California on Fire

23 Aug 2020

At ... during late August hudreds of fires have ignited as a result of hundreds of lightning strikes over western USA. Major fires were burning in California ...


 ... and these fires are also affecting parts of Washington State. It has its origin in two meteorological events according to the Cliff Mass weather blog. The first, a strong and persistent ridge of high pressure that brought heat wave conditions to the west, and two, the lightning barrage. Some 10.000 lightning strikes in 72 hours at one point. This is dry season in California and the results are devastating.

Also, at ... a PNAS article suggests an exploding star, or supernova, may be responsible for at lease one extinction event on the earth, at the Devonian-Carbonaceous boundary. Apparently, rocks from that period contain thousands of plant spores that seem to sunburnt by ultra violet light. Ths is evidence, they say, of a long lasting ozone depletion event.

So, in climate change theory, global warming causes ozone depletion - but back in the day it was caused by a supernova. I'm not knocking a supernova as that is a catastrophic event but one wonders at the train of thought displayed. Apparently, the thrust of the argument is that Betelgeuse is potentially going into supernova mode because it has displayed dimming and brightening, and dimming once again. This has caused the researchers to try and discover if earth has been affected by a supernova explosion in the past. Another scary doom saying story coming up, no doubt. The researchers claim to have looked at other causes of ozone depletion. These are listed as meteor impacts (or atmospheric explosions of magnitude), solar eruptions, and gamma ray bursts. None of those appealed to them it would seem. They say all these events begin suddenly and end quickly, allowing ozone to restore itself in a reasonable time lapse. They then say it can only have been a supernova because of the  time involved, some 300,000 years (the rock record). They are of course referring to sediments laid down at the boundary which are dated in the uniformitarian model at 300,000 years. In a catastrophist model they would have been laid down in the twinkling of an eye, as fossils within the rocks would not be laid down over such a long period, preserving them in a recognisable manner. These are plant spores. They deteriorate quickly, we might imagine. Why would plant spores continue to be fossiled over hundreds of thousands of years, in the same rock formation. In other words, in a catastrophist scenario the main argument of a supernova cause has no legs. Even worse, the authors go on to suggest there was more than one supernova, a veritable storm of supernovas in order to stretch the time lapse. Back in the day, Schaeffer's idea of earthquake storms in order to account for the Bronze Age destructions was cast as inadmissable, and yet here we have the idea of supernova storms as a possibility. I'm not saying it is impossible, or even unlikely, as it does show the authors are innovative in their ideas. They may  very well be right - but at the same time we may note the idea might be unnecessary in this instance if the sediments were laid down rapidly rather than over 300,000 years.