What is meant by the “Great Dying”?
The term ‘Great Dying’ refers to the planet’s biggest mass extinction of species that had wiped out most newly evolved lives in the oceans. It occurred around 252 million years ago and is also referred to as the Permian extinction.
It was caused by global warming that left ocean animals unable to breathe. Roughly 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land species went extinct.
What led to extinction?
A series of volcanic eruptions in central Siberia near the end of the era released massive amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. The uncontrolled GHG emissions triggered climatic changes.
Earth is going through a similar phase of warming. Today, scientists from Stanford University warn of the imminent mass extinction of marine species similar to the Permian extinction that wiped out most lives in oceans.
The deep oceans are warming. The energy accumulated by the ocean is referred to as its heat content. In comparison to ocean water, which can hold 1000 times more heat, the atmosphere has a low heat capacity. As a result, the majority of the heat emitted by GHGs is absorbed by the ocean. In 2021, the heat content of the ocean reached a new high.
Recently, the UN (United Nations) Ocean Conference 2022 was held to ensure global cooperation toward protecting and sustaining the Ocean ecosystem in the world. Kenya and Portugal co-hosted it in Lisbon, Portugal.