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UV-B radiation was the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial extinction kill mechanism

UV-B radiation was the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial extinction kill mechanism
UV-B radiation was the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial extinction kill mechanism
There is an unexplained terrestrial mass extinction at the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary (359 million years ago). The discovery in east Greenland of malformed land plant spores demonstrates that the extinction was coincident with elevated UV-B radiation demonstrating ozone layer reduction. Mercury data through the extinction level prove that, unlike other mass extinctions, there were no planetary scale volcanic eruptions. Importantly, the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial mass extinction was coincident with a major climatic warming that ended the intense final glacial cycle of the latest Devonian ice age. A mechanism for ozone layer reduction during rapid warming is increased convective transport of ClO. Hence, ozone loss during rapid warming is an inherent Earth system process with the unavoidable conclusion that we should be alert for such an eventuality in the future warming world.
2375-2548
Marshall, John
cba178e3-91aa-49a2-b2ce-4b8d9d870b06
Lakin, Jon
b6045675-5278-4e10-b055-e8f67be6984e
Troth, Ian
b1a8b695-aa8d-441a-83e5-8c8edd8b2242
Wallace-Johnson, Sarah M.
48b2eb41-0ea8-4b04-867b-7fcf35a0527b
Marshall, John
cba178e3-91aa-49a2-b2ce-4b8d9d870b06
Lakin, Jon
b6045675-5278-4e10-b055-e8f67be6984e
Troth, Ian
b1a8b695-aa8d-441a-83e5-8c8edd8b2242
Wallace-Johnson, Sarah M.
48b2eb41-0ea8-4b04-867b-7fcf35a0527b

Marshall, John, Lakin, Jon, Troth, Ian and Wallace-Johnson, Sarah M. (2020) UV-B radiation was the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial extinction kill mechanism. Science Advances, 6 (22), [eaba0768]. (doi:10.1126/sciadv.aba0768).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is an unexplained terrestrial mass extinction at the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary (359 million years ago). The discovery in east Greenland of malformed land plant spores demonstrates that the extinction was coincident with elevated UV-B radiation demonstrating ozone layer reduction. Mercury data through the extinction level prove that, unlike other mass extinctions, there were no planetary scale volcanic eruptions. Importantly, the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial mass extinction was coincident with a major climatic warming that ended the intense final glacial cycle of the latest Devonian ice age. A mechanism for ozone layer reduction during rapid warming is increased convective transport of ClO. Hence, ozone loss during rapid warming is an inherent Earth system process with the unavoidable conclusion that we should be alert for such an eventuality in the future warming world.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 27 February 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 May 2020
Published date: 27 May 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441062
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441062
ISSN: 2375-2548
PURE UUID: e3b66e0b-b1b3-43e0-845d-58995b661752
ORCID for John Marshall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9242-3646

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 May 2020 16:58
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:33

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Contributors

Author: John Marshall ORCID iD
Author: Jon Lakin
Author: Ian Troth
Author: Sarah M. Wallace-Johnson

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