Catastrophism news

Platinum elements in meteor fragments

At ... some images of fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteor which seem to show the object had been involved with a previous encounter of some kind, and perhaps it had strayed too close the Sun. Russian geologist presented the evidence to a conference in Florence - evidence of an interior melting process. The team also found platinum group elements in the crust of the meteorite - and these have recently been implicated as evidence of an extraterrestrial object at the Younger Dryas 'boundary' event. Interesting times.

Those Redwoods and 1739AD

The post on Giant Redwoods on August 24th included the information of a narrow growth tree ring event at 1739AD that could not be attributed to a known volcano. Now we discover that the event is also confirmed in European oak dendrochronologies 1740-42 (a three year climatic downturn). It turns out that 1740 is the coldest year on the Central England Temperature record (which goes back to 1659). It was the last major demographic crisis of the pre-industrial world. In Ireland it is estimated around 300,000 people died of starvation in those three years.

Gobekli Tepe and Sirius

At ... we have an update on Gobekli Tepe, which consists of around 20 circular enclosures. Each is surrounded by a ring of T shaped stone pillars some of which are decorated with fierce looking animals. Two more stone megaliths stand parallel to each other at the centre of each ring.


A comment on page 16 at makes the point that practically all oil and gas that has ever been drilled had bituminous shales as the source rock. One of the exceptions is coalbed methane. The reason is that dark shales (which includes coal) are just about the only rocks that contain large amounts of organics. In that sense all oil is shale oil.

The YDB event in a nutshell

George Howard provides a link to an unusual web site - see ... and it begins with the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia in February this year, 14 miles above the surface. It created a shock wave that injured 1500 people and damaged thousands of buildings - but only very small pieces of the meteor were found on the ground. We are then asked to imagine hundreds of such objects impacting with the atmosphere of the Earth - a trail of closely following space rocks.

That super solar flare

The Daily Telegraph, August 13th (2013) under Science, has Michael Hanlon telling us that a colossal solar flare hit the Earth in the Dark Ages - and catastrophe could strike any time. Another bit of doomsaying you might say but is reporting on past events such as this doom laden as doom clearly did not happen and the world suvived. Doomsaying is somewhat apocalypitic and concerns doom laden events in the future -which is the nature of the lengthy article. Past events are used to predict future events - with far worse results.

Did you see that rock going by?

At ... astronomers expected one space rock to come by but they got a second one, tracking the first asteroid. The first one passed by at a safe distance and was not a problem. The chaser came much closer - well inside the Moon's orbit.

Han Kloosterman seeks a palaeobotanist and a palynologist

Han Kloosterman, who has been researching what he calls the Ussello Horizon for too many years to count, has a problem. The Ussello Horizon is a European geological layer separating the Alleroid warm period from the cooler Younger Dyras event, and he has worked tirelessly on this, even looking for UK examples of the thin black layer of organic material (corresponding, it is thought, with the Black Mat deposits in N America).

Younger Dryas ... once more to the gates

At ... there is a nice graph here to start the ball rolling, using five cores that show, with the aid of a blue band as highlight, the drop in temperature during the Younger Dryas (from Greenland, the tropics, and Antarctica). The graph purports to show a warming in Antarctica (Camp Century core) and this sticks out like a sore thumb, being slightly skew whiff from the other cores.

End of Permian

Catching up ... the end of Permian extinction is now being blamed on a comet or asteroid strike, 252 million years ago (see The Araguainha crater in Bazil is where it is supposed to have left its mark - seel also