London. An international team of scientists has discovered the cause of one of the fastest and most severe events in the history of the Earth that occurred 55 million years ago.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, found that high levels of mercury triggered polyoxin-ezine (PETM, abbreviated PETM in English), leading to 150,000 years of intense global warming and a significant increase in temperature.
Researchers have found that the amount of mercury found in well-preserved North Sea sedimentary samples decreases in the early stages of sudden climate change, suggesting that some other carbon pool emits significant greenhouse gases as the phenomenon progresses.
These gases were released by large volcanic eruptions and caused the scattering of mercury, so scientists set out to measure mercury and carbon in sedimentary cores to detect any ancient volcano.
“Surprisingly, we did not find a simple relationship between increased volcanic eruptions during the release of greenhouse gases,” said Sev Kinder, co-author of the study at the University of Exeter. Was the second source of gases after volcanic activity.
According to scientists, the research, which includes experts from the British Geological Survey, the University of Oxford, Heriot-Watt University and the University of California at Riverside, will open up new research perspectives on how modern climate change will affect the Earth. For centuries.