Catastrophism news

YD impact; increasingly looks unlikely - or does it?

Starting on a positive note but with no idea if he is describing reality or not, we may begin with April 10th and a post with the title (see right hand menu on web page) 'The North East impact zone and the destruction of the Laurentide ice sheet' ...

Accessible Articles via links on Cosmic Tusk

At April 9th ... there is an article on the YD boundary event and it's impact on Arizona, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Many sites in Arizona have evidence of the Clovis culture which apparently thrived in the centuries immediately before the Younger Dryas period. A raft of large animals became extinct at the boundary, the dividing line being a thin black layer in the geology (they are below but not above the black layer).

Morrison locking horns on the Tusk

Over at George Howard's site, April 8th there is a response by Burchard to NASA scientist David Morrison who is critical of the YD boundary event as postulated by Firestone and West et al. With the WISE mission ongoing upstairs this might not be the wisest of moments to claim there is no evidence of impacts or inter-actions between space and the atmosphere of the earth as recently as 12,000 years ago. However, Morrison is not in that mould.

YD Boundary event again

At the cause of the Younger Dryas rapid cooling event 12,900 years ago has been discovered according to an article in Nature (March 31st) - and is perhaps designed to quash the comet airburst theory. A mega-flood of water across the top of North America channelled melt-water from the ice sheet - which inconveniently disappeared several thousand years earlier (but there is no reason why it might not have been locked up as a huge lake in the meantime).

Dark Comets and WISE

Dark Comets - NASA and the WISE mission are being somewhat frugal with the information they are giving out, says George Howard over at and he is clearly getting a trifle ruffled due to frustration by some of the inane twaddle released by NASA press reports. He suggests NASA is finding lots of stuff that could hit the earth and that has never been acknowledged previously.

The Nemesis Star March 19th ... George Howard keeps coming up with interesting stories. This is a short piece on the NASA WISE mission and the Nemesis theory of Richard Muller. NASA is not just looking for dark and dead comets, it would seem, but it's orbiting infrared telescope might find the long speculated Nemesis companion star - but with some reservations. D Kirkpatrick, part of the WISE team, does not think Nemesis will be a red dwarf star with an enormous orbit as described by Muller but a low mass object closer to home.


An interesting web site to view is at which has four maps of the world. On them are marked confirmed impact structures, some 180 of them on the continental surfaces and just 24 known from beneath the oceans. The maps also mark out evidence of historical tsunami events.  On the same web site, the Holocene Impact Working Group, are a number of interesting pages including a Timeline of Activities.

The case of the younger dryas extraterrestrial impact event

An article in Journal of Cosmology volume 2, pages 256-285 Oct 27th 2009, 'The Case for the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event: Mammoth, Megafauna, and Clovis Extinctions 12,900 Years Ago' by Richard Firestone can now be downloaded in pdf format (17 pages of print) at . Firestone, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, outlines his arguments in a pretty effective manner - with copious references.

More on the AGU Fall Meeting

George Howard's web site has a post on a talk by Tom Stafford, author of Redefining the Age of Clovis; Implications for the Peopling of America which was published in the journal Science in 2007. Stafford's talk at the AGU conference laid out details of a very narrow layer of evidence at the Younger Dryas boundary, at a site in Texas, a thin 1 to 2cm layer of material that was host to trillions of nano-diamonds and high levels of soot known as aciniform.

Catastrophic Scenarios (real or imagined)

Science Daily January 27th ... the Neanderthals are now said to have died out in Iberia 37,000 years ago, coinciding with dramatic changes in climate and environment. Accurate C14 dating was achieved via the Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator from a sample of cave sediment. This date is 5000 years younger than the demise of Neanderthals north of the Pyrenees but C14 techniques are notoriously difficult around the upper limits at 40,000 years ago. The new C14 methods developed in laboratories such as Vienna are thought to be much more reliable.