Saturday, December 13, 2008

Of Magnets and Volcanoes

A new theory suggests that changes in the Earth's magnetic field caused by rising molten core material compelled the atmospheric changes and volcanic activity that led to the greatest extinction in Earth's history - the Permian-Triassic extinction 250 million years ago. Probably 90% of all species and 99% of all living organisms perished. Nearly the whole world died.

(image credit: dsc.discovery.com, Getty, photograph of modern Iceland demonstrates a landscape thought similar to the extinction period)