Monday, January 08, 2007

Permian Weather & Small Ecology Musings

I have a few moments before life goes wonky because of the gpfs upgrade and end of year activities. I thought I'd share a couple thoughts on the Permian. I had a bit of time to ponder stuff while my daughter slept and I needed a small break from reading the books my wife bought for Xmas.

Permian Weather Made the PT Event Worse?

If you look at the Permian World Map that I mentioned before, you will note that it looks like, when you combine with the gobsmacking hot weather, that the place was just made for hurricanes. Assuming that the recent announcements about the hydrogen sulfide findings in the Permian Marine strata hold up, then how much of this was transported inland? How much of the life that we see survive the PT Event was 'upland' critters that would not have been in the path of the nastiness being brought ashore? Then again, If the oxygen levels did indeed drop to the truly low levels that have believed, then land animals would have been forced to move down into the regions that were were doubly vulernable to the H2S poisoning brought on by the rains whether or not they were hurricane intense.

The thought brought me to the idea of whether or not anyone had modeled the Permian weather. I have done some basic searches since I came back, but so far, all I have found is the work that Kiehl et al did at NCAR. That was a climate sim and not as focused on the weather per se. (I could be wrong there, but...) I suspect that the work that we did at SC05 and Mike did above and beyond that could be applied here. What was the weather really like then? Then again, how could we test to see if the model constructed would be even close to accurate? It's something to consider and perhaps take a stab at.

Caste Ecologies the Norm?

I was going to post a bit about the remnants of the Carboniferous that made it up to the Permian End Times and what it might mean or played out had the PT Event not happened. I think it might have some implications for SFnal settings as well. Carlos might have hit upon something bigger than he thought. He stated a while back that the ecologies of the Paleozoic were rather caste like for its members. Certain critter types did certain things. And that broke down only during the Permian.

However, the thought was what-if the ecologies were to develop that way? I mean that what-if it was the norm that the ecologies of a world don't really mix that much. OTL, Our world, post Paleozoic does mix quite a bit. However, what-if the norm is that it doesn't?

Frex, Carboniferous inedible forests in the wet lands and tidal basins; Permian inland; and something else upland? Each not really caring much for the veggies of the other? The idea breaks a bit when it comes to carnivores...hrm. thoughts?

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