Supernova and Climate

21 Oct 2017

An interesting paper is discussed at ... which is relevant to the SIS membership following the talk by Rupert Holms at our autumn meeting a couple of weeks ago (the video is not yet online). The idea of supernova having catastrophic effects in the historical past was quite popular at one time - as postulated by the likes of LaViolette and Firestone. Rupert Holms theory is in a similar vein - but with a twist.

A retired thermal engineer has been exercising his brain and has come up with a correlation between bouts of cosmic rays from deep space and various catastrophic events in Earth history - such as the big extinction events, the Ice Ages, even modern global warming. The thinking seems to have been triggered after a mysterious die-off of 211,000 endangered antelopes in India a few years back and one thing led to another in a sort of domino falling sequence. Dr William Sokeland is on record as saying, 'global warming will not be reduced by reducing man made co2 emissions' which may cause many people to not bother reading any further - yet this appears to be a genuine and novel attempt to explain anomalies in the geological and historical records. He says, 'scientists generally think debris from supernovae to not impact on our planet. They have no concept that particles from exploding stars are focused by our Sun's gravity and the magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth.' The scattering of solar energy due to cosmic rays from supernova is reflected in TSI data (and produces a graph to show what he means). Sokeland claims supernova debris streams cause the warming of the climate and the cold of the glacial episodes (in the Pleistocene) and effect sea levels by shutting up water in ice sheets. The big surprise is that he thinks megafauna extinctions involve supernova debris. I suppose his theory makes a change from blaming everything on the global ocean circulation system, more properly an effect rather than a driver of change. Supernova are also an alternative to comets - and errant planets, as agents of catastrophic cycles. The theory is currently unlikely to be able to elbow the uniformitarian explanations aside, but an interesting train of thought. He even wonders if supernova debris can change human and animal DNA.

See also cosmic rays and the Ice Ages via Nur Shaviv - go to ... and you will see in the comments one from a guy, Cigar Shaped. Any clues who he might be? His photograph helps.