Program Details 2021*
The Great Dying: The Permian Extinction and the End of Life as We Know It.
250 million years ago, nearly all life on Earth disappeared in the worst of the five known major extinction events. The end of the Permian period saw 70% of land species and over 90% of ocean species go extinct from the fossil record in as little as 20,000 years. While exact processes are still being debated, it is well accepted that a sudden rise in carbon dioxide levels was the immediate cause. Scientists find that carbon dioxide levels today are rising at a higher rate than estimated during the Great Dying. Are we about to experience a sixth major extinction?
Dr. Mark O. Kaletka earned a PhD degree in Nuclear Physics from Northwestern University and is retired from Fermilab, where he worked in computing and IT. Dr. Kaletka's current interests include geology and photography.
*Note: This program was offered last year and may or may not be offered again this year.