Researchers studying the largest-ever mass extinction in Earth’s history claim to have found evidence that it was caused by runaway global warming – and that the “apocalyptic” events of 250 million years ago could happen again.
About 90 per cent of all the living things on the planet were wiped out in the Permian mass extinction – described in a 2005 book called When Life Nearly Died – for reasons that have been long debated by scientists.
Competing theories have been put forward, including meteor strikes, huge volcanic eruptions and climate change.
Now a team of researchers from Canada, Italy, Germany and the US say they have discovered what happened and that their findings have “an important lesson for humanity” in how we deal with current global warming.
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