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It could take 10 million years to recover from what we are doing to the planet
It could take 10 million years to recover from what we are doing to the planet, scientists warn
Rob Waugh, Yahoo News UK April 8, 2019
There is only one event in the history of our planet which has brought about global change more rapidly than today’s human-driven extinctions – the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.
Scientists studied fossils from just after the cataclysmic impact in order to understand how quickly our planet can recover from disaster (and why there seems to be a limit to it).
Scientists say that the 10 million years it took our planet to recover from the mass extinction which wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago could have important parallels now.
The researchers say that there appears to be a ‘speed limit’ on how fast the planet can recover from such events – capped at about 10 million years.
The researchers looked at the link between recovery and evolution because of earlier research that found recovery took millions of years despite many areas being habitable soon after Earth’s most recent mass extinction.
The team tracked recovery over time using fossils from a type of plankton called, foraminifera, or forams.
They found that a certain amount of ecological complexity seems to be required before life can really kick back into gear.
The speed limit is related to the time it takes to build up a new inventory of traits that can produce new species at a rate comparable to before the extinction event.
Lead author Christopher Lowery, a research associate at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) said, ‘The implication should be that these same processes would be active in all other extinctions.
‘I think this is the likely explanation for the speed limit of recovery for everything.’
Author: John Hanno
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.
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