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Catastrophes and Prehistory

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Troy Exeter
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« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2007, 10:27:56 pm »

« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 10:29:40 pm by Troy » Report Spam   Logged
Troy Exeter
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« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2007, 10:30:26 pm »

This hypothesis was mentioned by Carl Sagan in the 1985 book "Comet" and first raised by Rampino and Stothers in a 1984 issue of Nature. It is still very controversial, but so was the Dinosaur/Impact hypothesis until the early 1990s.

See also:

American Scientist article Perturbing the Oort Cloud (new URL) by Michael Szpir, Jan/Feb 1997 issue.
Astrophysical Journal letter Tidal Imprint on Oort Comet Cloud by Matese & Whitmire (subscribers only).
The recent announcement of a possible 10th planet amongst the Oort cloud raises another possible source of periodic impacts. However, if such a planet does exist its orbital period is likely to be less than 10 million years.
Nemesis: Origin of the theory by Richard Muller
CCNet: PERIODICITY IN THE TERRESTRIAL RECORD by Bill Napier
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Dec 98: Impact cratering through geologic time by Gene Shoemaker (3Mb PDF). Gene argued that we are in a peak for comet impacts and the Australasian Tektite event is an example of this peak.
5 Jul 05 NewSci (subs): Mass extinction theory on the rocks
The Oort Comet Cloud and Its Interaction With Our Milky Way Galaxy - John Matese

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Last update 16 Feb 2001

Return to Australian Spaceguard Survey


http://users.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/crater.html

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Troy Exeter
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« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2007, 10:39:16 pm »

COULD THESE BE METEOR IMPACT CRATERS FORMED IN THE PAST? OR COULD THEY HAVE BEEN FORMED BY METHANE GAS RELEASES FROM THE ATLANTIC OCEAN?


These bays on the North Carolina Coast are known as Carolina Bays or Pocosins. I have found hundreds of these arcs around the world. I will refer to these as anomalies in the rest of this text. Some of these could have been made by a comet similar to the comet Shoemaker-Levy9 that hit Jupiter. At this point I have no proof that these are impact craters. In fact they may have been caused by a very large flood. I am convinced that water played a role in the formation of these Carolina Bays. There seems to be quite a bit of circumstantial evidence but that is all I have. I have labeled some of the anomalies that are in North Carolina and Virginia number 1 through 9 with the largest one (The large circle in the Atlantic Ocean off of Virginia) starting number 1. Then numbers 2, 3, and 4 are along the North Carolina coast. Then number 5 is centered in the Chesapeake Bay just north of Virginia Beach, VA. Anomalies number 6, 7, 8, 9 stretch out in a straight line that points to the exact center of anomaly number 5. The circular structures (anomalies) range in size from less than one mile to hundreds of miles in diameter, and can be found on every Continent on Earth. It appears that maybe the comet (if it was a comet) broke apart on each end with the fragments causing the 2 parallel lines that follow behind the largest crater. I estimate the age of these structures to be between 6 thousand and 36 million years old. All of these bays were not created at the same time. Much more evidence will be needed to find exact age of the structures. These anomalies form a grid pattern that is about 22 degrees out from true North. This grid pattern covers the entire Earth! Another possibility is large Methane Gas releases in the Atlantic ocean could have caused the arcs to form.



I have written a book about these possible craters that give many more details. They can be ordered on line at: - www.amazon.com - search by author "rufus johnson" or search by title "The Comet of Doom".




Anomalies 5,6,7,8, and 9 start in the Chesapeake Bay and go all the way to central North Carolina.



Anomalies 2,3,and 4 are along the North Carolina coastline



Anomaly 5 is in the Chesapeake Bay just north of Virginia Beach, VA. The actual center of this anomaly is at the southern tip of Cape Charles. This anomaly has been identified by the scientific community as an impact crater. Anomalies 6, 7, 8, and 9 form a line that points to the direct center of this anomaly.



Anomaly 6 is just north of Suffolk, Virginia, on the Nansemond River. There is a circular bulge in the river about one mile in diameter with a small island in the middle that creates a bulls eye affect.

http://www.geocities.com/fossilking/Craters/craters.html


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« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2007, 10:43:24 pm »


The Climax of a Turbulent Millennium:


Evidence for Major Impact Events in the late Third Millennium BC

Timo Niroma, Helsinki, Finland


The First Intermediate Period
The Curse of Akkad
Troy IIg
Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse
Natural Catastrophes during Bronze Age Civilisations
Two separate cataclysms
Sodom and Gomorrah
Where did the impacts occur?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The First Intermediate Period





Selections from "The Egyptians" by C. Aldred (London 1987).



"At this distance of time, the overthrow of the Old Kingdom at

the end of the Sixth Dynasty has all the appearance of being sudden

and complete.


"Recent research has attributed the abrupt nature of the collapse

to contemporary changes in the climate of Africa and the Near East.

With the cessation of the Neolithic Wet Phase about 2350 BC, the

spectre of famine begins to haunt the region. An isolated block from

the Unas Causeway, showing piteously emaciated people weakened by

famine and dying of hunger, is an early portent of the evils to

come. Egypt was protected from the worst of such irregular

calamities by its unique irrigation system. It is fairly evident,

however, that a change in the pattern of monsoon rains falling on

the Abyssinian plateau could lead to a series of low Niles. Hot

winds from the south apparently accompanied this climatic

aberration. There are veiled references to the sun being

obscured by dust storm: 'the sun is occluded and will not shine that

men may see... none may know that it is midday, and the sun will

cast no shadow.' The high winds assisted the denudation by creating

dust bowls and shifting sand dunes on to the cultivation. The whole

political and economic system of Egypt would have been discredited

in a very short time. The king-lists refer to many pharaohs during

the three decades of the Seventh and Eighth Dynasties, each ruling

for a year or two and disappearing without trace.



"In these conditions, 'when the Nile was empty and men crossed

over it on foot', Egypt splintered into a number of feudal states.

There are cryptic references in the meagre records that have

survived to marauding bands of starving people searching for food in

more favoured localities.



"In the 20th century BC the local governors took what measures

were open to them to succour their own districts, by conserving

water supplies, and reducing the number of hungry mouths by driving

out famine-stricken invaders, whether natives, Libyans or Asiatics,

from their provinces. The internecine strife further restricted the

areas of cultivation; and the perils of these times are reflected in

the boasts of the local rulers on their crude tomb stelae. The

cataclysm is plain for all to see. The monuments of the period are

very sparse and mere feeble copies of the Memphite style of the

past. The widespread civil disorder is evident in the decoration of

the crude model funerary boats, hacked out of the local wood. All

were afraid when they beheld smoke arising in the south. Macabre

reminders of the civil strife of these days are the bodies of some

sixty shock troops who were accorded an honoured mass-burial at

Thebes. Their wounds showed that they had fallen in the desperate

storming of some key fortress.




"Famine in their own lands always drove Libyans and the bedouin of

Sinai and the Negeb to graze their flocks on the borders of the

Delta in the manner of Abraham and Jacob. The evils caused by

famine, poverty, social upheaval and anarchy brought others in their

train such as plague and sterility. A deep and lasting impression

was left on the ancient Egyptians by the trauma of these times, so

that in later literary works, such as the Prophecy of Neferti and

the Admonitions of Ipuwer, when the writer wished to depict mankind

tormented by intolerable miseries, it was the sufferings of this

period that he recalled."

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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2007, 10:45:25 pm »

The destruction of the Old Kingdom was followed by a period of a violent economic and social upheaval.


From Admonitions of Ipuwer:


"The fruitful water of Nile is flooding,
The fields are not cultivated,
Robbers and tramps wander about and
Foreign people invade the country from everywhere.
Diseases rage and women are barren.
All social order has ceased,
Taxes are not paid and
Temples and palaces are being insulted.
Those who once were veiled by splendid garments, are now ragged.
Noble women wander around the country and lament:
"If only we would have something to eat."
Men throw themselves in the jaws of crocodiles -
So out of one's senses are people in their horror.
Laughter has ceased everywhere.
Mourning and lament are in its place.
Both old and young wish they are dead."

"Men don't any more sail to north, to Byblos.
"Where do we now get our cedar for our mummy coffins and oil to balm?""


Translated, collected and commented by TN.


The Curse of Akkad



Circa 2100 B.C.


"The large fields and acres produced no grain

The flooded fields produced no fish


The watered gardens produced no honey and wine


The heavy clouds did not rain


On its plains where grew fine plants


'lamentation reeds' now grow."



Quotations from H. Weiss, The Sciences, May/June 1996


"First of the world's empires, Akkad was not the last to blame

its fall on sacrilege. In a fit of pique, the author of the curse

believed, the Akkadian emperor had destroyed a temple to the sky god

Enlil, bringing on a century of drought, famine, and barbarian

invasions. How else to explain the empire's sudden, calamitous

decline?


"Only a hundred years before the collapse, Sargon of Akkad had

wrested the Sumerian city-states from Lugalzaggesi of Umma, then

stormed across the plains of Mesopotamia. When it was done the

Akkadian Empire controlled trade from the silver mines of Anatolia

to the lapis lazuli mines of Badakhshan, from the cedar forests of

Lebanon to the Gulf of Oman. In northern Mesopotamia, meanwhile,

fortresses were built to control imperial wheat production. To the

south, irrigation canals were extended, a new bureaucracy

established and palaces and temples built from imperial taxes.


"Then, abruptly, things fell apart. Sometime around

2200 BC seasonal rains became scarce, and withering storms replaced

them. The winds cut through northern wheat fields and blanketed them

in dust. They emptied out towns and villages, sending people

stumbling south with pastoral nomads, to seek forage along rivers

and streams. For more than a hundred years the desertification

continued, disrupting societies from southwestern Europe to central

Asia. Egypt's Old Kingdom, the towns of Palestine and the great

cities of the Indus Valley also were among the casualties.


"The Akkadian occupation of Tell Leilan, in any case, was to last

less than a hundred years. Only decades after the city's massive

walls were raised, its religious quarter renovated and its grain

production reorganized, Tell Leilan was suddenly abandoned. In our

excavations the collapsed remains of Akkadian buildings are covered

with erosion deposits that show no trace of human activity. Only

above them, in strata from 1900 BC, do ash, trash, and the

monumental remains of a new imperial capital appear.


"Striking as it is, the site's occupational hiatus came as no

surprise to us. Archaeologists first documented it in the late 1930s

at other sites in the region, relegating it to a footnote. Fifty

years later, when our team rediscovered the odd hiatus, we went one

step further. By determining radiocarbon dates for materials from

before and after the hiatus, we refined its chronology. By comparing

ceramics from our site with ceramics from the same strata at other

sites, we tracked the hiatus throughout the area. Whether at Tell

Leilan or Tell Taya, Chagar Bazar or Tell-al-Hawa, the results told

the same story: between 2200 and 1900 BC, people fled the Habur and

Assyrian plains en masse.


"Little by little, evidence of previously unrecorded climatic

events emerged. A thin layer of volcanic ash covers the last

Akkadian mud bricks. Just above that a layer of fine sand eight

inches thick testifies to centuries of flailing wind and relentless

drought. A volcanic eruption probably could not have caused the

disaster, but whether one did so may be unimportant. No matter what

caused them, dust storms and drought made rain-fed farming difficult

if not impossible. Year after year crops failed in northern

cities.


"Periods of drying climate are nothing new to Near Eastern

archaeologists. What is new are the data showing sudden, severe,

long-term climatic change. Add to these findings the simultaneous

social collapses documented in the Aegean, Egypt, Palestine, Iran,

and the Indus Valley, and you have a provocative picture indeed. The

problem, oddly enough, is that archaeologists have been ignoring it

for decades.


"In 1948 the French archaeologist Claude Schaeffer cast his eye

over the urban collapses of the third millennium and concluded that

regionwide earthquakes were to blame. A decade later the British

archaeologist James Mellaart fingered drought and migrations as the

culprit. Schaeffer's hypothesis seemed too fantastic for serious

study; Mellaart's, though less improbable, still depended on a deus ex

machina.


"Civilization on Crete and mainland Greece, like its neighbors,

collapsed in 2200 BC. The great cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa

in the Indus Valley collapsed between 2200 and 2100 BC. The

archaeologist Rafique Mughal of the Pakistan Department of

Archaeology blames shifting river courses, citing evidence that the

Indus River channels moved eastward, away from Harappan urban

centers.


"Could the collapses be coincidental? No.

There is no pattern of collapse in 2700 BC or in 2500 BC, only in 2200 BC.


Dry spells and drops in lake levels (occur) in the Sahel, the Sahara,

northwestern India, and western Tibet roughly between 2600 and 2200

BC. Lake Turkana in Kenya abruptly changed from an open to a closed

basin around 2000 BC. And around 2250 BC the level of the Dead Sea

reached a nadir. Sediments between Greenland and Iceland show a cold

peak around 2200 BC. Gulf of Oman: around 2300 BC dust suddenly

increased fivefold, the record during (the) Holocene. The dust peak

contains shards of volcanic glass." (The population of Finland

dropped to 1/3 somewhere between 2400 and 2000 BC. - TN)


Epilogue by TN


The Third Dynasty of Ur was the last attempt to revive

Sumer, after a chaos of 100 years

beginning with the destruction of Akkadian Sumer around 2200 BC.

During the Akkadian period wheat was the most important cereal and

its share of the harvest was about 20 %. During the years 2200-2100

BC the saltiness of the soil rose markedly, possibly because of salty

sea floods and, and after them, because of the following dryness that

evaporated the water leaving the salt behind. In the northern

Mesopotamia the wheat share dropped to 2 % and in the southern part

to zero. This change seems to coincide with the period when there

was no central authority.

Mesopotamia and other above-mentioned places were not the only victims of the 2200 BC event. As far away as in China, the Hongsan culture fell in pieces at this same time. This, if not anything else, is an indication of the mighty character of the event, and bolsters us to consider it as global.

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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2007, 10:49:32 pm »





Troy IIg



Illustration from theDaimler-Benz Troy Excavations Homepage

"Oh Lord, Won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Quotations from SIS.


"Extensive evidence exists that Early Bronze II came to an end

some centuries before 2000 BC with general destruction and cultural

disruption throughout most of Anatolia. Mellaart in 1960:


"... the number of sites burnt or deserted has already reached

the number of 350, and in the following period not more than one out

of every four earlier settlements was inhabited, and often not more

than squatted on. Whole areas, such as the Konya Plain and the

Pisidian plains south of Burdur revert to nomadism after thousands

of years of settled agricultural life."


The EB sequence of Troy in western Anatolia is complex, and also

confused to some extent because of inadequacies in Schlieman's early

excavations. There is however strong agreement that phase IIg of

Troy was destroyed by fire at this time. In the words of the

excavator, Carl Blegen:


"The stratum of Troy IIg had an average thickness of more than

one metre; it consisted mainly of ashes, charred matter and burned

debris. This deposit apparently extended uniformly over the great

megaron and across the entire site, eloquent evidence that the

settlement perished in a vast conflagration from which no buildings

escaped ruin."


Even the stones of the walls were reddened and calcined by fire

in a destruction of fearful suddenness:


"In all areas examined by the Cincinnati expedition, it was

obvious that the catastrophe struck suddenly, without warning,

giving the inhabitants little or no time to collect and save their

most treasured belongings before they fled. All the houses exposed

were still found to contain the fire-scarred wreckage of their

furnishings, equipment, and stores of supplies. Almost every

building yielded scattered bits of gold ornaments and jewelry, no

doubt hastily abandoned in panic flight."


There were dislocated building foundations for Troy IIg which

would indicate earthquake damage. Despite the great destruction,

there is no evidence of a massacre by foreign elements; furthermore,

the same culture reoccupied the site afterwards. McQueen, a noted

archaeologist, states that Troy IIg was "destroyed by fire without

apparently the involvement of any outside enemy"."


Paleoenvironmental Data for Abrupt Climate Change:
The Workshop on Third Millennium BC Climate Change
and Old World Collapse

The following excerpts are from " Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse", ed. by Nuzhet Dalfes, George Kukla and Harvey Weiss, NATO ASI Series, Vol I 49, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997. The book is based upon Proceedings of the Workshop by that name held at Kerner, Turkey, in September 1994. Harvey Weiss from Yale University has summarized some of the data from this book in an article entitled"Late Third Millennium Abrupt Climate Change and Social Collapse in West Asia and Egypt". Citations are from H. Weiss's article (unless otherwise noted).


I begin by picking some relevant pieces which seem to support my catastrophe theory. The climate change will be discussed regarding four regions: Mesopotamia, Palestine, Egypt and Indus Valley.


Mesopotamia

"Lemcke and Sturm (Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse) document an abrupt doubling of the quartz content of [one] Lake Van core ... or a tripling in other Van sediment records (Lemcke, abstract 1994), from 4200 to 4000 BP. This spike is synchronous with initiation of the k(18)O enrichment phase at 4190 cal yr BP (Lemcke and Sturm, Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse"). As Butzer (Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse") notes, the Lemcke and Sturm oxygen isotope record from the Van varves indicates a pronounced dry spell ca. 2350-2075 BC."


"Together these suggest, with Courty (Paleorient 20, 1994), that the 2200 BC phase of decreased precipitation was synchronous with increased wind turbulence and aeolian dust transport to Lake Van. Sampling at 84 year intervals may have precluded observations of Na and Al peaks that are considered to be effects of volcanic tephra."


Or the missing Na and Al peaks are indications that the tephra is not of volcanic origin. Courty herself has later deviated from his early opinion and admitted the non-volcanic character.


The following extract is from Marie-Agnes Courty and Harvey Weiss: "The Scenario of Environmental Degradation in the Tell Leilan Region, NE Syria, During the Late Third Millennium Abrupt Climate Change":



"The occurrence of an abrupt climate change 2200-1900 BC has been identified by changes in the dynamic of soil landscapes of the Habur Plains (Weiss et al. 1993). The chronostratigraphic record at Tell Leilan and regional survey links the rapid establishment of drastic arid conditions with site and regional abandonment. The soil properties of the 300 year long occupational hiatus stratum suggest that the climatic disturbance persisted until a "normal" climatic pattern was re-established ca. 1900 BC when the Tell Leilan region was re-occcupied."


As later will be noted, Courty changes the Tell Leilan hiatus to ca. 2350 BC and Harvey enlarges the whole Anatolian-Mesopotamian incident as having happened 2200 +/-200 BC.


My hypothesis is that there were two events, the first one around 2350 BC (2345 BC?), and the second one around 2200 BC (2193-2194 BC?), of similar cause, but possibly independent of each other.


Other places of major wind erosion at the end of the third millennium BC are from southern Iraq (Robert Adams: Heartland of Cities. Chicago 1981) and the wind-blown dolomite Mesopotamian dust within a sediment core from the Gulf of Oman.


Palestine

"In the eastern Mediterranean, the exceptionally arid climate stage 4 of the Dead Sea Holocene record, beginning abruptly at ca. 2200 BC, is represented by a ca. 100 meter drop in Dead Sea level. "Abruptness" in this case is defined by six radiocarbon dates, with interpolation nadir."


My theory suggests that the southern part of the Dead Sea is a meteorite crater that catalysmically was born around 2200 BC.


Nile

Lake Turkana, which has great control over Nile floods, had a low lake level at 2250-2200 BC. Lake conditions changed abruptly, but the atmospheric circulation changed only gradually during the next centuries.


Indus Valley

An interpretation based on Ilhem Bentalen et al.: " Monsoon Regime Variations During the Late Holocene in the SW India, Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse".


First I have made a time calibration: 3500 BP radiocarbon calibrated as

2200 BC, 4300 BP radiocarbon calibrated as 3100 BC (based on Schove: Sunspots

plus several articles in Nature). Place: near the mouth of Kalinadi river.


Evergreen forest dropped from nearly 30% from 3100 BC to 15-20% in 2800 BC. The next drop was from nearly 20% in 2200 BC to below 10% in the next centuries. At the same time periods savanna increased from 20% to 40%, then remained at that level until 2200 BC, when there began a rapid increase, which leveled at 60% in 2 centuries. The most dramatic shifts are seen in delta(13)C: A sudden change from the level of 23 o/oo to 23.5 in 3100 BC and a rapid return to 23, and a new sudden change to 23.5 at 2200 BC and then a sharp change that eventually levels off to today's value of 21.5 o/oo some thousand years later.


Paleobotany

"The quality of 2200 BC abrupt climate change records varies considerably, but none so much as the paleobotanical one (Bottema, Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse).

Why this is the case remains to be explained. Some cores of West Asia lakes (van Zeist and Bottema: Late Quaternary Vegetation of the Near East, Wiesbaden 1991) indicate an abrupt decline in arboreal pollen ca. 2200-1950 BC."


There are clear occupation hiatuses at Habur Plains/Tell Leilan (NE Syria), Tell Taya (N Iraq), Palestina, Iranian plateau and then there is the very sudden and dramatic collapse of Mohenjo-Daro, all beginning around 2200 BC (Dalfes, Kukla, Weiss, 1997). The whole area including East Africa, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Gulf of Oman, Aegean, Indus shows signs of abrupt climatic change around 2200 BC.


Lake Van, Lake Bosumtwi, Tell Leilan

Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia shows an interesting peak in core Van 90-10. Oxygen isotope 18 and the lake water ratio of Mg/Ca begin to increase in 4190 BP (varve count calendar) (Gerry Lemcke and Michael Sturm, Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse)

Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana shows an abrupt drop of 30m in lake level below today's level around 2200 BC. Its previous level is not exactly known, but had for 3000 to 4000 years been at least 60m higher than today. (Rhodes Fairbridge et al., Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse).



Courty and Weiss:
Tentative model describing the regional climatic effects
of the synchroneous events recorded during the abrupt climate change:



The following model has been set forth by Courty and Weiss in The Scenario of Environmental Degradation in the Tell Leilan Region, NE Syria, During the Late Third Millennium Abrupt Climate Change (Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse).


1. Large-scale climatic disturbances caused by
2. Modification of the land/sea temperature gradient in the Mediterranean basin caused by
3A. Surface cooling/increased planetary albedo (suppression of regular precipitation) and
3B. Heavy rainstorms.
4A. Increased planetary albedo is caused by radiative forcing.
4B. Heavy rainstorms are caused by cloud condensation nuclei.

5. The above sequence is caused by
5.1. Massive smoke injection and
5.2. Ash and dust fallout.
6. Extensive wildfires, unknown causes.



TN
My suggestion for
the extensive wildfires or
the burning forests (smoke and ash)
is that they were caused
by the tremendous heat waves caused by
cosmic impacts in the Anatolian area.
The impacts themselves ejected
hot dust in the atmosphere
plus caused earthquakes and volcanic bursts.


Natural Catastrophes during Bronze Age Civilisations:
The SIS Cambridge Conference 1997

Mark Bailey:
"Near-Earth objects (NEOs) comprise a heterogeneous population of objects from a variety of sources ranging from long-period comets to the main asteroid belt. Recent dynamical results show that the orbits are chaotic, and that comets may in principle evolve into orbits similar to those of objects usually classified as asteroids (and vice-versa), and that comets and asteroids may resemble one another depending on the phase of their physical evolution and heliocentric distance."


Marie-Agnes Courty:
"Test on various late Third millennium BC archaeological deposit provides evidence for the regional occurrence in northern Syria of a layer with an uncommon petrographic assemblage, dated at ca. 2350 BC. It consists of fine sand-sized, well-sorted spherules of various composition, millimetric sized fragments of a black, vesicular, amorphous material made of silicates with Mg-Ca carbonate and phosphate inclusions, ovoid micro-aggregates made of densely packed crystals and exogenous angular fragments of a coarse crystallised igneous rock. All these particles are only present in this specific layer and are finely mixed with mud-brick debris or with a burnt surface horizon in the contemporaneous soils. In occupation sequences, the layer displays an uncommon dense packing of sand-sized, very porous aggregates that suggests disintegration of the mud-brick construction by an air blast. In the virgin soil, the burnt horizon contains black soot and graphite, and appears to have been instantaneously fossilized by a rapid and uncommon colluvial wash. Occurrence in a previously recorded thick tephra deposit of particles identical to some of the mysterious layer and resemblance of its original pseudo-sand fabric with the exploded one of the mysterious layer confirms that the later is contemporaneous with the tephra deposit. ... The restricted occurrence of the [tephra deposit] suggests that the massive tephra accumulation can no longer be considered as a typical fallout derived from the dispersion of material from a terrestrial volcanic explosion. ... Origin of this mysterious phenomena still remains unsolved."

Courty continues that this new dating causes the Akkad empire sudden collapse theory, based on an abrupt climate change, to lose its basis. I see however that the evidence of a great cataclysm between 2200 BC and 2190 BC is so compelling that on this basis we can't dismiss it. On the other hand, Courty is right in her theory of a major occurrence which I would date between 2350 BC and 2340 BC. When the External Collapse Theory (ECT) was first introduced in the late 1980's or early 1990's, the proponents talked about an event ca. 2300 BC. The 1994 SIS Conference talked about a 2200 BC event. In the Cambridge Conference 1997 and elsewhere also there has been an accumulating evidence of some event around 2350 BC besides the 2200 BC event. I suggest that there really were two disparate events, a local one in Near East 2200-2190 BC and 150 years later, 2200-2190 BC, a global one.


Mike Baillie:
"In 1988 the observation was made that narrowest-ring events in Irish sub-fossil oak chronologies appeared to line up with large acidities in the Greenland ice records from Camp Century and Dye3. Three of the events, at tree-ring ages 2345 BC, 1628 BC and 1159 BC turned out to be of particular interest as they contributed to debates on the Hekla 4 eruption in Iceland, Santorini [Thera] in the Aegean, and, possibly, Hekla 3..."

I think there are good grounds to combine the 1628 BC event with Santorini/Thera, but Hekla 4 looks like a later event, ca. 2300 BC, and vice versa the 2350 BC event doesn't look like a volcanic event. Also the connection between Hekla 3 and the 1159 BC event is questionable, because of its larger context from Mycenean to Shang dynasty China.

Baillie has later come to the conclusion that only 1628 BC is volcano-based, but 2345BC and 1159BC are not.


Benny Peiser:
"...Most sites in Greece (ca.260), Anatolia (ca.350), the Levant (ca.200), Mesopotamia (ca.30), the Indian subcontinent (ca.230), China (ca.20), Persia/Afghanistan (ca.50), Iberia (ca.70) which collapsed at around 2200+-200 BC, exhibit unambiguous signs of natural calamities and/or rapid abandonment. The proxy data detected in the marine, terrestrial, biological and archaeological records point to sudden ecological, climatic and social upheavals which appear to coincide with simultaneous sea- and lake-level changes, increased levels of seismic activity and widespread flood/tsunami disasters. The main problem in interconnecting this vast amount of data chronologically is the application of incoherent and imprecise dating methods in different areas of geological and climatological research..."

TN
I would like to add Finland to this list: The population here dropped suddenly to third of its previous value sometimes between 2400 BC and 2000 BC (Turku University).


Another aspect of this is that if there ever was a real (pre)historical background for the flood- and other catastrophe stories, including Plato's Timaios and Critias and the Oera Linda book. The flood stories in Genesis, Plato and Oera Linda may have got some of their content from the evident Atlantic tsunami in 2200-2190 BC, although I consider the main flood originator both in general and especially Atrahasis/Gilgames/Genesis something that happened about 3100 BC.


Two separate cataclysms

So it seems that there were two separate cataclysms in the latter part of the third millennium BC.

The period of Sargon, from 2334 BC to 2279 BC, was very prosperous. Under

the reign of Naram-Sin from 2254 BC to 2218 BC everything still seemed

"normal". Akkadian Sumer was a welfare state in its own way during those

times. If the Anatolian event of 2345 BC was a local one, it neatly explains

Sargon's attack on the south of Anatolia, because of the havoc in north, and also the prosperity that followed when the highly civilized Akkadian culture moved south.

In fact before 2345 BC there was not any big difference between Northern and

Southern Mesopotamia. But when the North was in Chaos, this meant both

welfare and difficulties for the South. The population increased suddenly,

which stressed the food supply seems to have driven hungry people

still farther to the south, towards Egypt. Still Sumer prospered. But 150 years

later all this came to an abrupt end. The reign of Shar-Kali-Sharri was

interrupted suddenly into a chaos in 2193 BC .


How about Egypt? The end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt is surrounded by many

uncertainties. Modern Egyptologists originally thought that its last king

was Pepi II, whose reign began about 2250 BC. Later his reign was counted

as having lasted 90 years. Still later they added two more kings,

Intiemsaef II and Neithkeret. If we accept the original estimate that Pepi II

was the last Old Kingdom king, and if we take as a tentative theory that

the catastrophe also happened in Egypt in 2193 BC, it still gives Pepi

a reign of some 60 years.


So there seems to be a difference between the 2350 BC and 2200 BC events.

I suggest that the 2350 BC event was local, an Anatolian event, from the

Aegean to the Caspian. The 2200 BC event was global, as seen by

the evidence from Iberia to China. The Rio Cuarto impact in Argentina seems also to have happened during the latter part of the third millennium BC. Unable to destroy Tell Leilan and leave surroundings untouched, I would link it rather to the 2200 BC event. With its 50 km long and 10 km wide destruction path consisting of 11 craters (the largest one is 4.5 km long and 1.1 km wide) it must have had global consequences. Because of its different direction (nearly north to south) and different latitude of impact at 20 degrees S would however hint that it was a third and separate event during the series of catastrophes during the late third millennium BC. Be it connected to either of the mentioned cataclysms or a separate one in the late third millennium, one thing is sure: it must have had wordwide consequences, especially climatological. A flood event it was not, because it happened right in the middle of South America. But it itself was a multiple event and can have been accompanied by some debris that fall into Atl

In fact Greek mythology speaks of three flood events, of which the Ogyges and Deucalion legends are the most famous. Ogyges would then be the Anatolian event of 2345 BC and Deucalion event the global event of 2193-2194 BC. The third would be that of Atrahasis and Gilgames (the precursor for the Noachian flood) but because it happened in the first part of the unlucky third millennium BC, it is not considered here.

But let's go back to the 2200 BC event. In China a ruler named Yu, who has been praised of attempts to stop floods in China, reigned according to the standard chronology from 2205 BC to 2197 BC. The legend tells that at the time of the birth of Abra(ha)m there was a guest star (supernova). Bamboo Annals give one in 2287 BC. Again according to legend Abraham was of age 99, when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. If we take this literally we get the year 2188 BC, but of course the 99 years could also mean "nearly 100".

Marie-Agnes Court (The Soil Record of an Exceptional Event at 4000 BP in the Middle East (Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilisations, ed. Benny Peiser et al., Oxford 1998)), whose excavations at Tell Leilan in Northern Syria has led to two layers of burnt soil, whose calibrations (from radiocarbon age) yield ages of 4400-3900 BC and 4800-4300 BC, open also the above two windows. Benny Peiser ("Comparative Analysis of Late Holocene Upheaval") says that "Floodplain deposits of up to 3 metres thick and stretching up to 15 kilometres inland have been detected between Tirys and Mycenae" dated to ca. 2200-2300 BC.


Now there is a very interesting coincidence. There exists one very old

Frisian manuscript named the Oera Linda book. It was found in 1820, but

the scientific community condemned it as a forgery in 1871. We can ask

if that was too hasty a conclusion. One of the reasons the issue should

be reconsidered is that the book is some kind of a diary from the third millennium BC to about 500 BC. Right in the beginning is mentioned "The destruction of Atland" in 2194 BC. It describes the paradise before that, the year 2194 "when the bad days came", the escape of Atlanders first to Crete, where they founded their culture, the Minoan culture.



Sodom and Gomorrah

There have been excavations on the

Lisan peninsula, which nearly cuts the southern part of the Dead Sea

off from the rest of it. It is also different from the main Dead Sea in that it's mean depth is very different from the rest of the Dead Sea, only 10 m in average. It seems that there was a great

catastrophe around 2200 BC that has destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The surface of the Dead Sea dropped suddenly by 100m around 2200 BC (Frumkin et al., The Holocene 1.3, 1991). If

we take the story in Genesis for what it seems to indicate, size=4>the whole southern part of the Dead Sea may be an impact

crater that was caused by a cosmic disaster, one piece in the 2200 BC disaster.

Where did the Impacts occur?



Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 after fragmentation by Jupiter's gravity

Now I propose my theory: the Earth was hit in 2194 or 2193

BC by a comet which had spread into many parts, as did Comet

Shoemaker-Levy 9 which hit Jupiter in 1994 AD. The Dead Sea lies at latitude

31 degrees N, and the badly devastated Mohenjo-Daro on the shores of Indus had

a latitude of 28 degrees N. China's Yangtze area has a latitude of around

30 degrees. N. (Impact latitude is stable, longitude varies, such as it did for

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.) This latitude is also the latitude between Canary Islands

and Madeira. If a great tsunami washed away one island here or had a hit

right on an island, we could have Atlantis there, somewhere between Canary Islands and Azores (or in the shallow waters outside the Iberian peninsula). Those who lived over escaped to Crete and grounded the Minoan civilization, if we are to believe the Oera Linda history.


The incidence of 2345-2344 BC may have been an Anatolian event, destroying most badly the area from Troy (IIg) to Tell Leilan. The incidence of 2194-2193 BC surely had a global frame. Mahabharata may describe what happened at Mohenjo-dara, Indus. Edda may describe what happened in the Atlantic Ocean.





Fireballs on Jupiter after impacts of fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Go to the
Evidence of Astronomical Aspects of Mankind's Past and Recent Climate Homepage



The author would especially like to thank E.P. Grondine
For his assistance in laying out these pages.

http://209.157.64.201/focus/f-news/744698/posts

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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2007, 02:13:39 am »

Collision Earth:
The Threat From Outer Space
 


BY JASON JEFFREY

Over a century ago Ignatius Donnelly summed up our precarious existence: We are but vitalized specks filled with a fraction of God’s delegated intelligence, crawling over an egg-shell filled with fire, whirling madly through infinite space, a target for the bombs of the universe.

      By bombs Donnelly meant the untold number of asteroids and comets that fill the heavens around us which on perhaps not a few occasions have smashed into Earth itself, and may do so again.

      Through revolutionary new techniques in observation, detection and photography, modern astronomers and astrophysicists have now identified two new classes of celestial objects which could pose a real danger to our planet within the foreseeable future, called NEA’s (Near Earth Asteroids) and ECC’s (Earth-Crossing Comets).

      On September 29, asteroid “4179 Toutatis” passed within 1.6 million kilometres of Earth. Its approach was the closest in this century of any known asteroid the size of Toutatis, which measured around 4.6 kilometres in length. If it had struck the Earth, we could have faced what scientists have dubbed “a mass extinction event.”

      Scientists believe the asteroid poses no risk at least through 2562, when Toutatis will pass within 400,000 kilometers of Earth – but astronomers admit there are forces in the solar system that can alter an asteroid’s orbit and put it on a collision course with Earth.

      Earlier this year, on March 31, an asteroid skimmed past the Earth at a distance of just 6500 kilometres above the ground. Object “2004 FU162”, which spans 5-10 metres across, would have burned up as a fireball ending with a smaller explosion, had it ventured into the Earth’s atmosphere. The problem was astronomers did not discover it until after its passing. Scientists have since calculated the asteroid’s orbit was shifted by a whopping 20 degrees because of the Earth’s gravity.

      The previous record for the closest asteroid approach to Earth was set on 18 March by an object called “2004 FH” which missed the Earth by about 40,000 kilometres. That was a much larger object, around 30 metres in diameter, but big enough to produce a one-megaton explosion in the atmosphere.

      NASA calculates objects in the 100-200 metre range hit Earth about once every 700-1,000 years. Such an object did hit the Earth in 1908, over Tunguska in Siberia.

      In the ECC (Earth-Crossing Comet) category, a very serious future candidate for an Earth grazing is comet Finlay, due to pass on October 27, 2060 – perhaps as close as 150,000 kilometres.

      In 1993, astrophysicist Brian Marsden announced that comet Swift-Tuttle could possibly strike Earth in the 22nd century. It is scheduled to pass the Sun incoming from deep space on July 11, 2126, and on August 14 will come very close to our world. Should the slightest irregularity occur in its long periodic path during the intervening one and a half centuries, it could hit the planet dead-centre, and with a force equivalent to 100 million megatons of TNT.

      Over the past few years we have often heard about the discovery of new asteroids and comets. This is the result of NASA’s 25-year survey of the sky to find objects wider than a kilometre that could have a devastating impact if they collided with Earth.

      Fortunately, nothing of a dangerous size has been spotted heading our way for at least a century – or so they tell us. According to a US government advisor, secrecy would be the best option if scientists discovered a giant asteroid was on course to collide with Earth.

      Speaking to a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Geoffrey Sommer, of the Rand Corporation, said:

      “If an extinction-type impact is inevitable, then ignorance for the populace is bliss. As a matter of common sense, if you can’t intercept it and you can’t move people out of the way in time, there’s nothing you can do in terms of reducing the costs of the potential impact.”

Deep Impact

      For one week in July 1994, astronomers watched a planetary body under attack, when two dozen pieces of the disintegrated comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 plunged into Jupiter with explosive results, equivalent to 40 million megatons of TNT going off in a chain reaction. As several scientists warned, this was Earth’s wake-up call for a similar event to happen to us.

      Recent computer simulations reveal that if a comet or asteroid hit the Earth on one side, the seismic waves generated would be transmitted through the planetary interior. By being focused on account of the Earth’s curvature, the waves would meet together at the location directly on the opposite side where the impact took place, and the high stress energy released could disrupt the surface area, causing a tremendous outpouring of volcanic activity.

      The air blast resulting from an impact would lead to large-scale and worldwide pressure shock waves oscillating the entire atmosphere and ionosphere, creating winds greater than the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded.

      Fragments of the asteroid and earth hurled into space by the impact would rain down all over the planet, setting forest fires. The resulting smoke would further darken the atmosphere, plunging the world into permanent night. The temperature would plummet.

      Calculating the amount of dust, water vapour and smoke injected into the sky from a kilometre wide object hitting the Earth, scientists estimate a drop of world temperatures by about 15 degrees Celsius lasting for about 15 days.

      By far the worst-case scenario is an asteroid or comet striking one of the world’s deep oceans. Some researchers worry the sudden displacement of such large volumes of water across thousands of kilometres of ocean would affect the axis spin and polar stability of the Earth, like adding an off-balancing weight to a spinning gyroscope. Even more disastrous would be a celestial object furrowed into the ocean at a more oblique angle. In this case the energy of the mass dissipates by pushing a titanic amount of water over a large surface area, creating a tsunami wave so high and large in size as to defy imagination.

      As a tsunami wave reaches nearer to a coast with a shallower continental shelf, its speed slows down, but its height is increased by a factor of 10 to 40. Thus a deep ocean wave of 100 metres might break ashore with a height of 1,000 to 4,000 metres.

      A major earthquake triggered off the coast of Chile in May 1960 generated waves in the deep water of the Pacific travelling a full 150 degrees around the globe, or more than 16,000 kilometres distance, landing ashore in Japan at a height of up to 4.5 metres, and killing over 200 people. Earlier, in 1946, a similar event took place when a tsunami originating in the Aleutians killed a handful of people along the nearby Alaskan shores, yet also went on to take the lives of 150 people in Hawaii 8,000 kilometres away. Computer projections indicate that a 9-metre asteroid impacting the ocean between Australia and New Zealand would produce tsunamis breaking on the southern Japanese coastline at 38 to 50 metres high.

      That large asteroids have hit the Pacific before is evident from geological remains on the islands within its perimeter. Deposits of unconsolidated corals have been found almost a thousand feet above the present coasts on Lanai, Hawaii, Oahu, Molokai and Maui, indicating they were washed up to that height by a tremendous wave of water in the distant past. Ordinary tsunamis generated by earthquakes along the Ring of Fire do not produce waves of that magnitude – only a major displacement of ocean waters from an impact event would fit the findings.

      The Atlantic Ocean is also in danger. Estimates are an impact anywhere in the Atlantic by an asteroid 365 metres wide would devastate coasts on either side with tsunami waves 60 metres high. Major cities either on the coast or with river, bay or harbor accesses such as New York, Boston, Washington, London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are in danger of being completely obliterated.

      A computer simulation of an asteroid impact tsunami developed by scientists at the University of California shows waves as high as 120 metres sweeping onto the Atlantic Coast of the United States.

      The researchers based their simulation on a real asteroid known to be on course for a close encounter with Earth eight centuries from now.

      March 16, 2880, is the day the asteroid known as “1950 DA”, a huge rock 1.2 kilometres in diameter, is due to swing so close to Earth it could slam into the Atlantic Ocean at 60,000 kilometres per hour.

      “From a geologic perspective, events like this have happened many times in the past. Asteroids the size of 1950 DA have probably struck the Earth about 600 times since the age of the dinosaurs,” warns researcher Steven Ward.

Impact Events Linked to Evolution of Life on Earth

      It is known the Earth was pummelled by asteroids, comets and other massive heavenly bodies in the early days of its formation – over 3 billion years ago. But, until recently, most scientists thought this was an event limited to Earth’s distant past. They also believed the ancient celestial pounding eventually gave way to billions of years of gradual, non-catastrophic evolution.

      In the 1950s, astronomer Gene Shoemaker sent shock waves through the scientific community by suggesting various craters on our planet (and the Moon) were formed by asteroids or comets, rather than volcanic eruptions, which was what most scientists believed at the time.

      There doesn’t appear to be one square kilometre of the lunar surface that is not pockmarked with impact craters. While some craters are undoubtedly very ancient, they also contain within their rims a myriad of newer craters from more recent impacts.

      The reason why craters do not remain visible on Earth is due to their swift erosion by rain, snow, and wind, whereas on the Moon they remain for eons until a new projectile strikes the scar zone.

      Using the Moon’s potholed surface as a reference point, Shoemaker tried to determine how often celestial objects smashed into the Moon and, by extension, struck the Earth. With the help of modern satellite and aerial surveillance, Shoemaker and other scientists soon identified over 200 impact sites around the planet.

      In 1980 scientists Luis and Walter Alvarez claimed they had found evidence of a huge impact event 65 million years ago. This age corresponded with the demise of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The evidence included a worldwide layer of clay with high levels of the rare element iridium, usually the signature of an impact.

      In 1990, the buried remains of a 180-kilometre-diameter crater were discovered near the town of Chicxulub on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. A crater this size would have been blasted out by a 16-kilometre-wide comet or asteroid colliding with the Earth at some 80,000 kph.

      Some scientists now believe this crater as the long sought-after “smoking gun” responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs and more than 70 percent of Earth’s living species 65 million years ago.

      In June 2003 Science published a report about a team of scientists who believe a massive object from space smashed into what is now the Moroccan desert 380 million years ago. Dates for the impact coincide with the “Kacak/otomari” extinction, when up to 40% of all animals living in the sea perished. Fossils found in rock layers just above the impact layer suggest many new species appeared after the disaster.

      And in November 2003, another team of scientists reported on evidence for a massive asteroid colliding with the Earth 251 million years ago which may have killed 90 per cent of all life.

      The study, based on meteorite fragments found in Antarctica, suggests the Permian-Triassic event, perhaps the greatest extinction in the planet’s history, may have been triggered by a mountain-sized space rock that smashed into a southern land mass.

      “It appears to us that the two largest mass extinctions in Earth history... were both caused by catastrophic collisions” with asteroids, the researchers say in their study in Science.

      The evidence indicates asteroid impacts are the key factors in the development of life on this planet. In wiping out a large proportion of life on the planet periodically, the asteroids have played a more important role in evolutionary development than previously thought.

      More pertinent is the question of cosmic impacts on the rise and fall of mankind’s ancient civilisations. Is there any evidence backing up the stories of ancient apocalypse and hell fire from the sky that are preserved in mythology and some of the world’s religions?

Collapse of Civilisation

...and the seven judges of hell ... raised their torches, lighting the land with their livid flame. A stupor of despair went up to heaven when the god of the storm turned daylight into darkness, when he smashed the land like a cup.

– An account of the Deluge from the Epic of Gilgamesh, circa 2200 BCE

      Biblical stories, apocalyptic visions, ancient art and scientific data all seem to intersect at around 2350 BCE, when one or more catastrophic events wiped out several advanced societies in Europe, Asia and Africa.

   Archaeological findings show that in the space of a few centuries, many sophisticated civilisations disappeared. The Old Kingdom in Egypt fell into ruin. The Akkadian culture of Iraq, thought to be the world’s first empire, collapsed.

   Around the same time apocalyptic writings appeared. The Epic of Gilgamesh describes the fire, brimstone and flood of possibly real, not mythical, events. Omens predicting the Akkadian collapse preserve a record that “many stars were falling from the sky.” The “Curse of Akkad,” dated to about 2200 BCE, speaks of “flaming potsherds raining from the sky.”

      In 1650, the Irish Archbishop James Ussher mapped out the chronology of the Bible – a feat that included stringing together all the “begats” to count generations – and put Noah’s great flood at 2349 BCE.

      All coincidence? A number of scientists don’t think so.

      Mounting hard evidence collected from tree rings, soil layers and even dust that long ago settled to the ocean floor indicates there were widespread environmental nightmares in the Near East during this period: Abrupt cooling of the climate, sudden floods and surges from the seas, huge earthquakes.

      In 1999 geologist Dr. Sharad Master spotted a 3-kilometre-wide crater in southern Iraq after studying satellite images. Scientists now believe this circular depression bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater, one that caused devastating fires and flooding. They are now attempting to date the time of the impact, with some of the main researchers estimating an age of around 6,000 years – placing it in the close vicinity of the sudden decline in Middle East civilisation around 2300 BCE.

      Mike Baillie, professor of palaeoecology at Queens University in Belfast and author of Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters with Comets, figures it would have taken just a few bad years to destroy societies.

      Even a single comet impact large enough to have created the Iraqi crater, “would have caused a mini nuclear winter with failed harvests and famine, bringing down any agriculture based populations which can survive only as long as their stored food reserves,” Baillie says. “So any environmental downturn lasting longer than about three years tends to bring down civilisations.”

      Professor Mike Baillie is an authority on dendrochronology, the science of studying tree growth rings. His decades long collaborative effort with many scientists has developed a worldwide record of climate modulated, annual tree growth as recorded in tree growth rings. That effort has produced a reliable timeline from the present back to several thousand years BCE.

      Occasionally environmental conditions are so extreme that trees all over the world are affected. Certain of these patterns imply weather conditions leading to local or worldwide catastrophes, including crop failures, famine and flooding.

      As described in Exodus to Arthur, the dates linked to extreme events are: 3195 BCE, 2354 BCE, 1628 BCE, 1159 BCE, 207 BCE, 44 BCE, and 540 CE.

      The significance of the date 2354 BCE has been noted. The other date to stand out is 540 CE, with the extreme weather events actually starting in 536 CE.

      Until recently, historians had little notion dramatic climatic events had occurred. The accounts left by contemporary observers were poorly understood and overshadowed by later historical events. In fact, those later events, it turns out, may have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the weather of the time.

      The Praetorian Prefect Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, who lived   between 490 and 585 CE, wrote a letter documenting the conditions. “All of us are observing, as it were, a blue coloured sun; we marvel at bodies which cast no mid-day shadow, and at that strength of intensest heat reaching extreme and dull tepidity... So we have had a winter without storms, spring without mildness, summer without heat... The seasons have changed by failing to change; and what used to be achieved by mingled rains cannot be gained from dryness only.”

      In the wake of this inexplicable darkness, crops failed and famine struck. Then a new disease swept across the entire continent of Eurasia: bubonic plague. It ravaged Europe over the course of the next century, reducing the population of the Roman empire by a third, killing four-fifths of the citizens of Constantinople, reaching as far east as China and as far northwest as Great Britain.

      Other reports about the weather conditions from Byzantine and Constantinople record the same environmental phenomena such as dry fog, darkness, cold, drought, and famine.

      In 1984, Mike Baillie proposed that the climatic event of 536 CE (and by extension, all six of the others) could have been caused by “an asteroid, a comet, cometary fragment(s), or cosmic swarms.”

      Perhaps one of the most fascinating and well researched theories is offered by authors Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas in their book Uriel's Machine: The Prehistoric Technology That Survived The Flood.

      They present recent geological evidence showing that in 7640 BCE Earth was hit by seven comet fragments causing gigantic tidal waves. These findings are derived from the work of Austrian geologists Alexander and Edith Tollmann of Vienna University's Geological Institute.

      By combining evidence from various disciplines (including the global distribution of tektites and a study of worldwide myths and legends), the Tollmanns propose that a comet approached the Earth from the south-east and fragmented into seven pieces which fell subsequently into the oceans causing mass destruction on all continents. One piece is believed to have landed in the North Atlantic, while another is considered to have fallen into “the Central Atlantic south of the Azores” creating a direct hit on “Atlantis”.

      According to the authors of Uriel's Machine, there is a Masonic tradition that the biblical character Enoch constructed a machine to predict comets on an Earth collision course. They believe the ancient Book of Enoch describes how this machine should be constructed, and how this secret technology has been preserved since ancient times in Freemasonic lore.

Conclusion

      The fall of ancient civilisations may now come to be viewed not as a failure of social engineering or political might but rather the product of climate change and, possibly, heavenly happenstance.

      The Bible and other ancient texts have kept alive the memory of ancient catastrophes whose scientific analysis and understanding might now be vital for the protection of our own civilisations from future impacts.

      These concerns are probably why the European Space Agency’s chief scientist wants a “Noah’s Ark” on the Moon, in case life on Earth is wiped out by an asteroid or nuclear holocaust.

      “If there were a catastrophic collision on Earth or a nuclear war, you could place some samples of Earth’s biosphere, including humans, [on the Moon],” said Dr. Bernard Foing. “You could repopulate the Earth afterwards, like a Noah’s Ark.”

      At this point, only two things are certain: The Earth could be hit at any moment by a roving asteroid or comet, and we will be hit, again, unless something is done to prevent it.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Jason Jeffrey holds an interest in a wide range of subjects including geopolitics, the "New World Order", Big Brother, suppressed technology, psychic/spiritual development, ancient civilisations and esotericism. He can be contacted at jasonjeffrey33@yahoo.com.au

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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2007, 02:16:13 am »


What on Earth was going on in 5100 BP (3100 BC)?

Extract based on the book The Keys to the Temple


(part 2) by David Furlong
To put all of these discoveries into context we have to travel back in time to around 5100 BP. This date proved to be a watershed in the development of the megalithic structures in Britain. Quite suddenly there was a switch in megalithic architecture from rectilinear forms found in the long barrows to circular patterns expressed through stone circles, henge monuments and round barrows. Dramatically across the entire length of Britain long barrows ceased to be erected and in their stead came the stone circles. The earliest phase of Stonehenge is now dated to around 5100 BP as also are some of the monuments in the Avebury area. The most significant circular megalithic structures in Britain were all started within a hundred years or so of this crucial date. In addition the monuments show a clear orientation to marking the phases of the Sun and Moon, sometimes in dramatic fashion such as the midsummer sunrise at Stonehenge and the midwinter sunrise at Newgrange, in Ireland.

It just so happens that c. 5100 BP is very significant in at least two other parts of the world. Around the same date the land of Egypt was united under one king called Narmer Menes, laying the foundations for the fabulous civilisation that was to become dynastic Egypt. Almost overnight the Egyptian civilisation appeared in full flower without any prolonged gestation period. The change was so dramatic that some Egyptologists, such as W. S. Emery, have concluded that this must have been caused by a new cultural influence entering Egypt at this date. The origins of this culture have, however, remained elusive.

On the other side of the Atlantic, three thousand years later a culture, called the Mayans, emerged in Central America, reaching the height of their civilisation around 600 AD. The Mayans possessed two things which linked them back to much earlier times. The first is their famous calendar which has its start date on 12 August 3114 BC. We know that this is correct for their calendar is more accurate than the Gregorian calendar that we use today. But why did they start at this peculiar date at the end of the 4th millennium BC?

The second connection that the Mayan's had to the distant past was their mythology. The Mayan's maintained that 3114 BC marked the catastrophic conclusion of the preceding age that saw the complete destruction of their original homelands. These Edenic lands the Mayans believed lay somewhere to the east in the Atlantic Ocean.

So we have three seemingly unconnected events occurring around 5100 BP.

The beginning of the building of great stone circles in Britain, including Stonehenge in Wiltshire, Castlerigg in Cumbria, the Stennes Stones in the Orkneys and Newgrange in Ireland.

The founding of dynastic Egypt.

The start date of the present cycle of the Mayan calendar.
Cataclysms
The Mayans maintained that a cataclysm occurred around 5100 BP. What scientific evidence supports such a notion? Surprisingly there is a great deal, for the most significant clues lie in some turbulent climatic changes.
The study of the Earth's climate over the past 100,000 years is a fascinating subject. It draws from many diverse scientific disciplines. Clearly there are no meteorological charts available from the ancient past, so it is impossible to be certain about weather in any one place on a particular day. However it is possible to discover the shifts from one climatic period to another. The picture is built like a jigsaw from archaeology, radio carbon dating, geology, pollen analysis, tree-ring dating, ocean sediments, lake sediments, ice cores, isotope measurements, fossilised insects and so on.

We are now living in a relatively warm period following the end of the last Ice Age which finished around 15,000 BC. In the intervening period between then and today there have been several peaks and troughs with one of the most significant occurring within a century or two of 3100 BC. This is known as the Piora oscillation and marked the boundary between the relatively warm Atlantic period and the somewhat cooler Sub-Boreal phase. What could have caused this shift?

We know from ice core samples in Greenland that a sulphate deposit was laid down in the ice around this date which could have been caused either by volcanic eruption or possibly a comet impact. Around the world, particular in the northern hemisphere, there is evidence of serious upheavals. For example when Sir Leonard Wooley excavated the legendary city of Ur in Mesopotamia he found clear evidence of a wide scale inundation which deposited a layer of silt and sand several feet deep. At the same time along the coast of Brittany in France another study showed a dramatic rise then fall in sea levels; whilst the Dead Sea suddenly rose 300 metres before falling back to its present position. Studies from eight different sites in the Navajo country of the American Southwest showed heavy flooding, again, at exactly the same time. These are just a few of the numerous examples which indicate that some major event had seriously upset the Earth's weather patterns.

The change that occurred was sufficient to radically alter the climate of Egypt and the whole of the Sahara area which, prior to that date, had been very much wetter. One possible explanation is that something caused the Earth to slightly tilt on its axis which altered the seasonal influence of the Sun. It would also have caused a displacement of sea levels due to geophysical forces involved. Could this be the origin of the biblical flood legends? This is the case strongly argued by Paul Dunbavin in his book 'The Atlantis Researches'.

An Atlantean Realm?
The Mayan people had therefore been exactly right in maintaining that their calendar marked a very significant catastrophic date. Could they also have been right in maintaining that their ancestors came from lands lying to the east which was overwhelmed by some cataclysm? On this count the jury is still out for no direct evidence has come to the surface from all the research into the Atlantic sea bed. No fabled undersea kingdoms have been discovered and scientists maintain that nothing of this sort exists on the floor of the Atlantic. The most likely place is along the mid-Atlantic ridge but perhaps Atlantis was so thoroughly destroyed that nothing substantial now remains.
Plato, the first person to give any information on Atlantis, maintained that it was larger than the continent of Libya and Asia put together. People have speculated what size this might be but there is certainly no room in the middle of the Atlantic for such a large land mass. However, we should not forget that the habitable land in Egypt, running along the Nile and including the Nile Delta, is no more than about a third the size of Ireland. Look what the Ancient Egyptians were able to achieve. So we do not necessarily need a large area to hold an advanced civilisation, a fertile island or group of islands would suffice. Perhaps Plato's sources over estimated the size of Atlantis.

Drawing these threads together, we know that a significant climatic change occurred around five thousand years ago that saw the start of Dynastic Egypt, the beginning of some of the most spectacular megalithic monuments in Britain and the inception date of the Mayan calendar. The evidence points to a common source of origin. Many have argued for a much earlier date for the destruction of this fabled civilisation and, indeed, Plato gave a date of around 11,500 years ago. My arguments against such a belief are quite simple.

If we suppose that an advanced elder civilisation came to an abrupt end, leaving just sufficient time for its inhabitants to flee in different directions, one would expect to see evidence of new cultural ideas emerging very quickly from their new found homes. This is precisely what we find in Britain and Egypt and to a lesser extent in many other areas bordering the Atlantic ocean; not at 9500 BC but much later around 3100 BC.

The Heritage of an Elder Culture
Let us suppose then that around five thousand years ago a group from this advanced culture, fleeing from their doomed homeland, set foot on the shores of Britain and Egypt bringing with them their esoteric knowledge and skills in surveying, mathematics, astronomy and building. In Egypt this knowledge was eventually to lead of the building of the Great Pyramid, whilst in Britain the same inherent design was set out geometrically in the landscape. Such a culture, possessing all the necessary skills to survey and set out patterns in the landscape and also to lay the first foundations for the magnificent megalithic sites, such as Avebury, Stonehenge and Silbury Hill, would explain the sudden acceleration in the cultural developments in these two, widely separated, lands.
In my book 'The Keys to the Temple' I present compelling evidence that it was this cultural infusion that led to the laying out of the vast landscape temple over the Marlborough Downs. We might surmise that such a group was sufficiently large to spread out to the four corners of these islands, but also were able to merge and intermingle with the local population. Yet why set out these ancient sites in geometric patterns? What might they have brought to Britain and what was so special about the pyramid that it occurs both in the landscape as well as a vast monument on the Giza plateau in Egypt?

From more than thirty years researching sacred sites and through my experiences as a spiritual healer I have been aware of a 'healing' presence as such places. This has led on to inner explorations connected to contacts with the 'genie locii' of the sites in question which has produced some amazing insights. But for many years I could not show that this was not a purely subjective phenomenon. I now know, from a specific experience when looking for one of London's long forgotten 'holy wells', that is not. Something much deeper is at work.

Early on in my experiences with sacred places I became aware that certain sites stimulated a clear bodily sensation within me, manifesting as a tingling in the back of my head and arms. This 'listening to my body' (common I found later to dowsers) became an invaluable aid in my research, and I came to rely on it. I was looking for the well which I knew was not far from Liverpool Street Station. In this instance the visit was unplanned and I did not have my maps with me so could only guess from memory on where I thought the well to be. On reaching, what I thought was the correct place, I felt no response, so disappointedly I set off up the road, eventually turning the corner into Scruton Street. I was immediately hit by a huge surge of unmistakeable 'energy'. I tried to dismiss the experience because it was some way off from where I thought the holy well must be. Nevertheless the sensation persisted and it was clearly confined to that one particular spot.

When returning home, I re-checked my maps and discovered that I had made a mistake. The place where I had searched originally was incorrect. The real site of the holy well was exactly where I had experienced the overwhelming sensation.

In my understanding these ancient people's brought with them a form of 'spiritual energy' which they wove into the landscape through the geometric patterns that they established. Research in America and elsewhere has shown that the pyramid shape effects the subtle energy fields of the body and can be used to speed up the healing process when injuries occur. I believe that the 'energy' to be found in the pattern overlighting the Marlborough Downs and at other sacred sites in Britain is one that appeals to the spiritual aspirations within us. It is a power that is infinitely liberating that can unfetter the chains of narrow restricted thinking. The interlinking of these sites allows for those finer impulses to feed into the whole system so that all is renewed, to the benefit of all. By accessing the infinity of the cosmos at these sacred places we can access the infinity of our own souls.

Those from this Atlantean realm, like the latter day Tibetans, were forced from their homes and obliged to take their knowledge into the world around them. A wisdom and an ability to open up channels of communication to higher realms of consciousness which were then fixed at specific locations in the landscape. These sites are once more starting to communicate their messages to us. Merlin is awake calling us forth. We only have to stop and listen.

© David Furlong 1998

Click here to visit the site with information on a Cotswold Circle of same size as those on the Marlborough Downs

http://www.kch42.dial.pipex.com/keyspt2.htm

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« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2007, 02:19:38 am »

Timeline of environmental events

The timeline of environmental events is a historical account of events that have shaped humanity's perspective on the environment. This timeline includes some major natural events, man-made disasters, environmentalists that have had a positive influence, and environmental legislation.
•

Holocene

10th millennium BC
• Circa 10,000 BC — North America: Dire Wolf, Smilodon, Giant beaver, Ground sloth, Mammoth, and American lion all become extinct.
— Bering Sea: Land bridge from Siberia to North America sinks.
— North America: Long Island becomes an island when waters break through on the western end to the interior lake
— Homo floresiensis, the human's last known surviving close relative, becomes extinct.
— World: Sea levels rise abruptly and massive inland flooding occurs due to glacier melt.
• Circa 9700 BC — Lake Agassiz forms.
• Circa 9600 BC — Younger Dryas cold period ends. Pleistocene ends and Holocene begins. Paleolithic ends and Mesolithic begins. Large amounts of previously glaciated land become habitable again.
• Circa 9500 BC — Ancylus Lake, part of the modern-day Baltic Sea, forms.

9th millennium BC
• Circa 8000 BC — World - Rising Sea levels
— Antarctica - long-term melting of the Antarctic ice sheets is commencing
— Asia - rising sea levels caused by postglacial warming
— World - Obliteration of more than 40 million animals about this time
— North America - The glaciers were receding and by 8,000 B.C. the Wisconsin had withdrawn completely.
— World - Inland flooding due to catastrophic glacier melt takes place in several regions

8th millennium BC
• Circa 7640 BC — Date theorized for impact of Tollmann's hypothetical bolide with Earth and associated global cataclysm.

7th millennium BC
• Circa 6500 BC — English Channel formed
• Circa 6100 BC — The Storegga Slide, causing a megatsunami in the Norwegian Sea
• Circa 6000 BC — Rising sea levels form the Torres Strait, separate Australia from New Guinea.

6th millennium BC
• Circa 5600 BC — According to the Black Sea deluge theory, the Black Sea floods with salt water. Some 3000 cubic miles (12,500 km³) of salt water is added, significantly expanding it and transforming it from a fresh-water landlocked lake into a salt water sea.
— Beginning of the desertification of north Africa, which ultimately lead to the creation of the Sahara desert. It's possible this process pushed some natives into migrating to the region of the Nile in the east, thereby laying the groundwork for the rise of Egyptian civilization.

3rd millennium BC
• 2700 BC — Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh describes vast tracts of cedar forests in what is now southern Iraq. Gilgamesh defies the gods and cuts down the forest, and in return the gods say they will curse Sumer with fire (or possibly drought). By 2100 BC, soil erosion and salt buildup have devastated agriculture. One Sumerian wrote that the "earth turned white." Civilization moved north to Babylonia and Assyria. Again, deforestation becomes a factor in the rise and subsequent fall of these civilizations.
— Some of the first laws protecting the remaining forests decreed in Ur.

2nd millennium BC
• 1500 BC — Soil erosion is both a consequence of growth and a cause of collapse of Central American city -states.
• 1450 BC — Minoan civilization in the Merranean declines, but scholars are divided on the cause. Possibly a volcanic eruption was the source of the catastrophe. On the other hand, gradual deforestation may have led to materials shortages in manufacturing and shipping. Loss of timber and subsequent deterioration of its land was probably a factor in the decline of Minoan power in the late Bronze Age, according to John Perlin in A Forest Journey.

1st millennium BC

3rd century BC
• 250 BC — Ashoka introduces wildlife protection legislation in India
• 500 BC — Roman Empire, Cloaca Maxima (big sewer) is built in Rome by Etruscan dynasty of Tarquins. As Rome grows, a network of cloacae (sewers) and aquaducts are built.

1st millennium AD
________________________________________
• 100AD to 400AD — Decline of Roman Empire may have been partly due to lead poisoning, according to modern historian and toxicologist Jerome Nriagu. Romans used lead acetate ("sugar of lead") to sweeten old wine and turn grape pulp into a sweet condiment. Usually the acidic wine or pulp was simply left in a vat with sheets of lead. An aristocrat with a sweet tooth might have eaten as much as a gram of lead a day. Widespread use of this sweetener would have caused gout, sterility, insanity and many of the symptoms which were, in fact, present among the Roman aristocrats. High levels of lead have been found in the bones of aristocratic Romans. Far more than simply using lead pipes or lead utensils, the direct consumption of lead-sweetened wine and foods created serious and widespread lead poisoning among upper-class Romans.
[]
7th century
• 676 — Cuthbert of Lindisfarne enacts protection legislation for birds on the Farne Islands (Northumberland, UK).
[]
2nd millennium AD
[]
14th century
• 1347 to 1350s — Bubonic plague decimates Europe, creating the first attempts to enforce public health and quarantine laws.
• 1366 — City of Paris forces butchers to dispose of animal wastes outside the city (Ponting); similar laws would be disputed in Philadelphia and New York nearly 400 years later.
• 1388 — Parliament passes an act forbidding the throwing of filth and garbage into ditches, rivers and waters. City of Cambridge also passes the first urban sanitary laws in England.
[]
15th century
• 1420 to 1427, Madeira islands : destruction of the laurisilva forest, or the woods which once clothed the whole island when the portuguese settlers decided to clear the land for farming by setting most of the island on fire. It is said that the fire burned for seven years.
[]
16th century
• 1546 — Italian physican Girolamo Fracastoro outlines theory of contagious disease. He reasoned that infectious diseases could be passed on in 3 ways: simple contact, indirect contact, and minute bodies over distance through the air.
• 1560 to 1600 — Rapid industrialization in England leads to heavy deforestation and increasing substitution of coal for wood.
[]
17th century
• 1640 — Isaac Walton writes The Compleat Angler about fishing and about conservation.
• 1662 — John Graunt publishes a book of mortality statistics compiled by parish and municipal councils in England. Although the numbers are inaccurate, a start was made in epidemiology and the understanding of disease and public health.
• 1690 — Colonial Governor William Penn requires Pennsylvania settlers to preserve one acre of trees for every five acres cleared.
[]
18th century
• 1700 — Some 600 ships are engaged in hauling "sea coal" from Newcastle to London, an enormous increase compared to 1650, when only two ships regularly carried sea coal. Rapid industrialization and the demand for iron and naval supplies has stripped England's forests.
• 1711 — Jonathan Swift notes the contents of London's gutters: "sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts and blood, drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud..."
• 1720 — In India, hundreds of Bishnois Hindus of Khejadali go to their deaths trying to protect trees from the Maharaja of Jodhpur, who needed wood to fuel the lime kilns for cement to build his palace.
• 1739 — Benjamin Franklin and neighbors petition Pennsylvania Assembly to stop waste dumping and remove tanneries from Philadelphia's commercial district. Foul smell, lower property values, disease and interference with fire fighting are cited. The industries complain that their rights are being violated, but Franklin argues for "public rights." Franklin and the environmentalists win a symbolic battle but the dumping goes on.
• 1748 — Jared Eliot, clergyman and physician, writes Essays on Field Husbandry in New England promoting soil conservation.
• 1762 to 1769 — Philadelphia committee led by Benjamin Franklin attempts to regulate waste disposal and water pollution.
• 1773 — William Bartram, (1739-1823). American naturalist sets out on a five year journey through the US Southeast to describe wildlife and wilderness from Florida to the Mississippi. His book, Travels, is published in 1791 and becomes one of the early literary classics of the new United States of America.
[]
19th century
• 1820 — World population reached 1 billion.
• 1849 — Establishment of the U.S. Department of Interior.
• 1851 — Henry David Thoreau delivers an address to the Concord (Massachusetts) Lyceum declaring that "in Wildness is the preservation of the World." In 1863, this address is published posthumously as the essay "Walking" in Thoreau's Excursions.
• 1854 — Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden; or, Life in the Woods.
• 1859 — Publication of second ion of William Elliott's Carolina Sports by Land and Water (first published in 1846), an early example of the hunter-as-conservationist, a phenomenon which became increasingly important for conservationism.
• 1860 — Henry David Thoreau delivers an address to the Middlesex (Massachusetts) Agricultural Society, entitled "The Succession of Forest Trees," in which he analyzes aspects of what later came to be understood as forest ecology and urges farmers to plant trees in natural patterns of succession; the address is later published in (among other places) Excursions, becoming perhaps his most influential ecological contribution to conservationist thought.
• 1864 — George Perkins Marsh publishes Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action (revised 1874 as The Earth as Modified by Human Action), the first systematic analysis of humanity's destructive impact on the environment and a work which becomes (in Lewis Mumford's words) "the fountain-head of the conservation movement."
• 1866 — The term Ecology is coined (in German as škologie by Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (1834-1919) in his Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Haeckel was an anatomist, zoologist, and field naturalist appointed professor of zoology at the Zoological Institute, Jena, in 1865. Haeckel was philosophically an enthusiastic Darwinian. Ecology is from the Greek oikos, meaning house or dwelling and logos, meaning discourse or study of a thing.
• 1869 — Samuel Bowles publishes Our New West. Records of Travel between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean, an influential traveller's account of the wilds and peoples of the West, in which he advocates preservation of other scenic areas such as Niagara Falls and the Adirondacks.
• 1872 — US President Ulysses Grant signs Yellowstone National Park bill.
— US first national park, Yellowstone National Park.
— Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska City, Nebraska. It occurs every year on the last Friday in April in the US.
• 1874 — Charles Hallock establishes Forest and Stream magazine sparking a US national debate about ethics and hunting.
— German graduate student Othmar Zeider discovers chemical formula for the insecticide DDT.
• 1876 — British River Pollution Control Act makes it illegal to dump sewage into a stream.
• 1879 — U.S. Geological Survey formed. John Wesley Powell, explorer of the Colorado River a decade earlier, will become its head in March 1881.
• 1890 — Yosemite National Park Bill, established the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in California.
• 1891 — General Revision Act.
• 1892 — John Muir, (1838 - 1914), founded the Sierra Club.
• 1895 — Sewage cleanup in London means the return of some fish species (grilse, whitebait, flounder, eel, smelt) to the Thames River.
[]
20th century
• 1902 — George Washington Carver writes How to Build Up Worn Out Soils.
• 1903 — March 14, US President Theodore Roosevelt creates first National Bird Preserve, (the beginning of the Wildlife Refuge system), on Pelican Island, Florida.
• 1906 — Antiquities Act, passed by US Congress which authorized the president to set aside national monument sites.
• 1908 — Muir Woods National Monument was established on January 9 and now governed by the National Park Service.
— The National Conservation Commission, appointed in June by President Roosevelt.
— An article by Robert Underwood Johnson in Century magazine, "A High Price to Pay for Water," helps bring the Hetch Hetchy controversy to national attention.
• 1909 — US President Theodore Roosevelt convenes the North American Conservation Conference, held in Washington DC and attended by representatives of Canada, Newfoundland, Mexico, and the United States.
• 1913 — Woodrow Wilson signed a dam bill into law on December 19 which destroyed the Hetch Hetchy Valley.
• 1916 — US Congress created the National Park Service.
• 1918 — Scientific American reports alcohol-gasoline anti-knock blend is "universally" expected to be the fuel of the future. Seven years later, in Public Health Service hearings, General Motors and Standard Oil spokesmen will claim that there are no alternatives to leaded gasoline as an anti-knock additive.
— Congress approves the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which implements a 1916 Convention (between the U.S. and Britain, acting for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory birds, and establishes responsibility for international migratory bird protection.
• 1927 — Great Mississippi Flood.
• 1930 — World population reached 2 billion.
• 1933 — Game Management published by Aldo Leopold, (1886 - 1948).
• 1934 to 1937 — The Dust Bowl drought of the US plains region causes harsh economic damage.
• 1935 — Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act.
• 1944 — Flood Control Act of 1944 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 22.
• 1948 — World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. Founded in 1948, its headquarters is located in Gland, Switzerland.
• 1951 — The Nature Conservancy is an environmental organization founded in the United States.
— World Meteorological Organization (WMO) established by the United Nations.
• 1954 — Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act
• 1956 — Fish and Wildlife Act.
• 1960 — World population reached 3 billion.
• 1962 — Wallace Stegner, (1909 - 1993), wrote the famous Wilderness Essay.
— Rachel Carson, (1907 - 1964), wrote Silent Spring.
• 1964 — Wilderness Act.
— Water Resources Research Act.
• 1965 — Hurricane Betsy flooded large areas of New Orleans drowning around 40 people.
• 1966 — National Wildlife Refuge System Act.
— Furr Seal Act.
— Endangered Species Preservation Act, see Endangered Species Act of 1973
• 1968 — National Trails System Act.
— Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
• 1969 — National Environmental Policy Act.
• 1970 — Earth Day, millions of people gather in the United States for the first Earth day organized by Gaylord Nelson, former senator of Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, Harvard graduate student.
— EPA, US Environmental Protection Agency formed by President Nixon.
— Clean Air Act.
— Resource Recovery Act, see RCRA 1976
• 1971 — Greenpeace is an international environmental organisation founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Greenpeace has national and regional offices in 41 countries worldwide.
• 1972 — Marine Mammal Protection Act.
— Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.
— Noise Control Act
— Clean Water Act.
— Ocean Dumping Act.
— Coastal Zone Management Act.
• 1973 — OPEC annouces oil embargo against United States.
— Endangered Species Act.
• 1974 — Chlorofluorocarbons are first hypothesized to cause ozone thinning.
— National Reserves Management Act.
— World population reached 4 billion.
• 1975 — Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
• 1976 — Dioxin released in industrial accident in Italy, known as Seveso disaster
— Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
• 1977 — Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
— Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act.
• 1979 — Three Mile Island, worst nuclear power accident in US history.
— Hans Jonas The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of Ethics for the Technological Age
• 1980 — Mount St. Helens erupts explosively in Washington State.
• 1982 — Coastal Barrier Resources Act.
• 1986 — Chernobyl, world's worst nuclear power accident occurs at plant in Soviet Union.
— Emergency Wetlands Resources Act.
— Tetra-ethyl lead phase-out was completed in the US.
• 1987 — World population reached 5 billion.
• 1988 — Ocean Dumping Ban Act.
— Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess the "risk of human-induced climate change".
• 1989 — Exxon Valdez creates largest oil spill in US history.
— Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer entered into force on January 1. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing).
• 1990 — National Environmental Education Act.
— European Environment Agency was established by EEC Regulation 1210/1990 and became operational in 1994. It is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.
— The IPCC first assessment report was completed in 1990, and served as the basis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
• 1991 — World's worst oil spill occurs in Kuwait during war with Iraq.
— Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established by donor governments.
• 1992 — The Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to June 14, was unprecedented for a United Nations conference, in terms of both its size and the scope of its concerns.
— World Ocean Day began on 8 June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
• 1993 — The Great Flood of 1993 was one of the most destructive floods in United States history.
• 1997 — July, U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which stated that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations.
— The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December. It is actually an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.
• 1999 — World population reached 6 billion.
[]
21st century
• 2001 — President Bush rejects the Kyoto protocol.
• 2002 — Earth Summit, held in Johannesburg a United Nations conference
• 2004 — 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake causes large tsunamis, killing nearly a quarter of a million people.
• 2005 — Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma cause widespread destruction and environmental harm to coastal communities in the Gulf Coast region.
— The Kyoto Protocol came into force on February 16 following ratification by Russia on November 18, 2004

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_environmental_events
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« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2007, 02:22:04 am »

Impact from the Deep
Strangling heat and gases emanating from the earth and sea, not asteroids, most likely caused several ancient mass extinctions. Could the same killer-greenhouse conditions build once again?
By Peter D. Ward


Philosopher and historian Thomas S. Kuhn has suggested that scientific disciplines act a lot like living organisms: instead of evolving slowly but continuously, they enjoy long stretches of stability punctuated by infrequent revolutions with the appearance of a new species--or in the case of science, a new theory. This description is particularly apt for my own area of study, the causes and consequences of mass extinctions--those periodic biological upheavals when a large proportion of the planet's living creatures died off and afterward nothing was ever the same again.
Since first recognizing these historical mass extinctions more than two centuries ago, paleontologists believed them to have been gradual events, caused by some combination of climate change and biological forces such as predation, competition and disease. But in 1980 the understanding of mass extinctions underwent a Kuhnian revolution when a team at the University of California, Berkeley, led by geologist Walter Alvarez proposed that the famous dinosaur-killing extinction 65 million years ago occurred swiftly, in the ecosystem catastrophe that followed an asteroid collision. Over the ensuing two decades, the idea that a bolide from space could smite a significant segment of life on the earth was widely embraced--and many researchers eventually came to believe that cosmic detritus probably caused at least three more of the five largest mass extinctions. Public acceptance of the notion crystallized with Hollywood blockbusters such as Deep Impact and Armageddon.



Now still another transformation in our thinking about life's punctuated past is brewing. New geochemical evidence is coming from the bands of stratified rock that delineate mass extinction events in the geologic record, including the exciting discovery of chemical residues, called organic biomarkers, produced by tiny life-forms that typically do not leave fossils. Together these data make it clear that cataclysmic impact as a cause of mass extinction was the exception, not the rule. In most cases, the earth itself appears to have become life's worst enemy in a previously unimagined way. And current human activities may be putting the biosphere at risk once again.

After Alvarez
To understand the general enthusiasm for the impact paradigm, it helps to review the evidence that fueled it. The scenario advanced by Alvarez, along with his father, physicist Luis W. Alvarez, and nuclear chemists Helen V. Michel and Frank Asaro, contained two separate hypotheses: first, that a fairly large asteroid--estimated to have been 10 kilometers in diameter--struck the earth 65 million years ago; second, that the environmental consequences of the impact snuffed out more than half of all species. They had found traces left by the blow in a thick layer of iridium--rare on the earth but common in extraterrestrial materials--that had dusted the globe.
Within a decade of this prodigious announcement the killer's thumbprint turned up, in the form of the Chicxulub crater hiding in plain sight on the Yucatαn Peninsula of Mexico. Its discovery swept aside most lingering doubts about whether the reign of the dinosaurs had ended with a bang. At the same time, it raised new questions about other mass extinction events: If one was caused by impact, what about the rest? Five times in the past 500 million years most of the world's life-forms have simply ceased to exist. The first such event happened at the end of the Ordovician period, some 443 million years ago. The second, 374 million years ago, was near the close of the Devonian. The biggest of them all, the Great Dying, at the end of the Permian 251 million years ago, wiped out 90 percent of ocean dwellers and 70 percent of plants, animals, even insects, on land [see "The Mother of Mass Extinctions," by Douglas H. Erwin; Scientific American, July 1996]. Worldwide death happened again 201 million years ago, ending the Triassic period, and the last major extinction, 65 million years ago, concluded the Cretaceous with the aforementioned big bang.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleId=00037A5D-A938-150E-A93883414B7F0000
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