Long Consequences of Our Own, Home Brewed, Extinction Event

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 08 April 2019



What's Left?
Extinction Survivor Species
Extinction Survivor Species, Plankton, The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences/John Maisano.
An artist's interpretation of the sea floor after the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. The three hair-covered forms (left) represent species of plankton that survived. The geometric form (bottom left) is a species of algae. The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences/John Maisano.

Consequences of Our Own Extinction Event

Evolution imposes 'speed limit' on recovery after mass extinctions,
University of Texas at Austin, April 8, 2019.


Return to Normalcy
Now, + 10 mil
“It takes at least 10 million years for life to fully recover after a mass extinction...”

“The recovery speed limit has been observed across the fossil record, from the "Great Dying" that wiped out nearly all ocean life 252 million years ago to the massive asteroid strike that killed all nonavian dinosaurs.”

Only Destructive Act Faster than Humans
“The asteroid impact that triggered the extinction is the only event in Earth's history that brought about global change faster than present-day climate change...”

Humans are equal to The Big Volcano and The Big Rock from Space? (We’re slower)

“...research that found recovery took millions of years despite many areas being habitable soon after Earth's most recent mass extinction. This suggested a control factor other than the environment alone.”

Evolutionary Innovations Gone
“...mass extinctions wipe out a storehouse of evolutionary innovations from eons past. 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.”

This, “...points to evolution as the speed control.”

Evolutionary Everything Speed Limit
“...this is the likely explanation for the speed limit of recovery for everything.”



Bottom Line

Our environmental changes are equal to Chicxulub, just happening over a few hundred years, rather than seconds.


Current Mass Extinction Event

THE MANY FACES of DEATH: Massive Extinction Event Well Underway

End of The Age of Humans: Human Effects Equal Chicxulub Climate Disruption


They Can’t Escape...

Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape extinction


Environmental Recovery

200,000 Year, "Recovery?"


Exploring Ancient Climates
PETM, Middle Miocene, Palogene, T-OAE





April 2019 News of Man & Nature








Nature News


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

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Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

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Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News






anthropocene, mass, extinction event, three million year, species, complexity, recovery


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