to apply it in Zimbabwe using profits generated from patents in the US. They aren't as backward as some would have us believe. BTW: have you ever been to Nairobi? Doug
Comment icon #37 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 4 years ago
I've not been to Nairobi, but we spent a week in Kinsaha last year when we went out to Virunga. Wonderful place. Had a a little too much fun.
Comment icon #38 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
You have completely misunderstood what i wrote. As for your attitude in the rest of your posts, you are either very young and uneducated or older and extremely naive...and uneducated.
Comment icon #39 Posted by lost_shaman 4 years ago
Like real temperature records before the Alarmist's "fiddle with" them?
Comment icon #40 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
I have already explained why corrections are needed to historical data. If you take a temperature at noon, you're not going to get the same result as if you took it at 7 a.m. So you have to take that noon temperature and correct it to what the temperature was at 7 so you can average it with all those other data points so you get a meaningful result rather than numerical hogwash. Before November 1883, every station operated on its own time. So every reading has to be time-corrected. And lots of stations have missing data points: the night Kennedy was assassinated a full two-thirds of observ... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by lost_shaman 4 years ago
Well if I was a UFO skeptic and you were making all these excuses,... Id say you have bunk useless data. And "fiddling" with it makes it more bunk and more useless!
Comment icon #42 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
Under socialism, markets are regulated. But that's nothing new. Markets are always regulated/controlled by somebody, whether it's W. W. Hunt cornering the silver market for his own profit, or the US govt closing down monopolies for unfair practices. The question is: in whose interest is the market being regulated? You are mistaking communism for socialism. "From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs" is COMMUNIST doctrine - as stated by Kruschchev. Capitalism does have an advantage, of sorts: when everything goes to hell, capitalism throws people overboard. The w... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
Not excuses. Just necessary adjustments to correct for known errors (You can't correct for unknown errors, so don't even try.). Most - nearly all - historical data is full of problems. That includes measurements taken as recently as yesterday. The Stillwater 2W station is currently off line. To make use of its data when it finally comes back on line, we will need to estimate the missing readings. That will be done using readings from the Marine Mesonet station which is about 12miles away. It helps to have real data when you're talking about a subject like weather/climate. Otherwise, you... [More]


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