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Methane-producing bacteria may have leverage nickel from volcanism to flood the atmosphere with methane

It was called "The Great Dying".

I. A Time of Death and Desolation

If that title sounds dire it is because it was indeed a grim time for life on Earth.  Occurring about 252 and one-third million years ago, the mass extinction came at a time when life on Earth had become fairly advanced.  Terrestrial life consisted of a rich mix of large amphibians (think huge cousins of today's salamanders) and scaly reptilian dinosaur predecessors.  The seas teemed with life.

Then some sort of cataclysm swept the globe.  Ninety-six out of every one-hundred marine species (96%) went exinct, while seventy out of every one-hundred terrestrial vertebrate species (70%) also bit the metaphorical dust.  The exinction to this day remains the most severe mass extinction in Earth's history and what is believed to be the only mass extinction to feature a major extinction of insects -- traditionally among the Earth's most hardy species.

So what caused this severe event?

Permian skull
[Image Source: Climate Sight]

In line with all the hype and fervor surrounding global warming, some past researchers have suggested climate change may have played a role.  Criticism of this hypothesis has traditionally been that it's improper to assume the markers of climate change -- atmospheric and ocean carbon levels -- as causing ecological changes, when ecological changes can also cause climate change.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Daniel Rothman has become the latest researcher to throw his hat in the paleontological ring, offering up an interesting alternate hypothesis of how such a catastrophic climate change incident may have been triggered, leading to the Earth losing so much biodiversity.

The Great Dying marked the edge of the Permian.  Its end ushered in a new era -- the Triassic -- which would become the first of three major historical eras when the land-masses were ruled by large reptiles (dinosaurs).

To look for clues as to what caused The Great Dying, Professor Rothman dug back into sediments from the end of the Permian era.  Examing deposits in China, he found something intriguing.

Carbon levels in the sediment indeed appeared to rise quickly.  But the interesting part is that they rose so quickly that he feels that the sedimentary analysis rules out change by slower-acting forms of carbon release, such as volcanoes.

He also observed that oceanic nickel levels spiked 251 million years ago, as volcanoes in Siberia dumped tons of molten nickel into the sea.

II. What Caused Carbon Levels to Spike? 

Nickel is a ubiquitous catalyst in certain kinds of biochemical reactions.  Microorganisms, such as the ocean-based methane-producing bacterium methanosarcina, often use the metal to speed up reactions that produce carbon waste byproducts.

Thus Professor Rothman suggests that methanosarcina likely exploited the rising nickel levels to transform carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methane.  

In fact, Professor Rothman believes that methanosarcina fortuitously acquired the its triple metal-catalyzed methane-producing metabolic pathways about 251 million years ago, just as the nickel levels spiked.

Methanosarcina
Methanosarcina, pictured in an electron micrograph. [Image Source: KRLE]

The loss of atmospheric carbon dioxide would likely have twin adverse impacts -- first as plants require carbon dioxide to produce sugars, there likely would be mass loss of foliage globally; second as methane is a more potent warming gas than carbon dioxide, temperatures likely would have spiked globally.

The researcher's hypothesis was set forth on Dec. 4 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.  The meeting was held in San Francisco, Calif. at the Moscone Convention Center.

If he is correct it suggests that methanosarcina could be the most diabolical murderer in history, by far eclipsing mankind's worst impact in terms of speciation.

Not all experts are convinced.  Anthony Cohen, a researcher at the Open University in the United Kingdom, comments, '"[For the hypothesis to be correct] there are a lot of assumptions you have to make."

Sources: Live Science, AGU Meeting Schedule



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TED
By thecolorblue on 12/18/2012 9:44:10 PM , Rating: 5
http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_ward_on_mass_extinc...

that TED video discusses this very topic and is excellent.




RE: TED
By mcnabney on 12/19/2012 9:58:57 AM , Rating: 4
It is an interesting theory, but has a some serious problems with it.

The most obvious problem is the volatility of methane in the atmosphere. There is a reason that there is almost none of it found in our air - despite all of the flatulence and escaped natural gas. Methane is broken down by the sun in the atmosphere. On average, it lasts 4-5 years before being returned to CO2 and H2O. In order to accumulate dangerous levels of methane - the production would have to be so great that it could destabilize the atmosphere while being actively worked against by the sun (which causes the breakdown)

So my takeaway is that the only way for methane to spike in the atmosphere would be both the massive production (bacterial bloom) due to molecular precursor availability (the nickel from volcanism) AND some form of global nuclear winter which would block out the sun for an extended period time. So we are back to another meteor hit - a likely cause of both the high-nickel eruptions and the lack of sunlight.

Once the dust cleared, the sun would burn the excess methane off - but the damage would have already been done.

/pay attention fundies - this is how science works


RE: TED
By kattanna on 12/19/2012 1:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
well, it is entirely possible there was a large impact

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilkes_Land_crater

that then helped to cause this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Traps

that one two punch would have ejected enough material into the atmosphere to block out the sun.


RE: TED
By geddarkstorm on 12/19/2012 1:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The evidence for that dual cataclysm is very strong now, after some recent discoveries supporting the impact part. So far, all mass extinctions can be linked to a meteor strike, even the Younger Dryas. If that will remain the case in the future is an open question. But life is very tenacious and hard to mass extinct, unless you get rid of the Sun, like pelting the Earth with meteors; or a massive drop temperatures that bring on an ice age.


RE: TED
By thecolorblue on 12/20/2012 4:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
the video i linked had nothing whatsoever to do with methane.. i saw the co2 in the article and recalled that TED video (linked) which had to do with high co2 levels causing massive microbial blooms producing H2S (hydrogen sulfide)

you might want to actually watch the video though, it is a very good talk along similar lines to this dailytech article... although granted it is slightly off topic since it deals with H2S and not methane.
--------------------
as far as decrying the methane theory based on methane instability... I have to point out that your point is completely irrelevant, and for good reason.

The theory put forth in this dailytech article is based on a methane production spike of enormous magnitude... proceeding continually as global CO2 levels drop precipitously. This would not take long. have you considered the size of the oceans in conjunction with them teeming with methane producing bacteria? ...apparently not. An ocean repurposed as a CO2 + H2 sink and a CH4 factory mediated by a group of bacteria undergoing an exponential population explosion would drive CO2 levels through the floor faster than you could (apparently) imagine. that is the theory inquestion.

or are you implying that organisms dependent on CO2 for survival would just postpone their metabolic needs for years/decades until CO2 levels began to creep back up again as methane was converted back to CO2?


RE: TED
By WinstonSmith on 12/20/2012 10:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
That was good. Thanks. Read one of his books, "Rare Earth" and didn't know about the second one.


Hmm
By sweetca on 12/18/2012 10:40:30 PM , Rating: 1
I think it is, "Death throes". :)

I would agree that more people have been killed in the name of God, but not necessarily because of belief in God. I am not trying to quibble, but many rulers in the past used religious fear-mongering as a tool for conquering lands, securing wealth and gaining power. These fine gentlemen were certainly not living a very spiritual life. Religion was, and is still today, appropriated to commit harmful acts, but this does not render it intrinsically evil.




RE: Hmm
By MartyLK on 12/18/2012 10:46:41 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Religion was, and is still today, appropriated to commit harmful acts, but this does not render it intrinsically evil.


I fully agree. Sadly, though, humanity requires the moral compass that the protestant Christian religion brings. We don't seem to have a good enough built-in moral compass to put religion in the past. Without the fear of God, the evil we all see in the world today would be geometrically increased.

Thanks for the correction on "throws". Have noted it in permanent memory.


RE: Hmm
By bupkus on 12/19/2012 9:14:32 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
humanity requires the moral compass that the protestant Christian religion brings.
At the exclusion of all other religions? That will surely bring us all together in peace.


RE: Hmm
By MartyLK on 12/19/2012 12:59:44 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah. Unless they advocate peace at the very heart of their religion as the protestant Christian religion does. One such religion advocates slaughter and mass-murder - in the name of future peace, that is.

There are a lot of smaller religions that advocate chaotic and self-absorbed lifestyles.

The protestant Christian religion advocates fear and submission to God. It causes followers to put all others and God before self. Now before anyone goes into a tizzy, I didn't say all followers do this. Just that the religion teaches this, and some do follow it.

All those buck-toothed, half-brain-celled incest-produced people in certain parts of the US and throughout the world? The ones who can't wait to rape their sisters and mothers (and brothers and fathers, in some cases). The only thing holding some of them back and in some form of control is the fear of God - Hell & fire-damnation preaching.

The other religions, religions of the sword, for instance, advocate, wiping the face of the Earth of the infidels. Yeah, that's a fairy tale religion, for sure! ;)


RE: Hmm
By xthetenth on 12/19/2012 1:29:54 PM , Rating: 3
Well that explains why the US, where Protestantism is widespread has such a low crime rate.

Oh wait, having 1% of your population in jail is preposterously high? Whoops.


RE: Hmm
By MartyLK on 12/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: Hmm
By RufusM on 12/21/2012 10:44:30 AM , Rating: 2
The presupposition that Protestants have a better moral compass than Buddhists, Taoism and many, many other religions out there is way off base. Protestants do not have a monopoly on morality; no one religion does.

We need broad philosophical agreements of inherent individual rights. Most religions obscure that by mandating one belief is supreme over another. When people blindly follow those belief mandates it becomes a recipe for disaster.

For Protestants, in particular, there are so many contradictions in the ancient writings it basically comes down to someone's interpretation of them. For example, from interpretations of the same writings, one Protestant group accepts the death penalty while another rejects it.


RE: Hmm
By Florinator on 12/21/2012 4:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
Of course... every study on this subject out there shows that the more secular countries are far better off than the religious ones; higher standards of living, higher quality of life, happier citizens, less crime, less social issues (such as drug use, teen pregnancies, etc)


RE: Hmm
By Florinator on 12/21/2012 4:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly, though, humanity requires the moral compass that the protestant Christian religion brings.


Why do people think that Christianity is the world's moral compass? Other civilizations had laws long before Christianity appeard. Code of Hammurabi, anyone?

I am so sick of this "oh, we need Christianity because we need morals". Is that the only thing that keep you Christians from going postal? Fear of burning in hell for eternity?


RE: Hmm
By MartyLK on 12/22/2012 12:54:39 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Why do people think that Christianity is the world's moral compass


Actually it is. It teaches selflessness. I'm not saying all Christians practice it, they don't. And some of them are more corrupt that Satan, himself. I know this painfully because I was the employee of one of them that thought he was God's right hand of justice. He was a dedicated bible-thumper and wanna be politician. He was extreme in obedience to the principals of the Christian faith.

He ended up committing a criminal act against me to get me out of the way because I wasn't doing anything wrong for him to set me up to be fired. (really, really condensed story here).

But there are those that actually do belong to God. Not many, by my estimation, though. And thanks to my former boss, who screwed me in the name of Jesus, I doubt seriously that I'm a Christian.

Nevertheless, in my long experience in life, I see greater compassion, reverence, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, self control, love, peace and patience coming from the protestant Christian faith more than any other - including the Roman religion, which lets people buy their forgiveness. Need to commit a crime? If your a Roman member, no problem. Just go say your penance and a few ritual doings afterward and all is well.

That isn't to say all protestant denominations are the same, though. Some of them are more akin to devil worship. And the spectrum of adherence to the bible vastly varies. The Wisconsin synod Lutherans are the best there is in faithfulness to the bible. Other Lutherans are the worst there is.


Really? I mean...really??
By Armageddonite on 12/18/2012 8:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
Fascinating new scientific theories are put forth, and the first place people go is to god-mongering? Not even a token effort to debate things scientifically?

Anyway, there's plenty of merit in this research. Gonna go look for supporting data in the science journals...




RE: Really? I mean...really??
By TSS on 12/19/2012 6:34:35 AM , Rating: 2
Heh isn't it facinating in itself that the closer we are getting to understanding god (we are made in his image and who one is, is buried in ones work), the further we're moving away from it as a collective?

And i say that as an athiest.


RE: Really? I mean...really??
By MartyLK on 12/19/2012 2:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
we are made in his image and who one is, is buried in ones work


I tend to think "God" is a higher dimensional scientist because of who we are what we do. Maybe God is using "pinch-to-zoom" technology to see us all on this quark-sized world.


RE: Really? I mean...really??
By Manch on 12/19/2012 9:20:21 AM , Rating: 2
Where was God mentioned in the article?


RE: Really? I mean...really??
By Manch on 12/19/2012 9:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
sorry, nevermind. Didn't realize they reordered the posts.


molten nickely?
By Bateluer on 12/18/2012 5:43:19 PM , Rating: 5
"molten nickely into the sea."

:P




RE: molten nickely?
By Mitch101 on 12/18/2012 9:14:29 PM , Rating: 4
You just made Saint Nickely's naughty list.


Extinctsion
By Mightycline on 12/19/2012 1:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Purely scientific theories do not require so much anti-god commentary. Some must feel that to be scientific enough for their peers that they must deny Christianity? Foolish tree worshipers or rock worshipers are safe? God gave you a good brain, use it and do not screw it up with drugs or emptiness or shallow thoughts that are unforgiving of others of lesser egos. Please give space in your comments for others of lesser intellect; okay with you of vast intellect? This was still very interesting as to theory and helpful in understanding that there are zealots walking around the earth today. Does Al Gore remind anyone of the mastodons that very recently roamed Earth? Now there walks and talks intellectual brilliance for you to witness.




Extinctsion
By Mightycline on 12/19/2012 12:57:38 PM , Rating: 1
Purely scientific theories do not require so much anti-god commentary. Some must feel that to be scientific enough for their peers that they must deny Christianity? Foolish tree worshipers or rock worshipers are safe? God gave you a good brain, use it and do not screw it up with drugs or emptiness or shallow thoughts that are unforgiving of others of lesser egos. Please give space in your comments for others of lesser intellect; okay with you of vast intellect? This was still very interesting as to theory and helpful in understanding that there are zealots walking around the earth today. Does Al Gore remind anyone of the mastodon's that very recently roamed Earth? Now there walks and talks intellectual brilliance for you to witness.




Nope
By hiscross on 12/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Nope
By spread on 12/18/2012 9:07:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
They say the Sun, in its death throws, will expand so much that it will reach Earth's orbit. Now doesn't that sound like what the bible describes about the Earth being burned up: "the elements will be destroyed by fire"?


No it doesn't. The elements cannot be destroyed and the planet would be dead far before the sun would expand into our orbit.

quote:
The heavens will disappear with a roar


The heavens will far outlive our world. This is wrong.

quote:
There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth


None of this makes any sense and stars do not fall.

quote:
About those "stars" falling from the skies, those might be modern satellites.


Really. They can see into the future and the best they could do is modern satellites. Why aren't cars mentioned? Why aren't aeroplanes or space shuttles? Why aren't seagoing vessels and drilling rigs? Why aren't solar plants and fusion/nuclear plants mentioned?

Why aren't the major and clearly obvious and important things mentioned?

Also there' plenty of geostationary satellites that cannot fall anywhere. In order for anything to fall towards earth the gravitational pull of the planet would have to increase. Now if the planet is losing atmosphere and large sections due to an expanding star (loss of mass and gravitational pull), I would assume the satellites would probably slowly wander away into space. They cannot "fall" anywhere.


RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Nope
By spread on 12/19/2012 3:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But of all the things in the bible that people try to correlate to reality, and some of those thing they have to twist into a triple pretzel to get at any similarity to reality, this is one instance where it's easy to draw corollaries to science.


So you're saying the bible is very wrong on many things but very correct on others. Like a broken clock it's right twice a day.

So we should be using that clock because it's so accurate.


RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/19/2012 5:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So you're saying the bible is very wrong on many things but very correct on others.


I didn't say that. I said, or thought I effectively eluded to, that *people* tend to twist in triple-pretzels what the bibles says for it to come to their desired view of reality.

The bible specifically and in no uncertain terms states the "heavens and the Earth" were created in 6 24-hour periods. And that, through genealogical accounts in the bible, the Earth is about 6,000 to 10,000 years old.

http://goo.gl/Hrl4N

The Old Testament account in Genesis has God creating the "heavens and the Earth". The New Testament has God creating the whole universe. But I haven't seen "universe" mentioned in the Old Testament creation account.

Maybe the writers of the Old Testament thought the sky was all there was to the universe or existence. Whatever the case is, modern humanity now knows without a doubt the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that the universe is closer to 15 billion years old.


RE: Nope
By drycrust3 on 12/20/2012 2:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Old Testament account in Genesis has God creating the "heavens and the Earth" ...But I haven't seen "universe" mentioned in the Old Testament creation account.

You need to remember the Bible is a history book, not a scientific book. That doesn't mean the events recorded didn't happen as stated, they did, what it means is that typically history records the lead up to and the consequences of an event, even scientifically significant events.
For example, we know that on 8th August, 1945, an atomic bomb was operated over the city of Hiroshima in Japan, but most accounts of that event don't detail any of the scientific development that had to have taken place before the bomb was small enough and safe enough to be carried within an aircraft.
The Bible is meant to be read by people for whom one star is the same as another, and for whom the black stuff is completely empty. The Bible doesn't say one star is the same as another (it actually states they different), nor does the Bible say the black stuff is either empty or full of stuff. For our ancient ancestors, calling the universe "the Heavens" is not only scientifically correct, it is also quite sufficient. Remember there weren't printing presses, so every word literally costs money, so describing galaxies and gravitational lensing and redshift and blueshift and stuff like that would be a huge cost with no benefit to those people.
I'm sure there are people around who would say God was stupid for not explaining gravitational lensing to Moses, but then the people of that time would have thought God would have been stupid if he did, they would much preferred having a set of laws telling them what is right and what is wrong.


RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/20/2012 5:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the Bible is a history book, not a scientific book. That doesn't mean the events recorded didn't happen as stated


The bible clearly explains the "heavens & the Earth" were created in 6 days. And not only does it say "days", it goes into further detail about those "days" being 24-hour periods with, "and the evening and the morning were the next day".

If you know anything about science, you'd know that the Earth actually is about 4.5 billion years old.

Now, one can think that because the Old Testament doesn't mention the "universe" in the creation account like the New Testament does, God didn't actually create the whole universe. But instead just created the Earth with it's environment - maybe actually just terraforming the Earth. And maybe not even really terraforming it, but rather just preparing it for us by wiping out dinosaurs and other threats to humanity.

I can see this happening easier than I can see the whole universe being only 6,000 to 10,000 years old.

Maybe 10,000 years ago, or whatever, a very powerful ancient alien race brought about our existence by planting 2 genetically manipulated people on the Earth in a specially prepared region. In some sense, the aliens could say they created the heavens and the earth. They would have been responsible for our existence.

I'm not saying any of this is true. But I find it difficult to believe the universe is only 10,000 years old.


RE: Nope
By drycrust3 on 12/20/2012 9:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But I find it difficult to believe the universe is only 10,000 years old.

I'm working on it.


RE: Nope
By drycrust3 on 1/6/2013 8:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well, so far I've discovered that there is a good chance Einstein's theories of relativity are wrong ... sorry, completely wrong.
Here is the link to a paper that goes into a lot of detail regarding Einstein's theories and provides mathematical evidence to show there are mistakes in his ideas.
http://www.gsjournal.net/old/physics/hua.pdf
If the writer is right, and he seems to be, then it means we've been wandering along the wrong path for the last 100 years.


RE: Nope
By drycrust3 on 1/9/2013 5:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
I've checked with various friends about this article, and one says that that particular journal doesn't do peer reviews, so that does affect the credibility of the article.
A creationist friend said that Einstein was treated with suspicion by the scientific community for a long time, so scientists would have carefully checked his work to make sure it is right, so he doubts that there are any mistakes in Einsteins work.
All in all, I think it's better to follow the status quo for now.


RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/19/2012 5:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
To add to what I said above, the Old Testament makes me think of ancient aliens with billion-year technology development brought about the Earth and its environment some kind of way.

The Old Testament seems more like an account of history in simplified terms. The New Testament seems like a government's effort to create a religion to control the populous.


RE: Nope
By delphinus100 on 12/18/2012 9:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, even the orbits of geostationary satellites will decay, left to themselves. Though it'll take something on the order of a million years for what's left of Earth's atmosphere at those altitudes to bring them down...

In any case, I would hardly dare to guess what the technology of the descendants of humanity might be like by the time the Sun leaves the Main Sequence. Hell, we might even be able to alter the process itself, and/or safely move Earth to a safer distance...if it even matters to us by then.


RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/18/2012 10:10:04 PM , Rating: 1
Music to my ears. Sadly, I'm not really sure humanity will survive long enough to get to that point of being a class-2 civilization - beings capable of manipulating or controlling a star.

There's just too much malevolence in the heart of humanity. Even the absolute best of us would not be able to properly handle absolute power. Let alone the high & mighty, rich and wealthy and powerful. The more power we humans have, the more evil we do to each other.

Sometimes I believe that technology will provide us with paradise. Other times I can't see humanity surviving just because everybody wants to get revenge on their perceived enemy (for those who can't think deep enough for that last sentence, I don't feel like trying to explain it).


RE: Nope
By smnoamls on 12/19/2012 3:20:48 AM , Rating: 1
I call BS.
I have fig trees in my garden, and when a strong wind blows, they don't even startle my cats.
My daughter does like to collect them though (cause they give off a bad smell after a while).
Did you think the writer of the online bible (this God person you mentioned) meant that?


RE: Nope
By mcnabney on 12/19/2012 10:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
You have fig trees and you aren't eating every single fig on them?

-split fig
-stuff with Gorgonzola
-wrap with bacon
-bake until cheese is all melty

I could eat that every day!


RE: Nope
By MartyLK on 12/19/2012 1:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have fig trees in my garden, and when a strong wind blows, they don't even startle my cats.


I laughed for 5 solid minutes over this.

Hehe...I have cats and know how started they can be - at nothing more than a brisk breeze. If figs blowing in a strong wind won't startle them, hehe...it must not be much of an event. :)


RE: Nope
By kleinma on 12/18/2012 8:16:06 PM , Rating: 1
Last I checked more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.


RE: Nope
By retrospooty on 12/19/2012 7:09:21 AM , Rating: 2
"Last I checked more people have been killed in the name of God than for all other reasons combined ."

Fixed that for ya ;)


RE: Nope
By xthetenth on 12/19/2012 1:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
The old testament is pretty much just god killing people with an interlude where he gets satan to kill people as part of a bet to soothe his ego.

(ethnic) cleanliness is next to godliness.


RE: Nope
By DeepBlue1975 on 12/19/2012 1:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
God is basically a mass contractor of mass murderers.
And the worst is, he only pays the killers with just a bunch of preposterous words that he even doesn't write by himself...


RE: Nope
By drycrust3 on 12/20/2012 2:48:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
As a popular YEC song explains, “If there really was a worldwide flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.”

And what do we see? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.
quote:
But the interesting part is that [the levels of carbon in sedimentary layers] rose so quickly that he feels that the sedimentary analysis rules out change by slower-acting forms of carbon release, such as volcanoes.

Ok, so say the cause of the sudden rise in carbon was billions of dead things being drowned in a world wide flood that suddenly happened, e.g. a fracturing of the earth's crust by tectonic plate movement, which released a large volume of water from the interior of the earth onto its surface? Couldn't that explain the sudden rise in carbon levels this guy has found?
Look how many things we commercially extract from under the ground that contain carbon: Oil, coal, diamonds, lime, etc. Looking at the quantities of stuff we extract out of the ground from all over the world, it must have taken billions of dead things, buried under tons of rocks, laid down by water, all over the earth, to have created this stuff.
quote:
If he is correct it suggests that methanosarcina could be the most diabolical murderer in history,

The problem with this theory is it would have killed the people and animals on the ark, and then this planet would be largely a dead and barren planet.


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