Davey Jones’ locker portends mass fish death

The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the Earth will see such an extinction again because of high levels of greenhouse gasses, according to new research by geologists.

Using core samples drilled from the ocean bed off the coast of western Africa, the researchers studied layers of sediment from the Late Cretaceous Period (85 million years ago) across a 400,000-year timespan. They found a significant amount of organic material - marine life - buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.

“Our research points to a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was going through a greenhouse effect, with high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and rising temperatures, leading to a severe lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the water that marine animals are dependent on,” researcher Professor Martin Kennedy said.

Read more at University of Adelaide