Scientists have identified the most probable cause of the mysterious mass extinction in the Devonian period 360 million years ago. It turned out that the disappearance of animals has led to the depletion of the ozone layer caused by global warming. This situation represents a mortal danger to humans and other living things, can happen again. Article researchers published in the journal Science Advances.
Experts analyzed the fossilized remains of plants in Greenland, and found signs of a sharp increase in ultraviolet radiation. So, spores of plants Grandispora cornuta and Verrucosisporites nitidus had abnormal spikes and irregular in shape. In addition, many disputes had a dark color, which indicated the appearance of pigmentation that protects from excess solar radiation.
Under ultraviolet light first began to fade, the plants that formed the basis of the food web. This could lead to mass extinction, which lasted, according to various estimates, from 500 thousand to 25 million years. Just gone up to 80 percent of the animals, and many species of plants.
The very depletion of the ozone layer has occurred due to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth, triggering the release into the atmosphere of natural Halogens, e.g. methyl chloride, which is a catalyst for the decomposition of ozone.
Currently, scientists have observed a seasonal formation of the ozone hole over the Arctic because of the weather related to climate change. Current estimates indicate that human activities will lead to the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere to levels similar to those that was 360 million years ago. The result of this could occur again with the collapse of the ozone layer, posing a threat to terrestrial organisms and creatures living in shallow water.