Catastrophism news

African Big Boys

The big boys in this story are mega-herbivores - and the animals that preyed on them, the sabre toothed cats. Why did they become extinct. At https://phys.org/print462101695.html ... we are told human hunters are usually blamed for such disappearances of animal species over the last few million years or so. This always revolves around the big boys of the African fauna - and the little boys are ignored (even when they become extinct just as mysteriously). Says it all I suppose.

Lakes on Mars

Here is the article to go with the story about rain in the Atacama desert - overflowing crater lakes caused canyons to be cut out on Mars (go to https://phys.org/print461597820.html ...). We are told that billions of years ago water flowed freely across Mars. Former rivers erupted into craters, forming lakes and seas. Sometimes these lakes became so filled with water they overflowed - creating catastrophic flooding events. They go on to sugegst that catastrophic geological processes may have played a major role in shaping the landscape of Mars.

Big News Story

The big news story this week is of course the discovery of a massive crater under the Greenland ice sheet. Both William and Gary have forwarded links to the story. At https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6389645/Nineteen-mile-wi... ... we are told a 19 mile wide crater has been discovered half a mile under the ice sheet - and it is speculated it was caused by a kilometre wide iron meteor. Of course, until the crater is actually investigated nobody really knows - and the same goes for the date it struck.

Scottish Tsunamis

Weather Eye in the Times (of London) a couple of weeks ago had a piece on tsunamis that affected the Shetland Islands (and the Scottish mainland in the first instance). Until this year it was thought the only really big tsunami to affect Britain was the one dated just over 8000 years ago that was blamed on a collapse of the Storegga shelf on the seabed off the coast of Norway. Evidence for this has been found along the eastern coast of Scotland in large deposits of sand and detritus.

Geological Instant

At https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/caos-cts091718.php ... we have an interesting headline - Chinese led team (from the Chinese Academy of Sciences) shows mass extinction happened in a geological instant. Of course, what they mean by a geological instant is nothing like the real meaning of that word. They are claiming the end of Permian mass extinction event took place between 30,000 years ago and a few thousand years ago (leaving an option open for an even smaller instant in time). The end of Permian event took place around 250 million years ago.

Ancient Mexican Monsoon

At https://phys.org/print455182676.html ... analysing traces of leaf wax from local plants that accumulated in sediments in the sea by a team of researchers at the University of Arizona have reconstructed a history of monsoon activity in NW Mexico  and SW United States. The research was published in Nature Geosciences (Sept 3rd 2018) and shows that monsoon activity did indeed continue during the Late Glacial Maximum - but at a reduced level. Monssons divert moisture from the tropics and bring relief to long hot summers in the arid zones (above).

K/T boundary event again

This subject was sent in by several people including Jovan and William but Robert has gone straight to the source of the sauce in an article at www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/09/dinosaur-extinction-debate/... ... the controversy over the K/T boundary event in which both sides have had an acrimonious relationship since the Alvarez theory was adopted as mainstream science. That is the gist of the article - but is there a political angle the magazine is trying to push? As I don't read The Atlantic I have no idea.

Facts and Fictions

At https://phys.org/print452150037.html ... a carbon leak may have warmed the planet beginning in around 11,000 years ago, encouraging human civilisation to develop. The oceans are the planet's liggest depository of atmospheric carbon dioxide - so how do you get to releases lots of co2 and warm the planet (assuming co2 actually has a warming effect in the first instance). Well, according to this study, activity in the Southern Ocean was responsible - pulling out of the hat a hoary old chestnut in respect of the ocean current circulation.

Revelations

Sent in by William. Interesting take on Revelations, the last book of the Bible. Trumpet judgement 1 includes a meteor or bolide, no 2 refers to a large meteor, no 3 a huge bolide, no 4 astral observation, and no 7 a great hail of stones. These ideas are expressed in 'Revelation: What Did John Really See?' by Phillip J Silvia ISBN 9780615866055 and available via www.biblicalresearchbulletin.com ... and presumably via online bookshops.

Antique CAGW

At https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/late-paleocene-thermal-maximum/ ... here we have a catastrophic event that has been apprehended by climate scientists in order to create a scare story over CAGW. The late Paleocene/Eocene boundary event is supposed to be a classic case of the earth over heating. As you might expect the CAGW adherents have proposed there wasa lethal injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in order to account for the rise in temperatures.