Relationship between extinction magnitude and climate change during major marine/terrestrial animal crises
- Department of Earth Science, Tohoku University, Aoba-aza, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
Abstract. Major mass extinctions in the Phanerozoic Eon occurred during abrupt global climate changes accompanied by environmental destruction driven by large volcanic eruptions and projectile impacts. However, relationships between those physical conditions and the magnitude of animal extinctions have not been quantitatively evaluated. My analyses show that the magnitude of major extinctions in marine invertebrates and that of terrestrial tetrapods correlate well with the coincidental anomaly of global and habitat surface temperatures during biotic crises, respectively, regardless of the difference between warming and cooling. More than > 20 % of genera and 40 % of marine species loss correlate to more than 8 °C absolute global surface temperature anomalies. Higher extinction percentages appear in the terrestrial realm than in the marine realm under the same global temperature anomaly due to 2.2 times higher surface temperature anomalies in the terrestrial realm than in the marine realm. Marine animals are more likely than tetrapods to become extinct under a habitat temperature anomaly, possibly due to a higher sensitivity of marine animals to temperature change than terrestrial animals, which have access to places of refuge. These relationships indicate that abrupt changes in climate and environment associated with high energy input by volcanism and impact relate to the magnitude of mass extinctions.
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