A new paper on nanodiamonds at the YD boundary

27 Aug 2010

At http://cosmictusk.com we have news of a new paper due to be published by the Journal of Glaciology by Kurbatov, Mayewski and Steffensen et al which presents evidence for a prominent peak in nanodiamonds in a narrow layer of ice in Greenland ice cores that date just prior to the YD boundary event. A direct link to the article will be available in due course.

Nanodiamonds are an accepted indicator of a cosmic impact event (in this event, atmospheric) and they are in abundance. They lie directly below the very dust laden ice cores that define the Younger Dryas period. This dust is normally thought to reflect a very dry and windy period of climate - desertification in some regions, as beloved by AGW proponents. In this instance it is possible the dust may represent the debris left behind in the atmosphere by the impactor - but in the past this sort of interpretation has been denied and shown to be derived from regions such as the Sahara. Never the less, it is interesting that the Younger Dryas is recognisably dusty as far as ice cores are concerned. Richard Firestone appears to be very pleased by this new paper as it supports what he, and others, have discovered at various Clovis period sites in North America. However, at the same time, leading sceptics of the YD boundary event are about to publish a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (the US equivalent of the Royal Society) which claims they can find no evidence of nanodiamonds at the YD boundary - but is actually a re-analysis of earlier research which claimed carbon spherules were in fact the skeletons of tiny creatures. It was refuted by Firestone (see http://cosmictusk.com archive) who said they had not actually sampled the YD impact layer and had been looking at an earlier point in time - close, but not quite there. The paper on the Greenland ice cores was first offered to PNAS - but was rejected. It was then taken to the Journal of Glaciology. It seems some people are in a deep state of denial. This includes David Morrison, a fierce critic of the Electric Universe model. He went so far as to claim swarms of Tunguska like impacts caused by dense cometary material are not just improbable - but impossible.

In addition, we may note that part of the hypothesis of Firestone, West et al is the idea the YD impactor was responsible for the extinction (or near extinction as it now seems) of the mammoth and herds of other large mammal species. I suspect this is the bit Morrison objects to. He has spent an awful lot of ink on debunking Velikovsky and catastrophism of any kind so it is unlikely he is capable of being converted.

See Napier (2010) Palaeolithic extinctions and the Taurid complex at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1003/1003.0744v1.pdf Kennet et al, (2009) Nanodiamonds in the YD boundary layer, published in Science 323 :94. See also Melott (2010) Cometary outbursts and atmospheric chemistry in Geology 38 (http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/reprint/38/4/355