From a giant asteroid impact to a massive volcanic eruption, the threat of a mass extinction event looms over our heads like a sword of Damocles of earth-shattering proportions. However, a new study into catastrophic catalysts for mass extinction suggests that more than one kind of mega-event is needed to stand a decent chance of wiping out life on the planet.
Apocalypse how? Scientists think they have the answer
Image via: io9
Io9 report on the study, which probes the underlying causes of mass extinction events like the one that eradicated 90 percent of life on earth way back in the Permian-Triassic period. The researchers argue that mass extinction is triggered by a combination of “pulse events” – sudden, deadly shocks like asteroid strikes – and “press events” such as climate change due to million-year-long volcanic eruptions. Cause for optimism? Maybe not when you consider that we’re already in a climate change press event of our own making. Let’s hope the powers that be invent a laser capable of taking out an asteroid before one lands to add fuel to the fire.
Zip over to I09 to find out more about the study and how the scientists made their discoveries.