The Snowball Effect
A research team based in Riverside, California suggests that global warming could release “long-dormant stores of methane gas . . . causing an abrupt and catastrophic climate change like one that occurred 635 million years ago.” The research findings, published in Nature, are based on past geologic records, the most reliable way to understand climate change. Led by Martin Kennedy, the research team looked for stable isotopes in marine sediment samples from South Australia. According to truthout.org, “they found the greatest variation of the oxygen isotope ever reported from marine sediments, which they attributed to the melting ice sheets and methane gas release.”
Kennedy also found that “the abrupt climate change 635 million years ago directly preceded the appearance of multi-celled animals in fossil records.” Kennedy told Truth Out that “animals evolved after the whole system stabilized, and we’re suggesting there’s a linkage there.” If the geologic record is an accurate predictor of future events, could the oncoming climate change signal the next phase in evolution? Although it is still uncertain, this suggested link could point to an evolutionary shift 635 million years in the making.
Creative Commons Image: "2007_07_21_1hr-lax_133.JPG" by dsearls on Flickr.Tweet