Sorry, been at camp in the mountains this weekend, here is the paper:
It appears from the abstract and email chatter that Meltzer and Holiday have embarrassed themselves again here. Long time deniers of an ice age American catastrophe, I suspect their tone and attention to detail will match co-author Vance Holiday’s shrill and poorly composed 2011 submission to the Tusk.
I have seen a devastating graphic conflicting their findings, and heard tell of a response paper well underway. But instead of attempting a substantive response here let me stick my neck out with a social science take.
The claim that 27 out of 29 sites were misdated and\or misinterpreted by over 50 researchers in dozens of papers and many labs is half-too-cute. Colleagues of Meltzer and Holiday, like YDB co-authors Goodyear, Bement and Daniels — not to mention Stafford — have poured over data and draft after draft of papers supportive of the YDB dates and endorsed them all as good science.
That many people can be wrong (many more are now, or this blog would not be) but that many established scientists are unlikely to put their careers at risk to make easily identified errors when providing controversial data.
The people who do put their reputations at risk are those who lose their reputations if established understandings of history are incorrect (with regard to impacts or otherwise). Holiday and Meltzer know the story of Ales Hrdlicka. Their very own field was viciously opposed by this detestable and bitter man just eighty years ago, who insisted the early data supporting the presence of Ice Age humans in North America were wrong — ALL wrong! — just like they do today.
American paleo-archeology has a tendency to produce very determined — and fearful — opponents to new data. It must have something to do with the paucity of artifacts and evidence they are forced to accept. If you spend thirty years studying evidence that could fit in a dump trunk a lot of personal id is invested in their interpretation. That makes it even more painful to accept change — and it shows by their overreach here.
According to the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH), ∼12,800 calendar years before present, North America experienced an extraterrestrial impact that triggered the Younger Dryas and devastated human populations and biotic communities on this continent and elsewhere. This supposed event is reportedly marked by multiple impact indicators, but critics have challenged this evidence, and considerable controversy now surrounds the YDIH. Proponents of the YDIH state that a key test of the hypothesis is whether those indicators are isochronous and securely dated to the Younger Dryas onset. They are not. We have examined the age basis of the supposed Younger Dryas boundary layer at the 29 sites and regions in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East in which proponents report its occurrence. Several of the sites lack any age control, others have radiometric ages that are chronologically irrelevant, nearly a dozen have ages inferred by statistically and chronologically flawed age–depth interpolations, and in several the ages directly on the supposed impact layer are older or younger than ∼12,800 calendar years ago. Only 3 of the 29 sites fall within the temporal window of the YD onset as defined by YDIH proponents. The YDIH fails the critical chronological test of an isochronous event at the YD onset, which, coupled with the many published concerns about the extraterrestrial origin of the purported impact markers, renders the YDIH unsupported. There is no reason or compelling evidence to accept the claim that a cosmic impact occurred ∼12,800 y ago and caused the Younger Dryas.
Davias calls out “Wind and Wave” formation theory
Michael Davias of Cintos.org presented another astonishing Carolina Bay poster at the October, 2013, Denver meeting of the Geological Society of America. My apologies to bay fans for not posting this earlier. Here is the direct download from GSA.
I speculate that the robustly repetitive Carolina bays may have been generated between 780 ka and 140 ka during a catastrophic mass-transport and deposition of high purity quartz particles, materialized as a surficial blanket of sand, spread chaotically over an antecedent terrain. The bays may be imperfections generated within the blanket while the sand was in a state of liquefaction, and preserved at lockup as a densely compacted stratum.
Davias, from the 2013 poster
CAROLINA BAYS AND AEOLIAN DUNES: PLAYING NICE IN THE SANDBOX?
The juxtaposition and interplay between elliptical Carolina bay basins and accompanying aeolian dune structures has been previously recognized across the USA’s Atlantic Coastal Plain. Recent advances in 3D terrain visualization using LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) remote sensing technology allows for new insight into the nature of the bays’ enigmatic elliptical circumferential rims and their spatial relationships with unambiguous aeolian sheets. In support of a survey to discover and elucidate the full geographic range of Carolina bay landforms, 500,000 km2 of hsv-hinted (hue-saturation-value) Digital Elevation Maps have been produced using publically accessible LiDAR data. Using examples from the survey’s geospatial database of over 40,000 bays, I share some observations about bay-dune relationships that appear pervasively in the data. Instances of “secondary rims” are seen, where robust wave-like repetitions of bay rim structures are found rippling away from a Carolina bay’s primary rim. Also of interest are bay planforms that have remained intact while the surrounding landscape has been resurfaced with extensive parabolic and longitudinal dune topography, differentiated from others where classic aeolian landforms have encroached into bay basins; intriguingly, cases exist where both outcomes are seen in close proximity. An established hypothesis holds that bay basins and their closed rims were generated by glacial-era katabatic winds passing perpendicular to the bay’s major axis, yet inspection of classic wind-blown dunes in the vicinity of bays document long-term resultant sand drift directions which fail to correlate, perhaps suggesting entirely independent mechanisms were responsible for their presence in these topographies. Detailed examination of these spatial relationships may illuminate Carolina bay geomorphology research and guide future OSL dating and chemical analysis activities to relevant locales.
CAROLINA BAYS AND AEOLIAN DUNES: PLAYING NICE IN THE SANDBOX? by George Howard
The Tusk hates to see a good cosmic climate hypothesis die, but best it be at the hands of a catastrophist scientist and father of said theory. In a continuing demonstration of his intellectual integrity, true ring guru Mike Baillie has lowered the flag on the 540 AD event and recommended volcanoes as a better fit. It’s complicated as hell, but suffice to say that removing seven years from the annual layers of ice cores results in a match between known (but unidentified) volcanic eruptions and tree ring diminution.
There is already a good discussion thread with coauthor Jonny McAneney underway on a previous post. I hope the illuminating commentary there will move to this post so that comments will be available with the paper.
It has been evident for some time that a discrepancy has existed in the ﬁrst millennium between evidence for volcanoes in Greenland (and now Antarctic) ice cores, when
compared with likely volcanic eﬀects as witnessed by frost damage in American bristlecone pine trees; the oﬀset being of the order of seven years with the ice dates being too old (Baillie, 2008). Here we have shown that remarkably consistent spacing between both the ice acidities and the frost rings allow additional documentation of this widespread oﬀset. It has been possible to reconstruct how the ice cores from Dye3,25GRIP, NGRIP, NEEM, Law Dome and WDC06A are an integrated group, all oﬀset, with only DML apparently retaining independence, and showing less of an eﬀect.
~~From the conclusion
Baillie: 540 AD Climate Event Likely Caused by Volcano by George Howard
Live updates and edits underway
Press release from B612 Foundation
UPDATE: B612 Impact Video 4-20-14 H264 from D Josh Rosen on Vimeo.
The Tusk works mightily to avoid speculating about future cosmic impacts at the expense of reporting evidence for such events in the human past, but recent news intervenes once more. Tomorrow the wires will hopefully buzz with the B612 Foundation‘s presentation of sophisticated and occasionally secret nuclear blast detection data revealing that cosmic impacts are far more common than prevailing “models” conclude — 3 to 10 times more common.
I am of two hands here. On the one hand I appreciate the work of the B612 Foundation and hope the new data inspires public interest in their proposed Sentinel Mission. On the other hand it is frustrating to see B612 reveal the underestimation of future risk while ignoring peer-reviewed literature suggesting a similar underestimate is made of impacts in ancient human times.
Ed Lu, Rusty Schweickert and the B612 crowd are to me the boys who cry “wolf” while neglecting to point out the gnawed remains of earlier Canis attack.
Typical of people who propound on the degree of future threat while denying or ignoring published research of past events is impact guru Dr. Alan Harris. Harris, in whom earthlings place great trust, is entirely dismissive of Younger Dryas Boundary research. His presentation below, which I have meant to post for years, is typical:
Denier: Alan Harris dismisses and misrepresents scientists who disagree with him on the effect of asteroids…
In his defense, Harris is elderly, and keeping up with modern discoveries is difficult for that cohort. But that is no excuse for his misrepresentation of the YDB theory. In the 2010 presentation he refers only to the speculative and popular 2005 book by Firestone — while ignoring the peer-reviewed research by 27 scientists in 2007 and dozens more independent scientists in subsequent journal articles.
Yes, to the dismay of his co-authors, Rick Firestone (alone) is partial to a “supernova,” as reported by Harris in Slide 25. And Rick indeed penned a chapter on the subject in his book. But Harris is also aware that not a single published paper or statement from the sixty plus additional authors supporting an ice age impact claims a “supernova” as the cause. Harris 1, Strawman 0.
Further, his reference to Bill Napier’s “beloved” Taurids [Slide 26] is a condescending, unprofessional remark that reveals the animus Harris and his clique reserve for certain researchers, particularly those who suggest what the clique themselves claim might happen tomorrow — actually happened within the last 13,000 years. I could go on and on, for instance David Morrison and Clark Chapman (of B612!) share Harris’ willful ignorance. I just don’t have the stomach for other characters now.
So. Back to B612. There are two ways to obtain the data for impact estimates: Extrapolation of past events and identification of future threats. B612 is using an instant of the former to justify hundreds of years of the latter. If the Foundation were to comprehensively attack the problem of calibrating impact threat they would call for a concurrent investigation of past impacts — well beyond the 11 years the new data provides — to compliment their spacecraft plans.
Such a study would concentrate on geochemical and nano-material analysis of well-dated Holocene samples. For less than $1 million — a pittance compared to the $250 million required for their future-detecting Sentinel — soils and ice could be deliberately analyzed across the recent geological past to identify or refute anomalies published by Firestone, Courty, Mahaney, Andronikov, Paetev, Sharma, Ballard and others since 2007 — they could even vindicate Plato.
The failure of B612 to approach the study of the past with the gimlet eye they reserve for the future is as conspicuous to the Tusk as the shortcomings they will reveal tomorrow.
Late Glacial fire and nitrogen dynamics at lacustrine sites in Alabama and Michigan: evidence of an acid rain event?
is part of the Paper Session:
Paleorecords II. Climate and Environmental History in the Eastern U.S.
scheduled on Tuesday, 4/8/2014 at 10:00 AM.
Click below for author bios:
Joanne P Ballard* – University of Tennessee
Sally P Horn – University of Tennessee
Chad S Lane – Chad Lane, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Zheng-Hua Li – NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Steven G Driese – Baylor University
Thomas V Lowell – University of Cincinnati
We analyzed stable nitrogen isotopes, total nitrogen, and macroscopic charcoal in sediments from three lakes in Alabama and Michigan to characterize temporal patterns in nitrogen cycling and explore links between nitrogen, climate, and fire across the late glacial in eastern North America. We used cores from Cahaba Pond, Alabama, recovered by Delcourt et al. (1983, Ecology), and matched our isotope and charcoal analyses to their pollen stratigraphy. Cores from Swift and Slack Lakes in Michigan were obtained in 2008. Thin-section analysis across a 20-cm section from Cahaba Pond that encompasses the Younger Dryas shows a transition from mineral-rich to organic-rich sediments, with loessal silt aggregates. All three lakes recorded roughly coeval nitrogen perturbations at the onset of the Younger Dryas, when a dramatic shift occurred in terrestrial and aquatic vegetation at Cahaba Pond. All three sites also registered fire events across the late glacial. We explore the possibility that observed perturbations to the nitrogen cycle are evidence of nitric acid rain. Such an event could result from nitrate production in the atmosphere due to shock waves from an extraterrestrial event as discussed by Prinn and Fegley (1987, Earth and Planetary Science Letters). If our nitric acid rain idea is correct, it would lend support to the Firestone extraterrestrial impact hypothesis. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium in ice cores, and sudden eutrophication and shifts from alkaliphilous to acidiphilous diatoms in lake sediments, might also support a nitric acid rain event at the onset of the Younger Dryas.
Younger Dryas, Late Glacial, nitrogen, isotopes, extraterrestrial, acid, rain, Cahaba Pond, climate, paleofire, charcoal, lake sediments, Slack Lake, Swift Lake
Ussello Horizon – not from new paper below
Quartz melt structures in European coversands may support Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis
The Tell Tale Tusk
My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd. What do you have to say about the principal philosophers of this academy who are filled with the stubbornness of an asp and do not want to look at either the planets, the moon or the telescope, even though I have freely and deliberately offered them the opportunity a thousand times? Truly, just as the asp stops its ears, so do these philosophers shut their eyes to the light of truth.
Press Release from Liverpool John Moores
I have only scanned this new paper and there is a lot in there. Cheers to readers who help sort through.
We report new stratigraphic, tephrochronology and dating results from the Tocuila Mammoth site in the Basin of Mexico. At the site there is evidence for a thin meteorite airburst layer dated between 10,878 and 10,707 cal BC at the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) cool period. The Upper Toluca Pumice (UTP) tephra marker, caused by a Plinian eruption of the Nevado de Toluca volcano, dated from 10,666 to 10,612 cal BC,is above that layer. The eruption must have caused widespread environmental disruption in the region with evidence of extensive reworking and channelling by the Lake Texcoco shoreline and contributed to the widespread death and/or extinction of megafaunal populations, as suggested by earlier authors, but the new work reinforces the view that both catastrophic events must have caused large environmental disruption in a short time period of around two hundred years. There is no evidence for megafauna (mammoths, sabre toothed cats, camels, bison, glyptodonts) after the UTP volcanic event and subsequent lahars in the Basin of Mexico. — From abstract
Tocuila Mammoths, Basin of Mexico: Late Pleistocenee Early Holocene stratigraphy and the geological context… by George Howard
I was chilling with the family two weeks ago at Atlantis, Bahamas, when to my surprise an additional mammoth tusk entered my life. I got a hush-hush email and photo from a friend and long-time employee telling me that our contractor’s brand new Volvo excavator was at that moment assisting in the excavation of a large mammoth tusk and skull.
I was aware since 2007 that the stream channels Restoration Systems was restoring on the property (to off-set other development in the watershed) had revealed bones of extinct ice age mammals. A camel tooth and other Camelops parts had been found, and subsequent dirt scratching had revealed Toxodon remains – resulting in Toxodon’s most northerly and only N. American occurrence. Cool!
But at the time funds were apparently not available for further investigation. So outside of asking our operators to keep an eye out, and maintaining a faint interest in perhaps pitchin’ in someday to dig the blue-tarped site myself, (which we had left out of our project easement), the old bones were not my principal interest in the property.
It turns out that researchers had not turned their back on the site. Further excavation was commenced this Spring, apparently led by a private enthusiast who sought the help of our equipment as I lay by the pool. Since we returned I have spoken once to the landowner (RS only owns the mitigation easement) and she is putting me in touch with the researcher.
At this point everything is under wraps, literally and figuratively. The 11-foot long (!) brittle tusk has been plastered as seen in the photo and moved to safe keeping. And the owner and researcher are considering their options while not revealing the location or announcing the discovery at this time.
I’m back — with at least five blogs loaded in my chamber. It is a terrible thing for a blogger to disappear for longish periods, only to re-appear with several posts in quick succession. But I’m not getting paid for this and (somewhat) erratic blogging is better than no blogging at all. (In my defense as well, pressing news on our subject has been scarce).
First up is a wonderful British Library interview with Tusk-adored Mike Baillie. [Listen here] For those unaware, Dr. Baillie is a special figure to catastrophists. He came to our subject with a combination of unquestioned expertise and a fearless intellectual honesty that in science circles makes hen’s teeth look common. His development of the Irish Oak Long Chronology from long-buried bog trees is a universally regarded “mainstream” [I hate that word] contribution to our understanding of paleo-ecology and, thus?, climate.
But rather than using his data to pimp political messages, he used it to tell us the truth: At least five times in ancient history the world’s trees stopped growing. You read that correctly: Trees stopped growing in unison across great swaths of the planet, perhaps all of the planet, since writing was invented. The most narrow [52:00] rings at far flung locations are simultaneous despite centuries to millennia of intervening time.
Mike struggled to resolve his objective findings with uniformitarian, terrestrial explanations, such as mystery volcanoes, but settled convincingly on cosmic impact as the cause largely because of his secondary and subjective investigation of Irish Myth.
He discovered his home country tales of heroic clashes in the sky were actually looking back him from laboratory wood.
There are still holes and unknowns — but the available data show five distinct periods of profound planetary pain from the sky. From Wiki:
Upon examining the tree-ring record, Baillie noticed indications of severe environmental downturns around 2354 BC, 1628 BC, 1159 BC, 208 BC, and AD 540. The evidence suggests that these environmental downturns were wide-ranging catastrophic events; the AD 540 event in particular is attested in tree-ring chronologies from Siberia through Europe and North and South America. This event coincides with the second largest ammonium signal in the Greenland ice in the last two millennia, the largest being in AD 1014, and both these epochs were accompanied by cometary apparitions. Baillie explains the general absence of mainstream historical references to this event by the fact it was described in terms of biblical metaphors since at that time “Christian beliefs included the dogma that nothing that happens in the heavens could have any conceivable effect on the Earth.”
The story of Mike’s intellectual journey is extraordinary and worth an hour of time if this is your kind of thing (or if you care to maintain civilization). He tells it well and the British Library is thanked for making it available to those who will listen.
Mike Baillie Interview” Comets, Catastrophism and Irish Myth by George Howard