The great gas attack: Permian Mass Extinction Theory

Ivan Seeking

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It sounds like a rude way for civilization as we know it to end, in a giant belch. But that's just what a U.S. scientist thinks was responsible for one of the largest and more mysterious mass extinctions in the Earth's history. [Broken]
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The Clathrate gun.

Well Clathrate or methane hydrate is definitely a very suspect stuff. But the hypothesis of the Clathrate gun originates here:

A Methane Trigger for Rapid Warming?
A review by Gerald R. Dickens

Methane Hydrates in Quaternary Climate Change The Clathrate Gun Hypothesis
James P. Kennett, Kevin G. Cannariato, Ingrid L. Hendy, and Richard J. Behl
American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, 2002. 224 pp. Paper, $42.00. ISBN 0-87590-296-0.


Using data from paleooceanography, climate dynamics, paleobotany, marine geology, and biogeochemistry, the authors argue that the remarkably abrupt global warmings during the ice ages (including that which terminated the last one) were caused by the destabilization of the reservoir of methane hydrates frozen in ocean sediments.

Science magazin Volume 299, Number 5609, Issue of 14 Feb 2003, p. 1017.
There is much more to this than meets the eye.


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There was a Topic about this somewhere else, too. But I can't remember where. It seems to me that this potential hazard is also a potential opportunity. Dangerous CO2 buildups in volcanic lakes have cost lives in the past. In response, I know of at least one Lake in which a pipe placed near the middle of the Lake constantly bubbles to release CO2 slowly. If the same sort of technique could be made to work on the vast amounts of methane thought to be building up at the bottoms of the Earth's oceans, a new fuel source could be the result.

The potential advantages would be; methane is cleaner than most current fuels (like petroleum or coal), it may be cheaper because it would pump itself, and no one nation could use it for political power due to geographical location.
Well, I guess you're right about that. Exploiting the clathrate could be very benificial for the environment and it may reduce it's potential danger to the World. So anybody interested in the last giant disasterous Clathrate gun explosion of 11,570 years ago?, also known as the Younger Dryas - Pre Boreal boundary but far better yet incorrectly known as the end of the ice age.
during the creteaceus fossils indicate that ocean temp did not vary with depth (as they do now). in such a scenario will calthrate be stable at the much warmer ocean bottom. if not we will have to think of the possibility that methane hydrate we see now at the ocean bottom was in the atmosphere then, very significant if true.(note "stepping stones" is a good book regarding the dynamics of earth through the ages. have you read it?)
Right Sage,

Same here, the clathrate gun explosion of 55 million years ago the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. So if sea temperatures where higher then there would have been problems witht the stability of clathrate.

However, this event here did not lead to mass extinctions. The mammals were increasing in number of species all the time, conquering the grounds that the extinct dino´s had behind. Climate was moist and warm before and after the event. As far as I know, land samples do not substantiate that this event had long lasting consequences. I repeat that isotopes jumps are not neccesarely temperature changes. The mere clathrate explosion only, is capable of a lot of isotope upgheavel
Ivan, didn't you recently post another possible explanation of the Permian Extinction that had to do with a global flood? People really can't decide what happened here can they?

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