A very interesting article on how the Earth’s land mass participated in the destruction of the environment itself…
Earth’s mega-volcanic eruptions may be the direct result of mega continents getting in the way.
A new computer simulation that looks at how heat moves out from the center of our planet confirms the idea that the supercontinent Pangea could have acted like a thermal dam to that heat flow.
When the dam burst, Pangea experienced a gigantic, continent-melting flood of basalt lava that not only busted the place up, but likely vented enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and caused rapid global warming — all at the time of the dinosaurs’ demise.
"(Pangea) was sort of a blanket that prevented cooling," said Ben Phillips, a geophysical modeler at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "It was insulating almost a hemisphere." Phillips coauthored a paper on the new simulation in the May issue of the journal Geology.
What’s more, when there are many land masses, there is more cooling in the mantle because there’s more crust being pushed into the mantle, explained Phillips. It’s a lot like dropping ice cubes in hot tea. But when there’s just one big continent, he said, there’s less cooling in the mantle.
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