Catastrophism news

Cosmic Shooting Gallery

An article in the Observatory 125 (2005) pages 319-122, 'Earth in the Cosmic Shooting Gallery' by DJ Asher, Mark Bailey, V Emil'yanenkar abd Bill Napier (see claims the terrestrial impact rate appears to be substantially higher than current NEO population models imply but is consistent with a significant unsee asteroid and cometary contribution to the hazard. A bit of doomsaying but interesting in how it might have impinged on the past.

Climate see saw two million years ago

At ... we learn that climate see saws are not just a feature of the most recent Ice Age but were happening in earlier epochs, even as long ago as two million years. This is where the lake sediments extracted from the area of the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania have taken scientists - in search of the roots of human beings. For a period of roughly 200,000 years the climate oscillated between closed woodland and open savannah grassland - on five or six occasions. Each change is said to have occurred abruptly - in a geological sense of abruptness.

Corals from the Eemian interglacial

At ... is a story from a paper peddling scary doomsaying to the CAGW heartbeat. In the Eemian interglacial, 125,000 years or so ago, it claims, pulse racing, the global temperatures increased and this had a remarkable effect - corals in equatorial oceans declined but corals in some temperate regions thrived. The scary bit is that this is interpreted as corals vacating the equatorial zone as a result of global warming and migrating to regions that may now be somewhat cool but were then agreeable to corals.

The Megafauna die-off event

One of the authors that wrote a paper debunking the Younger Dryas Boundary event has now switched attention to the Australian megafauna extinctions - see This time, it is not the Younger Dryas he takes aim at but the period around 40,000 years ago. This is not sharply defined as noted in earlier posts but basically he is talking about mass die-offs, once again, in various parts of the world, but homing in on Australia in particular.

YDB impact theory getting better all the time, even allowing for the false starts

At ... researchers in Pennsylvania and South Carolina, and now as far away as Syria, are said to have found a thin layer of sedimentary rock with melt glass material within it - formed at very high temperatures, over 1700 degrees Celsius. It is known as trinitite and forms at the surface from the melting of any sediments that may have been there,  fused with rocks. Something very similar happened when a nuclear airburst occurred in New Mexico in 1945 (testing the bomb).

... and dud media

the media haven't seen fit to hardly mention the latest paper on the Clovis comet hypothesis, assuming it is a dud call, but apparently students and geologists have shot the paper to the 'most read' item in the journal Geology - so the experts, and the future experts, are interested, and pricking up their ears - see One of the features of the paper (you can download a pdf at Cosmic Tusk) is that there was a large peak in ammonium ions in ice cores at the beginning of the Younger Dryas which has been

Polish Meteorites ... meteorite field in Poland

This story is at ... a 660lb iron meteorite was found near Poznan in Poland. It is cone shaped, around 2m in diameter, and is thought to date from around 5000 years ago, or 3000BC. It seems it was one of several big ones closely accompanied by lots of little ones. They all landed in what is known as the 'Morasko Meteorite Reserve' and this one was dug out of the ground after being detected by a device designed to look for electromagnetic anomalies.

Asteroids, comets, and a tsunami that ran up Lake Geneva in ad563

At ... a conference at Orlando in Florida next february, on comets and asteroids, is timed to coincide with the flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14. This will pass as close as 14,000 miles to the Earth. NASA has identified 4,700 objects as potential threats to the Earth.

April earthquake triggers lots of other earthquakes

I've bracketed this under catastrophism as it may link into the earthquake storms between 2300 and 2000BC, and again, in the 12th century BC (conventional dates applied). At Tall Bloke's Talk Shop the subject of earthquakes was inspired following the one off the west coast of Canada this past week, and fears of a tsunami wave striking Hawaii. In the outcome nothing catastrophic happened but it is a good point for Tall Bloke to pick up on the earthquake in April 2012 off India.

1258 again

Again, this probably should be on the forum but for those interested in the purported 1258 volcano that caused a famine that killed lots of people in cities such as London it is bit revealing that earlier this year Michael Mann, infamous for creating a hockey stick by hiding the decline and making use of bristlecone pines that were influenced by snowfall in the high mountains rather than global temperature, had a piece published in Nature Geoscience that perhaps kickstarted all the other articles and possibly even the reason why archaeologists thought a volcano was responsible f