The Great Dying Déjà Vu: The Apocalyptic Scenery Resembles Today’s Conditions, Experts Say

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A long time ago, life on Earth almost disappeared. You may know that this was The Great Dying, the biggest extinction that our planet has ever seen.

It happened 250 million years ago, and it was reportedly mainly caused by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

NPR.org reports that these days, scientists are beginning to see some worrying resemblances to back then. Experts are seeing alarming similarities between the Great Dying and what’s currently going on in the world’s atmosphere.

There’re highlighting all of this in a brand new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The online publication notes that the crown jewel of the Deep Time exhibit is the museum’s first real T. rex.

“We like to say, ‘Come for the dinosaurs, stay for everything else,’ ” says Scott Wing, one of the curators.

The Great Dying may happen again 

The theme of this exhibition is the “interconnectedness of life through geologic time.”

Visitors can see for instance how plants at the bottom of the food chain have supported everything from insects to 20-ton apatosauruses and also the ways in which insects helped shape the kind of forests that evolved and changed over millions of years, according to the online publication.

Wing reportedly said that all life is connected from the bottom up and the whole fabric could disintegrate when something huge happens to the planet. This is precisely what happened due to global warming.

This is explained in the exhibit’s section that’s dedicated to the Great Dying. 250 million years ago, there was a huge volcanic field that erupted in the location where Siberia is today.

The lava burned through limestone and coal beds and filled the atmosphere with CO2 and pollutions, which could have lasted for millions of years.

This warmed the planet and made the oceans acidic and took the oxygen away. It seems that more than 90% of species in the oceans died out as did two-thirds of the ones on land.

The online publication notes that “There have been other mass extinctions, like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, but this one, at the end of the Permian Period, was mostly caused by too much carbon dioxide rising into the atmosphere.”

It seems that experts see the same processes happening all over again.


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