It happened about 360 million years ago and is considered one of the largest in the history of the Earth.
During the study, scientists analyzed the rocks of the Bakken Formation on the border of the United States and Canada. It consists of shales formed at the end of the Devonian period.
According to the composition of the rocks, it is possible to establish what conditions the environment differed in that period.
Scientists have collected more than a hundred samples of shale and carbonates. The results showed that the cause of extinction could be global warming and the melting of glaciers around the South Pole.
The sea level rose sharply, and the water flooded vast areas previously covered with vegetation.
Plants began to decompose and released huge amounts of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, into the water. This led to a rapid bloom of algae that consume oxygen.
So-called “dead” zones began to appear in the seas and oceans, practically devoid of oxygen, but saturated with hydrogen sulfide, which is dangerous for living beings.
Their distribution led to the mass extinction of marine species of flora and fauna. thus, during that period, all armored fish disappeared, and the diversity of trilobites, ammonites, and jawless decreased sharply.
Scientists have noted that similar processes occur today. A large amount of agricultural runoff, saturated with nutrient fertilizers, enters the seas.
They activate algae blooms, which, in turn, begin to draw oxygen from the environment.
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