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Article: Gradual warming prior to the end-Permian mass extinction

Palaeontology - Vol. 66 - Cover Image
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 65
Part: 5
Publication Date: 2022
Article number: e12621
Author(s): Jana Gliwa, Michael Wiedenbeck, Martin Schobben, Clemenz V. Ullmann, Wolfgang Kiessling, Abbas Ghaderi, Ulrich Struck, and Dieter Korn
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How to Cite

GLIWA, J., WIEDENBECK, M., SCHOBBEN, M., ULLMANN, C.V., KIESSLING, W., GHADERI, A., STRUCK, U., KORN, D. 2022. Gradual warming prior to the end-Permian mass extinction. Palaeontology, 65, 5, e12621. DOI:

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Abstract The biggest known mass extinction in the history of animal life occurred at the Permian–Triassic boundary and has often been linked to global warming. Previous studies have suggested that a geologically rapid (<40 kyr) temperature increase of more than 10°C occurred simultaneously with the main extinction pulse. This hypothesis is challenged by geochemical and palaeontological data indicating profound environmental perturbations and a temperature rise prior to the main extinction. Using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), we measured oxygen isotope ratios from Changhsingian (late Permian) ostracods of north-western Iran. Our data show that ambient seawater temperature began to rise at least 300 kyr prior to the main extinction event. Gradual warming by approximately 12°C was probably responsible for initial environmental degradation that eventually culminated in the global end-Permian mass extinction.
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