Some people are more thoughtful. They donate to seemingly worthy causes and genuinely care about what is happening in the world, at least enough not to . When they hear of FE, they may ask their scientist relatives and associates what they know about it, they might contact their favorite environmental organization, and the like. The reply almost invariably is that FE is “impossible” or would be used to destroy the planet through either warfare or environmental destruction. They are advised to seek elsewhere for solutions to the world’s problems, and those seekers obediently drop the subject. They , FE seemed all-too-fantastic anyway, and such people generally fall into the category. If they live in the West, and I know the USA best, they probably listen to , watch and the , and follow the news on some “progressive” sites.
The ecosystems may not have recovered from Olson’s Extinction of 270 mya, and at 260 mya came another mass extinction that is called the mid-Permian or extinction, or the , although a recent study found only one extinction event, in the mid-Capitanian. In the 1990s, the extinction was thought to result from falling sea levels. But the first of the two huge volcanic events coincided with the event, in . There can be several deadly outcomes of major volcanic events. As with an , massive volcanic events can block sunlight with the ash and create wintry conditions in the middle of summer. That alone can cause catastrophic conditions for life, but that is only one potential outcome of volcanism. What probably had far greater impact were the gases belched into the air. As oxygen levels crashed in the late Permian, there was also a huge carbon dioxide spike, as shown by , and the late-Permian volcanism is the near-unanimous choice as the primary reason. That would have helped create super-greenhouse conditions that perhaps came right on the heels of the volcanic winter. Not only would carbon dioxide vent from the mantle, as with all volcanism, but the late-Permian volcanism occurred beneath Ediacaran and Cambrian hydrocarbon deposits, which burned them and spewed even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Not only that, great salt deposits from the Cambrian Period were also burned via the volcanism, which created hydrochloric acid clouds. Volcanoes also spew sulfur, which reacts with oxygen and water to form . The oceans around the volcanoes would have become acidic, and that fire-and-brimstone brew would have also showered the land. Not only that, but the warming initiated by the initial carbon dioxide spike could have then warmed up the oceans enough so that methane hydrates were liberated and create even more global warming. Such global warming apparently warmed the poles, which not only melted away the last ice caps and ended an ice age that had , but deciduous forests are in evidence at high latitudes. A 100-million-year Icehouse Earth period ended and a 200-million-year Greenhouse Earth period began, but the transition appears to have been chaotic, with wild swings in greenhouse gas levels and global temperatures. Warming the poles would have lessened the heat differential between the equator and poles and further diminished the lazy Panthalassic currents. The landlocked Paleo-Tethys and Tethys oceans, and perhaps even the Panthalassic Ocean, may have all become superheated and anoxic as the currents died. Huge also happened, which may have and led to ultraviolet light damage to land plants and animals. That was all on top of the oxygen crash. With the current state of research, all of the above events may have happened, in the greatest confluence of life-hostile conditions during the eon of complex life. A recent study suggests that the extinction event that ended the Permian may have lasted only 60,000 years or so. In 2001, a bolide event was proposed for the Permian extinction with great fanfare, but it does not appear to be related to the Permian extinction; the other dynamics would have been quite sufficient. The Permian extinction was the greatest catastrophe that Earth’s life experienced since the previous supercontinent existed in the .
How do animals benefit from photosynthesis in plants
Ornithischians started slowly and began to become common in the late Jurassic, just when the greatest biological innovation in the past 300 million years began: the appearance of , which first bloomed about 160 mya. Until that time, plant survival strategies included how to avoid being eaten by animals, whether it was bark, height, poisonous foliage, etc. Flowering plants adopted a different strategy by laying out a banquet for animals. The primary benefit for plants was , as well as attracting animals that did not seek to eat the plants and even ended up protecting them. The advantage for animals was an easily acquired and tasty meal. It was the greatest direct symbiosis between plants and animals ever, other than plants providing the oxygen that animals breathe, which is inadvertent. The two primary aspirations that seed plants achieve for successful reproduction are becoming fertilized via pollination and placing seeds where they can become viable offspring (and feces fertilizer could only help). Flowering plants, also called angiosperms, did not invent animal assistance from whole cloth. Some Jurassic insects have been found in association with (conifer) cones, and were probably doing the work that the wind previously performed. Like the , attracting animals to plants, to eat the pollen and nectar, was like a reproductive enzyme: animals carried the key to the lock to initiate reproduction. Other animals ate the fruit and thereby spread the seeds. That relationship did not become significant until the mid-Cretaceous. Angiosperms mature faster and produce more seeds than gymnosperms do. By the Cretaceous’s end, angiosperms dominated tropical biomes where ferns and cycads used to thrive, and they pushed conifers to the high latitudes, just as they have today. That tropical dominance is probably related to the insect population, which prefers warm climates. Angiosperms became Earth’s dominant plants after the and comprise more than 90% of plant species today.