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Lethally Hot Temperatures During the Early Triassic Greenhouse

Science  19 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6105, pp. 366-370
DOI: 10.1126/science.1224126

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Abstract

Global warming is widely regarded to have played a contributing role in numerous past biotic crises. Here, we show that the end-Permian mass extinction coincided with a rapid temperature rise to exceptionally high values in the Early Triassic that were inimical to life in equatorial latitudes and suppressed ecosystem recovery. This was manifested in the loss of calcareous algae, the near-absence of fish in equatorial Tethys, and the dominance of small taxa of invertebrates during the thermal maxima. High temperatures drove most Early Triassic plants and animals out of equatorial terrestrial ecosystems and probably were a major cause of the end-Smithian crisis.

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