YDB event ... it's still kicking up the dust

14 Jun 2012

At http://cosmictusk.com/ there is a report on a story from Knight Science Journalism Tracker - big media has ignored a PNAS paper on a comet blast even thought the authors worked mainly on grants from the National Science Foundation. The latest paper at PNAS is large, unmissable and has 18 authors yet mainstream media is obsessed with unscientific environmentalist shindigs and political maneoverings at the upcoming Rio bean feast.

However, having said that the paper does appear at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/13/new-evidence-of-younger-dryas-extr... and gets the dates right - unlike KSJT, namely, it happened 13,000 years ago, not 12,000 (on the grand geochronological timescale). Melt glass material has been found in a thin layer of sedimentary rock in Pennsylvania, in South Carolina, and in Syria. It was formed at very high temperatures. The prgaramme director of the National Science Foundation's 'Earth Sciences', H Richard Lane, says they are indicative of high energy cosmic airbursts, or impacts, and there is a picture of microscopic grains of melted quartz showing evidence of burst bubbles and flow textures that result from the melting and boiling of rock. The melt glass is in fact quite similar to that produced at Meteor Crater in Arizona or in the tektite fields in Australia. Significantly, it also resemble melt glass produced by a nuclear airburst in New Mexico in 1945 (or thereabouts). No doubt Thunderbolts would view Meteor Crater somewhat differently, and the melt glass in Syria and North America and the problem of the equally quick warming up at the end of the YD has still be explained by the team.

The site in Syria, however, is somewhat interesting, as Gobekli Tepe and it's strange pillars overlook the Euphrates river where Abu Hureya can be found. It is an important archaeological site as it marks a transition between hunter-gatherers and hunter-farmers (new jargon it seems). The presence of a thick charcoal layer in the ancient village indicates a major fire that was perhaps associated with the melt glass and impact spherules. The effects on the people would have been dire.