Recreating Earth's largest extinction in a laboratory

Jeffrey Benca, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, exposed dwarf pines to 13 times the level of dangerous UV-B radiation we get on a sunny day and found that the conditions, similar to what some think occured during Earth's largest extinction 252 million years ago, made the trees sterile. The surprise findings tell scientists something about past extinctions and Earth's future prospects as climate change, habitat destruction and pollution threaten to create a sixth mass extinction.

Provided by University of California, Berkeley

Runtime: 3:15

Get Science360's video of the day in your mailbox each weekday.

Sign up now!
» More videos about Earth & Environment, Biology