The “oxygen catastrophe” 50 million years ago

Найдена причина «кислородной катастрофы» 50 млн лет назад

Scientists at Princeton University (USA) restored the unknown details of a global cataclysm that occurred on Earth about 50 million years ago.

In that era the mainland, which is now the Indian subcontinent crashed into Asia.

This has an impact not only on the topography and the terrain surface, but also on climate, reports .

“What is our life? Game!”Найдена причина «кислородной катастрофы» 50 млн лет назад“World mind games”: the premiere of “the World” a New study has shown that, in addition to all of the above, in the oceans, also increased dramatically the level of oxygen. Life in its waters became very different.

Scientists analyzed microscopic sea shells – foraminifera to determine the chemical composition of the oceans 70 – 30 million years ago. Special attention was paid to the nitrogen content – the most common gas in the atmosphere and the “key” to life on Earth.

It turned out that after 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, the concentration of nitrogen in the waters was high, and oxygen contained relatively little.

But 55 million years ago there was a sudden jump. Interestingly, all this time, the climate remained consistently warm, so the cause of such changes was clearly not in it.

There was a different answer is plate tectonics. The collision of India with Asia, literally changed the world, “closed” ancient Tethys sea, and broke the link continental shelves and open ocean.

“For millions of years, tectonic changes can have a huge impact on ocean circulation,” explained the scientists.

Note that the change in the oxygen content of the water directly affects the lives of marine species.

Experts point out that in our day the process is reversed – due to warming, the amount of oxygen decreases, and this may be one of the reasons for the new mass extinction.