Catastrophism news

The opposition

At ... George Howard decribes the nature of the resistance to the Younger Dryas boundary event hypothesis and what he witnessed at the AMQA conference in 2010. Dennis Cox, in the comments, adds further interesting points - the case of an assumptive consensus versus data driven science and the fact geologists know far less thany they care to admit, about anything to do with the history of the Earth. Data that refute the summptions of the consensus is very often airbrushed away, or archived in a dark room.

Double Whammy

At ... the end of Cretaceous, or K/T boundary event, is associated with an asteroid smashing into Yucatan, killing off the dinosaurs, and now the search is on for evidence of a similar strike at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary

More on the YDFB event paper this week

At ... however, the paper, lead author astrophysicist Malcolm LeCompte, stops short of saying there is positive evidence of a cosmic impact. What they had found, according to LeCompte, is evidence consistent with an impact but it does not yet prove one took place. There is a mystery contained in the Younger Dryas strata - what that is has yet to be established.

The Firestone et al research is vindicated by new paper

At ... and see also ... and of course, ... there is a new paper in PNAS that appears to exonerate the YD boundary event researchers and criticises the scientists too quick to do a write-up with the intention of debunking them.

Expanding glaciers

At ... the events in the Arctic this year, although still impeding Shell's attempts to drill in the sea bed, have given birth to speculation on how fast glaciers respond to climate change - for some reason dropping the word warming. This might be because the Arctic is still very cold and wind was a factor in the break up of the ice this year - which however must necessarily have been very thin ice for that to happen.

Ammonites in Antarctica

We are used to finding ammonites in various places in the UK, such as the collapsed cliffs at Charmouth in Dorset, dating back to the Jurassic. These creatures of warm seas have been studied for years and are part and parcel of the idea that the Dinosaur age was one of global warmth. This appears to be confirmed by the discovery of large ammonites on an island off the peninsular of Antarctica - proof of Jurassic and Cretaceous global warming - see

Younger Dryas watershed

This is really basic geology but I'm placing it under the catastrophism banner as it has a bearing on the recent hypothesis of a comet impact at the Younger Dryas boundary - now, in light of a paper by Bill Napier, regarded as the Earth encountering a Taurid stream of material rather than an impact event as such. At ... 'What Caused the Younger Dryas Cold Event?' doi:10.1130/focus042012.1v38no4page383-4 and actually explores the route of the meltwater during the Younger Dryas.

The Mystery Interval

At ... is an abstract of a paper published August 2012 in Geology journal, 'Seasonal Laurentide Ice Sheet melting during the Mystery Interval, 17.5-14.5ka' and begins by saying the last deglaciation (the end of the last Ice Age) was interrupted by two stadials (cold episodes).

a 1560s lightning bolt

At ... Bob Kobres reports on some interesting events. For example, the town of Thunderbolt in Georgia was named from the translation of a native word for the area when an unusual lightning bolt had formed a spring which tasted of iron and sulphur.

Droughts in Egypt

This is at ... evidence of the end of Old Kingdom drought as recorded in the Ipuwer Papyrus (first intermediate period) has been found in pollen and charcoal preserved in buried sediments from the Nile delta. Several major drought episodes have been found, corresponding not just to low Nile levels but to precise setbacks in the civilisation of Egypt. The paper is published in the journal Geology (July, 2012) and the sediment core goes back to around 5000BC.