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Before climate change: Falling rocks set fire to 10% of land, trigger mini ice age for 1000 years

Another day, another apocalypse. Life in a perfect climate

Poor sods. After 90,000 dismal cold years things were finally just warming up when a  bunch of comet fragments from a a 62 mile-wide comet, crashed into our atmosphere. It was  around 13,000 years ago, and the fireballs started the ultimate black Saturday blaze which converted 10 million square kilometers of wilderness into unauthorized carbon emissions*. Somehow, all those reckless greenhouse gas additions didn’t seem to stop the airborne dust triggering a return to a mini ice age for a thousand years. It also punched a hole in the ozone layer meaning everyone probably had to wear more yak-fat sunscreen or get more skin cancer (I suspect data is bit lean on that).

Glaciers started growing again, some ocean currents changed and thus the Younger Dryas unfolded according to a couple of new papers.

In a fairly dramatic shift of landscaping styles, mother nature razed whole pine forests and replaced them with poplars.

Gaia is full of surprises: in the end, falling lumps of ice set fire to 10% of land on Earth, and making 10,800BC the worst carbon footprint since the last 62 mile wide rock hit Earth. Primitive tribes blamed each other and tried to stabilize the climate by banning cooking fires.

Thirteen thousand years later, and homo snowflakus is worried about seas rising by 1mm a year, and the ABC is worried about an alarming surge in large fires.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting theory. Published in Science Daily.

University of Kansas.

On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated.

Out of nowhere, the sky was lit with fireballs. This was followed by shock waves.

Fires rushed across the landscape, and dust clogged the sky, cutting off the sunlight. As the climate rapidly cooled, plants died, food sources were snuffed out, and the glaciers advanced again. Ocean currents shifted, setting the climate into a colder, almost “ice age” state that lasted an additional thousand years.

Finally, the climate began to warm again, and people again emerged into a world with fewer large animals and a human culture in North America that left behind completely different kinds of spear points.

This is the story supported by a massive study of geochemical and isotopic markers just published in the Journal of Geology.

The results are so massive that the study had to be split into two papers.

“Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ~12,800 Years Ago” is divided into “Part I: Ice Cores and Glaciers” and “Part 2: Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial Sediments.”

The paper’s 24 authors include KU Emeritus Professor of Physics & Astronomy Adrian Melott and Professor Brian Thomas, a 2005 doctoral graduate from KU, now at Washburn University.

“The work includes measurements made at more than 170 different sites across the world,” Melott said.

The KU researcher and his colleagues believe the data suggests the disaster was touched off when Earth collided with fragments of a disintegrating comet that was roughly 62 miles in diameter — the remnants of which persist within our solar system to this day.

“The hypothesis is that a large comet fragmented and the chunks impacted the Earth, causing this disaster,” said Melott. “A number of different chemical signatures — carbon dioxide, nitrate, ammonia and others — all seem to indicate that an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth’s land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, was consumed by fires.”

According to Melott, analysis of pollen suggests pine forests were probably burned off to be replaced by poplar, which is a species that colonizes cleared areas.

Indeed, the authors posit the cosmic impact could have touched off the Younger Dryas cool episode, biomass burning, late Pleistocene extinctions of larger species and “human cultural shifts and population declines.”

“Computations suggest that the impact would have depleted the ozone layer, causing increases in skin cancer and other negative health effects,” Melott said. “The impact hypothesis is still a hypothesis, but this study provides a massive amount of evidence, which we argue can only be all explained by a major cosmic impact.”

REFERENCES’

  1. Wendy S. Wolbach et al et al a lot (2018) Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 1. Ice Cores and GlaciersThe Journal of Geology, 2018; 000 DOI: 10.1086/695703
  2. Wendy S. Wolbach and another lot of et als (2018). Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 2. Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial SedimentsThe Journal of Geology, 2018; 000 DOI: 10.1086/695704W
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71 comments to Before climate change: Falling rocks set fire to 10% of land, trigger mini ice age for 1000 years

  • #
    sceptic56109

    Here in Canada, we had some big “wildfires” last year. When there were 30 fires burning (the first 30), a British Columbia forestry service spokesperson said that at least 2/3 of them were caused by humans. (That statement probably did not help with career advancement). Later, when we had 150 fires burning, a statement was put out saying that the pattern of fires was unusual. Historic fires were concentrated in rural areas because rural areas in BC are so much bigger. In 2017, urban areas were most afflicted. Weird, huh?

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    • #
      Extreme Hiatus

      Another case of ‘do not believe what you read in the media.’ The only thing that was different this time was that some of these fires did get to the edges of some small towns this time, none of which could be honestly described as an ‘urban area.’ Just look at a map of where they were.

      https://globalnews.ca/news/3585284/b-c-wildfires-map-2017-current-location-of-wildfires-around-the-province/

      The interesting thing about these fires is that the worst ones were directly linked to some old Fake Climate Change News. Remember when Global Warming was supposed to be causing huge Mountain Pine Beetle epidemics that were going to kill every tree in BC and then sweep across Canada and turn it all into a dead zone? That was all nonsense but it did produce a lot of dead wood which is a big reason why these fires were so big.

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      It would be interesting to know what proportion of those “wildfires” are from the combustion of single-species mono-culture plantation forest in the highly flammable, dense, concentration of juvenile trees comprising a now typical plantation forest. In my opinion, fire has a difficulty in getting into the canopy of mature trees in general.

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      • #
        Extreme Hiatus

        Environment Skeptic – These fires were in the (mostly) dry interior of BC where the forest types are adapted to regular fires in various ways, some types more than others. It was past fire suppression that caused the huge Mountain Pine beetle epidemic that killed so many trees and set the stage for (most) of these fires, which is where your comment about “single-species mono-culture plantation forest” becomes most relevant. Most of the forests killed were lodgepole pine, a relatively short-lived species that persists over the long term only with the help of fire. Their cones pop open when burned so when fire sweeps through a stand they mass replant themselves, which creates an even-aged stand which looks like that “single-species mono-culture plantation forest” you described. These trees can only start growing in open sunny areas so if they are not burned, no more will start growing – while longer-lived species, typically spruce, which can start growing in the shade, gradually take over… until a fire sweeps through and replants the lodgepole pines.

        Now if there is no fire for a long time you end up with MATURE stands of lodgepole pine – and that is what the Mountain Pine beetle attacks. When you have huge areas of mature lp pine due to fire suppression, you get the huge beetle epidemics that happened. Nothing to do with Global Warming – which the Gang tried to blame it on – although a few warmer than usual winters allowed more beetle survival which accelerated it.

        Then these stands of dead trees are a huge pile of fuel, almost inviting a fire to pop open the cones and replant them.

        Your observation that “fire has a difficulty in getting into the canopy of mature trees in general” is also relevant here, not to lodgepole pines but to other pine and dryland conifers in this same region. Once again, fire suppression caused the problem. All these forest in fire-prone areas are adapted to regular and usually low intensity fires. For example, Ponderosa Pine and (dryland) Douglas Fir have very thick fire-resistant bark which can withstand light burns; those fires also kill off the lower branches leaving long lower fire-proof trunks usually resistant to fire. At the same time those fires eliminate smaller trees, shrubs and other fuels with the net result that you get open ‘park-like’ stands. With fire suppression those smaller trees crowd around these older trees which, when a fire does eventually come, intensifies the fire and provides a ladder into the canopy, thus killing everything.

        I could go on, and on – it is a very complicated story that varies with forest type and overall climate conditions – but I hope that helps. Should add that while lightning does cause a lot of these fires in lightning prone areas, indigenous burning practises were the main factor since humans arrived.

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  • #
    Rud Istvan

    This theory has been around for a while and rather thoroughly debunked more than once. The basic issuse is that all the fire evidence does not date to the same time. The discrepancies, for example between eastern US and southern Europe are more than a millenium.

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    • #
      el gordo

      Putting aside the dating of the fires, the Clovis people were wiped out by something spontaneously.

      Anthony Watts pours cold water on the impact hypothesis.

      20

      • #
        sophocles

        The Siberian snap-frozen mammoths also had a lot of cold water poured on them. They’re ever so slightly consistent with a sudden disastrous impact.

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        • #
          el gordo

          Siberian mammoths survived the YD and became extinct at a later date.

          ‘It has long been known that a colony of woolly mammoths survived up until about four thousand years ago on what is today Russia’s Wrangel Island, north of Siberia in the Arctic Ocean.

          ‘Radiocarbon dating shows that at least a few hardy individuals were still hanging on as late as 1700 B.C.’

          Seeker

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          • #
            sophocles

            Neither did the Dinosaur Destroyer take out all dinosaurs in its big hit, just a lot of them but it wasn’t a clean kill. Some species, located well away from Ground Zero and outside the umbra of the collision cloud, survived for up to a few million years before finally dying off.

            A major extinction is not an absolute brick wall. Life is tough and fights back. Sometimes the few survivors of some species don’t make it. It all depends on their food supply and a sufficiently sized breeding population to keep a species healthy. Small mammals flourished as they were better equipped (maybe) for the new times, and their predators may not have. The egg layers left lots of yummy food lying around. Population of mammals rose (good food supply and few predators), population of egg layers fell (too many egg predators) …

            Avians were a survivor but didn’t exactly succeed at taking over the world. Smaller species have survived well and are still with us. Perhaps the egg-eating mammals had a part in that. I don’t know, because I wasn’t there.

            We have not a lot hope of really knowing why the later die-offs really did occur. It’s all conjecture.
            But occur it did.

            It’s the same with the woolly mammoth. Those close to the fall-out didn’t survive, some further away survived. But again, without enough of the correct food, the future was bleak. In the end, the mammoth didn’t make it.

            Nature can be a real bitch …

            20

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Chiefio posted on this a day or so ago. My comment there:

      I read part of the “cosmictusk” material.
      I’ve no trouble believing there were impacts on the ice sheet.

      However, I do know a little about the Carolina Bays, and much more of the floods into eastern Washington State. Those involved both Glacial Lake Missoula and Glacial Lake Penticton.
      Neither of these things require a comet(s). The simpler explanations** by geologists and related earth-scientists do very well. For the floods, many people over many years have provided field studies. These data have been used to simulate (in 3-D graphic motion) one of the major floods from Lake Missoula.
      If the authors can re-write their Younger Dryas comet hypothesis without so much emphasis on the Carolina Bays and the Missoula Floods it would be more approachable for me.
      On the cosmic aspects and the physical-chemistry, my knowledge is very meager.

      [** https://explorable.com/occams-razor
      "Researchers should avoid ‘stacking’ information to prove a theory if a simpler explanation fits the observations."]

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    • #
      el gordo

      On the question of the fires, dead pine forests became a powder keg waiting for a bolt of lightning.

      ‘The overall presence of pine charcoal fragments in Usselo soils, dated between 13 200/13 100 and 12 700/12 600 cal a BP, is generally linked to the climate deterioration towards the Younger Dryas (and/or GI-1b), which increased the likelihood of drought and severe frost damage, making pines much more prone to burning.’ (Kaiser et al., 2009).

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    • #

      Respectfully (or not), the debunking hasn’t been entirely successful. Problem comes with the notion of one to multiple impacts on the ice sheet and across the rest of North America. Think in terms of a comet storm – thousands to tens of thousands of impacts and / or air bursts over NA within the space of hours.

      What do you get when that happens? Death of all the large mammal species in NA nearly simultaneously. Also get significant destruction of existing indigenous civilizations present at the time (Anasazi).

      Fred Hoyle, Napier, Clube researched the Taurus Complex and its progenitor. They have significant corroborating support from Mike Ballie. To have a pair of fragmented large comet debris working the inner solar system ought to give us all pause (Kreutz Group and Taurus Complex). There was a reason the ancients were absolutely freaked out about comets. Perhaps we ought to figure out why that was so.

      Do I think the YD guys have everything precisely mapped out? No, not yet, as it is new, new, new. OTOH, nothing has disproven what they suggest. Instead, the closer we look at this, the more evidence we find that what they propose actually took place, kind of like water on Mars, where the closer we look, the more of it we find.

      For the time being, it is enough to keep on looking, which after all is why we keep on looking. Cheers -

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      • #
        Extreme Hiatus

        “get significant destruction of existing indigenous civilizations present at the time (Anasazi)”

        There were none to destroy in North America at that time. The Anasazi was much later – 10,000 years or so – and their collapse has been solidly linked to a (pre-CAGW) megadrought.

        Certainly agree there is much more to learn about this before we jump to any conclusions, especially over-simplified ones.

        10

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    This may be a bit off-topic, but triggered by the thought of our relatively recent (in geological time) escape from the ice age.
    The left is awfully fond of citing the precautionary principle — “even if all our theories are bullspit, isn’t it a reasonable precaution to do what we want, just in case”.
    Hmmmm.
    Why not be a bit careful trying to cool the planet, lest we inadvertently trigger a return of the ice age. After all, a mile deep layer of ice over much of North America would be a bit hard to cope with. Why should precautions run only one way? Once our severe exertions to live ‘carbon-free’ succeed, how are we to stop the cooling.

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    • #

      “how are we to stop the cooling”

      Unfortunately, the incremental effect of CO2 is too small and there are not enough fossil fuels on the planet to prevent the next, inevitable ice age. I foresee carpet bombing the leading edges of the advancing ice packs as they descend on the major population centers of the planet.

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    • #
      Pauly

      Richard, the answer is obvious once you watch their response to the issue of nuclear power. This is a proven zero carbon power supply, has been around for over 60 years, and has the lowest injury and death rate of any power source. Research into salt based reactors and fusion reactors could have been the primary drive of government funding. In any event, building these in developing and undeveloped countries would have dramatically improved the availability of electricity. And at the same time, weaned developed countries off their dependence on coal as their primary fuel for electricity supply.

      That ticks all the boxes, except it doesn’t require vast redirection of taxpayer funds from the rich to the poor, nor does it require the establishment of a global quasi-government to ensure this vast weath goes to those most deserving countries, without oversight of the governments that raised those taxes, or any choice in tax policies from those who are being taxed the most. Climate change is such a trivial risk, compared to the major changes that are sought. So my view is that it is just an excuse, just like a few years ago, the excuse was about population explosion.

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      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Pauly, the opposition to nuclear power was never founded in science. It was whipped up by the Communists among us for the purpose of hindering Western nations in the cold war nuclear arms race.

        Now would be a good time to start publishing that fact.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Not to worry.

      Mr Musk has this huge, battery powered, snowplow …

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        That explains why Jay Weatherdill has been snowed, yet again.

        50

      • #
        Geoff

        Its all about a BIG battery factory and a car plant that can’t make Model 3s. Its one thing to have a BIG order, 455k. Its quite another to DELIVER IT.

        What to do with all that battery production? I know, offer finance deals to idiots. Who has the world’s largest supply of “its not my money, I do not care”, GOVERNMENT.

        GOVERNMENT always needs to be re-elected. Musk looks good to young voters. He is a high tech geek, just like they ALL WANT to SEEM.

        As Windmills come off the geek boil, batteries can buy votes.

        Installing batteries everywhere is going to create a HUGE energy theft market. This will get strong support from the world’s biggest thieves, Socialists.

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      • #
        Chad

        Mr Musk also now has a bunch of Flame throwers for sale to help out !!

        30

    • #
      AZ1971

      Why not be a bit careful trying to cool the planet, lest we inadvertently trigger a return of the ice age.

      Why should we care? Those doing the engineering and those who propose it would be the ones blamed. I for one would have no problem having these self-aggrandizing tools proven so wrong as to drive the final final stake through the heart(less) bastards.

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  • #
    Pauly

    Just to be clear, when I said “climate change is such a trivial risk”, I meant that to mean the threat of global warming of 2 degrees. A return to ice age conditions is not a trivial risk to our civilisation.

    200

  • #
    Jonesy

    12500BC…hmmmm

    I am always puzzled with the reason why the earth wobbled to cause a shift on its axis that caused the climate to change. This change caused the desertification of the Sahara with all the consequent changes to civilisation.

    90

  • #
    Ruairi

    Did catastrophes long long ago,
    Cause the Younger Dryas to go,
    And occur about dates,
    That Plato relates,
    Atlantis was doomed from below?

    70

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    And of course some honest and objective scientist was around 13,000 years ago to observe and measure this phenomenon so it can be known today, perhaps leaving us a written record containing all the observed comet strikes, the results, the numbers and analysis.!?

    Or should I say, “Ho hum,” and go back to bed? And I don’t know.

    And that’s my problem with such certainty about what happened and when.

    Why would I even ask such a question as how much should I rely on this information and how much of it should I dismiss as not worth the time to worry about it?

    It’s very simple. Science has a habit of building vast edifices on a foundation of very little evidence and I got tired or being bombarded with it. From the Big Bang with it’s one critical unanswered question, where did everything come from, down to the Higgs field and the Higgs Boson that only exist in someone’s calculations, I have the temerity I guess you’d call it, to say, “Wait a minute…”

    Even the fact that the Cern particle accelerator result supposedly discovered the Higgs Boson is subject to question until a lot of questions get better answers than theory.

    I learned honest skepticism from you, Jo. So I don’t apologise for being skeptical. I must be what I am, a skeptic of such things as what exactly happened 13,000 years ago.

    201

    • #
      sophocles

      Roy said:

      And that’s my problem with such certainty about what happened and when.

      Continuous scepticism is indeed wise.

      Remember Dark Matter? Gone. Dark Energy? Maybe going.

      The Younger Dryas is very much a significant dip in Northern Hemisphere temperatures. There wasn’t much I was able to find about in previous years. Some thought it was an impact event signature but presented little or no supporting evidence, others pooh-poohed that idea but also presented little supporting evidence other than relevant questions.

      Neither side answered what I felt to be supporting evidence. I’ve looked at the Younger Dryas’s signature dip in the (northern hemisphere’s) temperature record for years and thought that it was an impact event. The absence of it in the Southern Hemisphere, and the megafauna extinction across North America were both evidence for it being only a Northern Hemisphere geological event. The snap frozen mammoths found in northern Siberian permafrost added to that.

      It wasn’t significant in the Southern Hemisphere, at least, not as far as I’ve been able to find (and I admit to not having specifically looked). Most researcher’s attention seems to be on the world around them and not the rest of it. Results are often assumed to be relevant to the other half of the planet. I’ve learned otherwise, so assumptions are always dangerous.

      The latest research as published elsewhere, shows an interesting,
      but not necessarily definitive, spread of evidence. I can understand why it has taken so long to put together.

      Collect the evidence and weigh it all with a good dose of scepticism is the way to go. I wouldn’t say the Younger Dryas is wholly solved yet, but it seems to be satisfyingly under way.

      20

      • #
        Allen Ford

        With so many Sacred Cows biting the dust, Big Bang, Dark Matter, Dark Energy possibly going, various Higgses, I am greatly concerned about just what Brian Cox will do for his next Mega Doco.

        Is there no justice in the universe?

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        • #
          sophocles

          I am greatly concerned about just what Brian Cox will do for his next Mega Doco.

          I’m not. Pretty Boy can sink or swim as he chooses … he’s a fine example of Homo Snowflakus :-)
          He could look into the Antarctic marine bears … that should keep him occupied for a while.

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  • #
    el gordo

    All previous interglacials reached a much higher temperature point before falling back into the abyss, but the Younger Dryas put a damper on proceedings and the Holocene failed to meet its full potential.

    https://oz4caster.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/climate-reconstructions-500000-years-low3.gif

    Could civilisation have developed without this cosmic impact?

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Graham Hancock has numerous videos (all on YouTube) talking about how ancient advanced civilisations were wiped out by a natural calamity about 13,000 years ago. E.g. https://youtu.be/c-qIP1lfok8

    41

  • #
    David Maddison

    Comprehensive analysis of impact spherules supports theory of cosmic impact 12,800 years ago

    May 21, 2013
    University of California – Santa Barbara

    Comprehensive analysis of impact spherules supports theory of cosmic impact 12,800 years ago
    The researchers studied the impact spherules in 18 sites in nine countries on four continents for this study. Credit: YDB Research Group

    About 12,800 years ago when the Earth was warming and emerging from the last ice age, a dramatic and anomalous event occurred that abruptly reversed climatic conditions back to near-glacial state. According to James Kennett, UC Santa Barbara emeritus professor in earth sciences, this climate switch fundamentally –– and remarkably –– occurred in only one year, heralding the onset of the Younger Dryas cool episode.

    https://m.phys.org/news/2013-05-comprehensive-analysis-impact-spherules-theory.html

    41

  • #
    Gordon

    In 1977 the experts said we would be out of oil by 1993. Soooooooooooo……….what happened? The world is going to end in 10…9…8…7….oh no wait it will end in ah lets see I think about…

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    • #
      sophocles

      Gordon said:

      In 1977 the experts said we would be out of oil by 1993. Soooooooooooo……….what happened?

      To answer with another quote (from an English judge c. 1840′s)

      There are liars, damned liars and experts.

      Take everything with a healthy dose of sceptical salt…

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  • #
    Kinky Keith

    While looking at a sea level graph for the last 150 k years it became apparent that as the Earth froze sea levels fell commensurately.

    I was looking for sea level detail in the period mentioned in this post. Unfortunately not enough resolution to help there but something else stood out.

    Several stages of ocean level drop could be seen, each with a fairly uniform rate of fall until there was a sudden and obvious interruption about every 25,000 years.

    The regular nature of these interruptions suggests maybe some orbital mechanism rather than fireball events?

    KK

    40

    • #
      sophocles

      KK said:

      The regular nature of these interruptions suggests maybe some orbital mechanism rather than fireball events?

      Not so much orbital as rotational. The moon’s orbit is a contributor.

      Have a look at the Milankovic Cycles. The axis of rotation of dear old Planet Earth, precesses (wobbles or rotates) with a period of c. 25,000 years. The precession is contributed to by the moon’s orbit.

      It’s why the Northern Pole Star changes. At present, it is Polaris. Thuban (in the constellation Draco) was about the time of the Sphinx and the early Egyptian pyramids (3000 YA).
      Around the year 3000 AD, (another thousand years time) the star Gamma Cephei (fourth-brightest star in Cepheus) will be the North Pole Star until c. 5200 AD, when Iota Cephei assumes the mantle. In 10000 AD, the familiar star Deneb (the tail of Cygnus the Swan) will be the North Pole star, and then in 27,800 AD, Polaris will assume responsibility again.

      Note: all constellations mentioned are Northern Hemisphere Constellations are not visible from most of the Southern Hemisphere. (A few may be partially visible, low on the northern horizon. It depends on where you are.)

      Good enough?

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Thanks Sophocles,

        I had always focused on the Milankovic cycles in the 90 to 100,000 year range where the major glaciations start and end.

        I was aware of the shorter 23 or 26 k year cycles but didn’t relate them to this.

        Thanks. It was staring me in the face.

        I’ll go back and have another look.

        KK

        20

        • #
          sophocles

          The problem is that the Milankovic cycles are not causes of ice ages. We’re in an overall iceage which started about 3MYA. It’s effects are modulated by the Milankovic Cycles as well as all the solar cycles, which is why the ice advances and retreats with apparent regularity.

          You might find Dr Nir Shaviv’s linking the Solar System’s peripatetic galactic travels with past ice ages, very informative.

          At present, the Solar System is crossing Gould’s Belt (and in Wikipedia) in the Orion Spiral Arm. It entered Gould’s Belt about 5-3MYA. The Belt was thought to have formed from an incident hydrogen cloud about 33MYA, just as the Solar System was emerging from the front of the Carina-Sagitarius spiral arm. It’s a Cosmic Ray Bottle full of bright short-lived stars such as Rigel, Bellatrix and many others. It’s the high background level of Cosmic Rays which are thought to have triggered and are maintaining the present Quaternary Ice Age.

          The red giants, Betelguese (Orion constellation) and Antares (Scorpio constellation) are two giant (B magnitude) stars in the Belt, both about 400-600 light years away and both in their red-giant phase (last days), about to go nova anytime in the next million years or so—if neither of them have already. The cosmic ray storm when they do and when it arrives here, will be wintry.

          The Sporer Minimum has been attributed to low solar activity by Eddy. Sharakova attributes it not to the sun but to the arrival of a cosmic ray storm from Tycho’s star a supernova in 1573, and from Kepler’s star, another supernova in 1604, so it’s a sort of “nuclear winter“.

          There’s a lot more to our planet’s climate than the products of burning fossil fuels. We were last in this galactic neighbourhood c. 250MYA, the time of a major extinction.

          Ain’t life in this galaxy interesting?

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          • #
            sophocles

            Oops, misspelt a name: my reference was meant to be Prof. Valentina Zharkova, not Zarakova. Apologies to all, including the good professor!

            00

  • #
    David Maddison

    The asteroid that was responsible for killing the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was about 10km in diameter but this comet was 100km in diameter so must have been hugely more destructive but wasn’t, so what’s going on? Is the size estimate for the latter one wrong?

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      They are talking of fragments that separated in space. The rest is still wandering around space so a good excuse for a research grant e.g.
      “Killer asteroids may cause climate change”.

      20

    • #
      sophocles

      David Madison said:

      The asteroid that was responsible for killing the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was about 10km in diameter but this comet was 100km in diameter so must have been hugely more destructive but wasn’t, so what’s going on?

      The Dinosaur Killer hit in one piece at one place (Chixulub) and at high speed. It was a “cannon ball.” The Younger Dryas comet may have disintegrated well before it met Earth’s atmosphere and been a bunch of bits flying in formation, Or it could have shattered and splattered on atmospheric impact, spashing down as many smaller pieces spread over a wide area. Because of the disintegrations, air resistance may have meant the smaller pieces didn’t strike so hard wherever they did hit, making it not quite as destructive as it might have been. It’s lucky for us today, it didn’t come in as one big high velocity piece. It did take out the mammoths and other Northern megafauna, so that could be taken as a success.

      This article at Wattsupwiththat shows the postulated “debris field.” It’s a good read.

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      • #
        Extreme Hiatus

        I’m not at all convinced by this comet effects story. One reason is that Mammoths survived long after it allegedly happened. It would undoubtedly had major effects but things look too complicated to be so simply explained.

        There’s things in this link I find dubious too – e.g. “according to Reuters” – WTF? – but it was handy. Lots of serious (and less serious)research on these Wrangell Island mammoths but seems to be little or no doubt that they did survive there until recently. Then humans arrived.

        “By comparing DNA taken from a 4,300 year-old mammoth tooth found on Wrangel Island with that of a 45,000 year-old soft tissue sample found in northern Siberia, the researchers discovered that there had been two massive die-offs before the last mammoths went extinct. Wooly mammoths had already survived a massive die-off about 300,000 years ago; it took the species around 100,000 years to recover. After the second die-off, about 12,000 years ago, the survivors numbered in the hundreds, according to Reuters. The Wrangel Island mammoths likely survived for about 6,000 years after the mainland mammoths died out. Dalen’s group also found that the Wrangel Island mammoth population’s isolation was severely inbred, which likely contributed to their extinction.”

        https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/last-wooly-mammoths-died-isolated-and-alone-180955208/#oaxmVcWL7iu4syAj.99

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  • #

    As to causes…maybe they know. Or maybe they just wanna publish.

    The important thing is to emphasise climate extremes/events within our own epoch. Not what happened millions or hundreds of thousands of years back, to serve as an “example”. Not yesterday’s weather or the climate events since the late 1970s. No, but the years in which human civilisations and conurbations have taken shape, which is the period after the Younger Dryas.

    The important time-frame is our own warm epoch within the ice age of the Quaternary Period. Because everything we have and do as a civilisation came about when the world started to warm again, after a sharp interruption, some few thousand years back. It’s the very subject that the manipulators want left alone.

    Stand too close to a painting and you can’t see the painting. Stand too far back and the painting ceases to matter. The Holocene is our painting, where we get to see ourselves develop. We need to get the right view of that subject above all. When the world cools again, whether in a big or small ice age, ignorance and propaganda will be about as useful as the Port Kembla Wave Generator or Elon’s Big Battery.

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  • #
    Hivemind

    24 authors ! The quality of any scientific paper is inversely proportional to the square of the number of authors.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Can’t remember the case, some sort of climate adjustment carp with several authors.

      When the original work was “lost” because a politican wanted to see it, NOT ONE of the other authors had a back-up copy.

      That means they had NOT investigated/checked the work done in the paper..

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      • #
        Allen Ford

        NOT ONE of the other authors had a back-up copy.

        THat’s a dead giveaway that the other 23 “authors” made no significant contribution to the paper in the first place!

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    • #
      sophocles

      It looks like several individual researches and someone noticed others were at work on this, so they compared and combined their findings. Perhaps, I don’t know.

      If you check the article at Wattsupwiththat (see my link in 13.2) you’ll see it could easily have started as c. 20 or so individual researches. To check, you could lookup all the individual authors … I haven’t bothered.

      I’d like to read the original article but it’s behind a pay wall.

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  • #
    Extreme Hiatus

    “Another day, another apocalypse. Life in a perfect climate

    Poor sods…”

    Jo, your sarcasm and humour is in spectacular form on this write up! Thanks for a good laugh.

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  • #
    John of Cloverdale WA

    Just when you think the science is settled, those damn geologists change things again.

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  • #
    John of Cloverdale WA

    How fire-stick farming changed the climate. Or, how Australia’s forest disappeared.

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    • #
      el gordo

      Vandals.

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      By “fire-stick farming” you must be referring to plantation-forestry, or the art of farming millions of hectares of high octane juvenile gum and pine firesticks.

      Slightly difficult for a fire to get up into the canopy of an old-growth forest.

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      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Plantation Fire-stick Farming.

        (PFSF)

        Back then, there were no plantations full of fire-sticks (juvenile trees)

        AKA (also known as) “fire-sticks”

        Thanks!

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  • #
    Hasbeen

    Those people back in 12000 BC were lucky in one way, their life expectancy from all scientific reports was only about 30 years.

    Thus even with much of the ozone burnt away, they did not have to worry about skin cancer. They mostly were not going to live long enough for it to develop.

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