Coming from this post:

Causes of fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen in past 300 Mya

I believe there are a lot of questions still unanswered about Permian-Triassic mass extinction, but I ask only for its influence on the Carbon Cycle, atmosphere levels and climate in general.

What did the extinction change in Earth's system? Did unicellular organisms restored some kind of new equilibrium? What do we know?

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    $\begingroup$ You possibly have the question backwards. It's not that the extinction influenced the carbon cycle, but that changes in the carbon cycle (burning of Siberian coal beds, release of methane hydrates, &c) caused the mass extinction. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    May 22, 2018 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe it is confusing at my tittle carbone cycle. I know there where huge changes at scale 100.000 years but I am trying to ask about changes at long scale tendencies of earth system. $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    May 22, 2018 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf:I think at least at CO2, the system was not affected at big time scale commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png CH4 is the major elemnt liberated and looks to cause an increase of 10 degrees -liberated tons at the event-. I wonder how much time took to restore atmosphere and ocean stability $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    May 29, 2018 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder about O2 too -post quoted with an article at the answer- $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    May 29, 2018 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe here: espace.curtin.edu.au/handle/20.500.11937/493 AND here: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0146638007001581 $\endgroup$
    – Bendaua
    Jul 23, 2018 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Wow, I just finished watching this it seems we know, or can guess, quite a bit about the level of Carbon, particularly Methane that were released at the end of the Permian and what they did to the climate. What seems to be missing is any consensus about why the Permian extinction stopped just that once things settled down climate and atmosphere swung back to about where they'd been beforehand. Inference to best-guess? It was rain and rocks that did most of it, with the biosphere in such a mess and so much new surface rock in Siberia the main mechanism to remove Carbon from the atmosphere would be chemical weathering; the rain dissolves Methane and Carbon Dioxide forming complex acidic solutions that react with the fresh rock, this forms insoluble Carbonates which lock carbon in the ground.

  • $\begingroup$ Methane is liverated from seabed at a megaeruption. But methane co2 and bacterial system is complex. After anoxia unicelulars may restore the echillibrium in 3 my and then pt wouldn't have a huge effect at big time scale. There should be something else. $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    May 21, 2018 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Universal_learner Like I said rain stripping, at elevated temperatures evaporation increases, more rain falls, more atmospheric gas is cycled to ground, most of it outgasses again when the water evaporates but some of it is retained. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 21, 2018 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ yup that cathastrophic events may happen at a scale 1 my but if you analyze all Phanerozoic geological time scale is huge!, it migth bite a bit biology system of unicels, the governors, but not concern a lot logical evolution of the system wich is concerned with biomass and geological orogenies. -excuse my bad english $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    May 21, 2018 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ Orogeny leads to lots of nutrients comming to the oceans from the river and biomass increases. The question I am trying to post is if all those catastrophic events at PT had an influence in global Earth system or just bite it a bit Earth patterns. While it is sure it had a huge influence on live system on earth $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    May 21, 2018 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Universal_learner Like all past mass extinctions we wouldn't be here without it. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 21, 2018 at 19:44

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