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Press Release 12-019

Global Extinction: Gradual Doom as Bad as Abrupt

In "The Great Dying" 250 million years ago, the end came slowly

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Photo of Griesbach Creek in the Arctic.

The geology of Griesbach Creek in the Arctic tells an ancient tale of slow extinction.

Credit: C.M. Henderson


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Map showing paleogeography during the Permian-Triassic boundary 252 million years ago.

Paleogeography during the Permian-Triassic boundary extinction 252 million years ago.

Credit: Thomas Algeo


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Photo showing the barren arctic landscape of Ellesmere Island.

The barren arctic landscape of Ellesmere Island was the site of the scientists' research.

Credit: C.M. Henderson


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Putorana Plateau, a UNESCO World Heritage Area, contains 500 million years of history.

Putorana Plateau, a UNESCO World Heritage Area, contains 500 million years of history.

Credit: Thomas Algeo


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Graph of Phanerozoic marine biodiversity plotting number of families versus geolgoic time.

Marine biodiversity changed significantly in hundreds of millions of years of Earth history.

Credit: Thomas Algeo


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Photo of the geologists' West Blind Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada, study site.

Close-up of the geologists' West Blind Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada, study site.

Credit: C.M. Henderson


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