Dissertation Defense for the PhD in Environmental Sciences by Mr. Alan Stebbins
More than 250 million years ago the Permian-Triassic mass extinction wiped out more than 98 percent of species on Earth. The climate rapidly degraded, oceans warmed and became acidic and stagnant. Even after the event recovery occurred in fits and starts but never acheived the levels of biodiversity we had prior to this extinction. As more and more attention is paid to modern climate change we see similarities between what could happen in the future and what happened in Earth's deep past. Alan Stebbins's research explored the ocean chemistry prior to and after the extinction and discovered how and when things went from bad to worse and how the ocean's sulfur cycle tells us about how Earth's oceans change and revealed important new discoveries about our Earth's deep past and clues about our not too distant future.
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