Climate change: Who is responsible for earth's first global warming? Not humans but sea animals

Humankind should keep them ready for global warming effects. But, can we surpass that?

Global Warming
Global Warming Pixabay

Many environmental experts have blamed humankind for their actions that triggered climate change and global warming. But, a new study suggested that not the homo-sapiens but some 520-540 million years ago, the animals of this blue planet ware responsible for earth's first global warming.

Researchers at Universities of Exeter, Leeds and Antwerp, and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have accumulated their findings regarding the global warming and published in the journal Nature Communications.

The study stated that the cause of the global warming was the creation of earth's first ever creatures, deep under the ocean that resulted in a drop in the organic material on the seafloor and released more carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere.

While providing the explanation, Professor Tim Lenton from the University of Exeter has said in a statement, published on the university site that like garden worms, many "tiny creatures on the seabed disturb, mix and recycle dead organic material – a process known as bioturbation. Because the effect of animals burrowing is so big, you would expect to see big changes in the environment when the whole ocean floor changes from an undisturbed state to a bioturbated state."

Another researcher of this study, Professor Filip Meysman, from the University of Antwerp said that around 520 million years ago earth had witnessed a decrease of oxygen level in the ocean but, collected evidence from rocks showed that the sediment was minimally disturbed.

As per the study co-author Professor Simon Poulton, from the University of Leeds, their initial finding showed that the sea creature was living on the seafloor and did not move from its place to go deep into the sea.

This creature has similarities with the research done by the scientists of the University of California-Riverside, who discovered an ancient fossil of a sea creature, which could have roamed across the ocean's surface and was quite inactive in its movement.

However, lead author Dr Sebastiaan van de Velde, of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has explained that "The critical factor was to realise that the biggest changes happen at the lowest levels of animal activity. This meant that the first bioturbators had a massive impact."

Later, researchers designed a new mathematical model of earth from that time to solve the confusion. As per Dr Benjamin Mills, from the University of Leeds stated that they surprised to see the result they found from that model.

He said, "The evolution of these small animals did indeed decrease the oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere, but also increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to such an extent that it caused a global warming event."

The findings show how the world's first creature became a curse for the blue planet and now we are repeating the same to make earth worse place to live in. Many experts suggested that due to the drastic change of climate, by 2050 between 350 million and 600 million African resident would experience increased water stress.

The changing atmosphere will also affect Asia by the mid-21st century, as experts claimed that it will increase crop yields up to 20 percent in the east and south-east Asia, while yields could decrease up to 30% in central and south Asia.

The world knows how the Arctic and Antarctic region is changing due to global warming but scientists said that because of the changing environment terrestrial and marine ecosystems and habitats are projected to be at risk to invasive species.

Even the rise of sea level would also increase the risk factor of a massive flood in areas such as London, New York and many coastal cities.

This article was first published on July 5, 2018