Catastrophism news

That super solar flare

The Daily Telegraph, August 13th (2013) under Science, has Michael Hanlon telling us that a colossal solar flare hit the Earth in the Dark Ages - and catastrophe could strike any time. Another bit of doomsaying you might say but is reporting on past events such as this doom laden as doom clearly did not happen and the world suvived. Doomsaying is somewhat apocalypitic and concerns doom laden events in the future -which is the nature of the lengthy article. Past events are used to predict future events - with far worse results.

Did you see that rock going by?

At ... astronomers expected one space rock to come by but they got a second one, tracking the first asteroid. The first one passed by at a safe distance and was not a problem. The chaser came much closer - well inside the Moon's orbit.

Han Kloosterman seeks a palaeobotanist and a palynologist

Han Kloosterman, who has been researching what he calls the Ussello Horizon for too many years to count, has a problem. The Ussello Horizon is a European geological layer separating the Alleroid warm period from the cooler Younger Dyras event, and he has worked tirelessly on this, even looking for UK examples of the thin black layer of organic material (corresponding, it is thought, with the Black Mat deposits in N America).

Younger Dryas ... once more to the gates

At ... there is a nice graph here to start the ball rolling, using five cores that show, with the aid of a blue band as highlight, the drop in temperature during the Younger Dryas (from Greenland, the tropics, and Antarctica). The graph purports to show a warming in Antarctica (Camp Century core) and this sticks out like a sore thumb, being slightly skew whiff from the other cores.

End of Permian

Catching up ... the end of Permian extinction is now being blamed on a comet or asteroid strike, 252 million years ago (see The Araguainha crater in Bazil is where it is supposed to have left its mark - seel also

The winks between the longer blinks

At .... the blog author refers to a paper in the May 2013 issue of Nature Communications, 'Devolopment of middle stone age innovation linked to rapid climate change' where we learn the bigger blink of the eye (the last Ice Age, all 90,000 years) was punctuated by smaller winks of the eye (ups and down in temperature during that 90,000 years).

Another new paper on the Younger Dryas boundary event

Another new paper on the Younger Dryas boundary event - by Andrew Overholt and Adrian Melott. They are thinking in terms of increased levels of C14 and Bryllium 10 at the boundary are actually evidence of an extraterrestrial object entering the Earth's atmosphere - and breaking up. In other words, the meme has definitely shifted from a comet impact to an airburst - see

A Younger Dryas Controversy

Harvard scientists are now involved in the Younger Dryas Boundary Event controversy. A PNAS paper has reopened the case in a dramatic fashion and George Howard adds a touch of sarcastic humour with a spoof - see and

Comets in the Ancient World

Excellent post by Hossein Turner at ... a fresh insight into the Great Comets of the Ancient World, inspired no doubt by comet ISON and its appearance later in the year. Comets are common on rock art - but not always recognised as such. However, the fact that many petroglyphs have features in common with Chinese comets as illustrated on the Silk Manuscripts (drawn up between 200BC and 9AD) may serve to shed some new light on the origin and meaning of some of the etchings on rock faces.

Chelyabinsk Meteor ... update

At ... the 2013 Russian meteor, or fireball, is the largest ever recorded by CTBTO seismic monitoring (infrasound sensors) and a paper on the subject is now available. It raises some interesting questions. If there had been a lot of meteors in the past how would scientists know that they had occurred?