SUMMARY: Around 251 million years ago, something happened to the Earth's climate that wiped out 90-95% of marine life and 70% of terrestrial life. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have developed a computer model that demonstrates that rapid increases in carbon dioxide belched out of volcanoes did the trick. Temperatures were 10 to 30 degrees Celsius (18 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than they are today, which broke a cycle that pulled carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
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