Kerr Watch

Number of days writer Richard Kerr has failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 3 years, 8 months, and 29 days

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PNAS: New evidence from Central Mexico supporting the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis

 

NOTE:  This post will be “stuck” to the top of the page for the time being. Related new material such as news articles and observations will be blogged subsequent to this post but will appear below.

The old “Drudge Siren” is getting quite a 1st quarter work out. And from what I hear it is only the beginning.

West, Kennett, Bunch and nearly a dozen new experts from multiple disciplines are publishing a fundamental evidence-based challenge to critics of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis this week in PNAS. Here is the abstract. Paper to come as soon as possible:

Isabel Israde-Alcantara and Gabriela Dominguez-Vasquez of the Universidad Michoacana deSan Nicolas de Hidalgo; James L. Bischoff of the U.S. Geological Survey; Hong-Chun Li of National Taiwan University; Paul S. DeCarli of SRI International; Ted E. Bunch and James H. Wittke of Northern Arizona University; James C. Weaver of Harvard University; Richard B. Firestone of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Allen West of GeoScience Consulting; Chris Mercer of the National Institute for Materials Science; Sujing Zie and Eric K. Richman of the University of Oregon, Eugene; and Charles R. Kinzie and Wendy S. Wolbach of DePaul University

Edited* by Steven M. Stanley, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, and approved January 31, 2012 (received for review July 13, 2011)

We report the discovery in Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico of a black, carbon-rich, lacustrine layer, containing nanodiamonds, mi-crospherules, and other unusual materials that date to the early Younger Dryas and are interpreted to result from an extraterrestrial impact. These proxies were found in a 27-m-long core as part of an interdisciplinary effort to extract a paleoclimate record back through the previous interglacial. Our attention focused early on an anomalous, 10-cm-thick, carbon-rich layer at a depth of 2.8 m that dates to 12.9 ka and coincides with a suite of anomalous coeval environmental and biotic changes independently recognized in other regional lake sequences. Collectively, these changes have produced the most distinctive boundary layer in the late Quaternary record. This layer contains a diverse, abundant assemblage of impact-related markers, including nanodiamonds, carbon spherules, and magnetic spherules with rapid melting/quenching textures, all reaching synchronous peaks immediately beneath a layer containing the largest peak of charcoal in the core. Analyses by multiple methods demonstrate the presence of three allotropes of nanodiamond: n-diamond, i-carbon, and hexagonal nanodia- mond (lonsdaleite), in order of estimated relative abundance. This nanodiamond-rich layer is consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary layer found at numerous sites across North America, Greenland, and Western Europe. We have examined multiple hypotheses to account for these observations and find the evidence cannot be explained by any known terrestrial mechanism. It is, however, consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary impact hypothesis postulating a major extraterrestrial impact involving multiple airburst(s) and and/or ground impact(s) at 12.9 ka. 

 

Core Drilling Site at Lake Cuitzeo, Mexico

UPDATE #10: UCSB student paper has article and interesting quotes from John Johnson and Craig Nicholson.

UPDATE #9: Matt Ridley of the Wall Street Journal says Clovis Comet deserves 2nd chance.

UPDATE #8: World’s most effective climate skeptic, Anthony Watts at WattsUpWithThat, changes his mind on Clovis Comet.

UPDATE #7: Excellent skeptical blog here. Well put and nice try.

UPDATE #6:  Skeptical blog here but completely uninformed as to Fayek and others’ recent, complimentary, and independent confirmations.

UPDATE #5 Fair and Balanced Latino Style.

UPDATE #4:  Space.com has a piece with some quotes from Ted Bunch.

UPDATE #3:  Orange County a register has nice write-up with some new quotes from Jim Kennett.

UPDATE #2:  See post below for breaking article from Popular Science on the new evidence from Mexico

UPDATE #1: The paper is published and unrestricted on the PNAS website here, and also below at Scribd.

25 comments to PNAS: New evidence from Central Mexico supporting the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis

  • Hello George

    Wonderful!!!

    God and the devil made ​​a wager and much suffering was imposed Job to see if he kept his faith despite all odds. Well, though he remained patient, persevering and faithful…

    Although I am not Job, I keep patient ………… but my gastritis is killing me!

    The evidence of my ponds continue to increase as well.

    regards
    pierson

  • George Howard

    Hang in there, Pierson. This is only the first wave of understanding to crash on the beach of ignorance and denial in 2012.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Pierson –

    That one is easy: “Tums”.

    When I started off on this in 1997, George Brown Jr.,Gene Shoemaker, and Brian Marsden were all alive, and I estimated that the cometary impact “debate” would be over in a few years maximum and the impact hazard handled.

    “Tums” was about 1999 or so. Relax, stay away from the spicey stuff, and eat regularly. Also, set aside time to get falling down drunk occasionally.
    Rum and Coke is easier on the gut.

  • E.P. Grondine

    George –

    A full mastodon skeleton can bring $600,000 – $1,000,000.

  • George Howard

    I know.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Glad there is yet another PNAS article with ~15 count expert authors weighing in. Technical details look impressive. Me, I was persuaded long ago by Bob Kobres “Nickel Pickel,” Pres Jefferson getting native American lore, the graphic eye witness on Lenape Stone (clearly genuine). http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/nice.html

  • You guys are terrible advocates for this phenomenon.

    If you’re going to snark someone, snark Richard Kerr, ok?

    And if you insist on doing it, at least brush up on your technique.

    Now I am thrilled that they have advanced their sample preparation and analysis techniques to the nanoscale level, and I look forward to many unusual and unexpected future proxy results. That being said, I would like to see something definitively replicated by another group. And since the Younger Dryas appears to be well explained by coupled global climate models incorporating continental glacial runoff and discharge, and only a few superficial features have been identified, none of which have been definitely dated, then I’d like to see a dated astrobleme or other core sampling results localizing the search into a specific broader area.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Sorry, this post was directed and Ed and Dennis. Wrong thread.

  • Note that I haven’t been participating here on the Tusk at all Tom. However, I refuse to allow an unprovoked, and childish, insult to go unanswered. 

    Participation in discussions here is pointless since there’s a troll here who has unfettered access to insult, and invalidate, anyone who doesn’t think he ‘owns’ the YD event. And who dominates every thread so that rational intelligent discussion of the ideas of those who don’t support his views are impossible. Especially if those ideas run counter to what he thinks the "first people" "remember”.

    Whatever else our favorite troll is, the ‘Dean’ of impact science he ain’t.

    And the key to getting me to stay out of it is to simply leave me out of it.

  • Note that I haven’t been participating here on the Tusk at all Tom. However, I refuse to allow an unprovoked, and childish, insult to go unanswered.

    Then please try to include some substantive comments in your insults. Thanks in advance.

  • For some more contemporary piquant irony I can refer you to this current article by Richard A. Kerr of Science Magazine.

  • Steve Garcia

    GOOD NEWS!

    This paper is getting good press – and a VERY much larger audience!

    WattsUpWithThat (WUWT), the winner of The Bloggies’ Best Science Blog for each of the last two years has a new post up today at http://tiny.cc/m8a2aw

    The article pretty much lets the article speak for itself. But Anthony Watts also acknowledges that his post last year (http://tiny.cc/6ab2aw) “Sudden Clovis climate death by comet – “bogus” is now refuted and refuted well.

    Watts even goes so far as to say this:
    <blockquoteWith this new paper, this may be one of those “case closed” moments in science showing that “climate change”/ice sheet collapse itself wasn’t to blame for the cold event, but the climate changed due to the impact event. This rather undoes the claims last year covered on WUWT in the story “Sudden Clovis climate death by comet – ‘bogus’ “. I’d say it is pretty hard to argue with micro magnetic impact spherules dated to the time.

    We won over a climate skeptic site – one that was very much skeptical about the Y-D Impact, too.

    WUWT has a VERY large following – tens of thousands a day, sometimes hundreds of thousands – so this one post has massively elevated the exposure, not only for the Y-D Impact hypothesis (the HCI to Ed), but I got also in a mention of CosmicTusk in my comments (I comment there as “feet2thefire”).

  • Yeah, yesterday I went back to that old article from last year to post an update. But the comments have been closed for some time now. So I posted a comment on Anthony’s tips and note section to give him a heads up that he might want to re-think his earlier skeptical piece. To his credit, he did. I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see that he didn’t waste any time picking up on that tip.

    Steve’s right Anthony’s got a huge following. So that’s a great venue for this new paper. And a credit to Anthony for being so quick to shift gears from his earlier skeptical piece.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Steve, if one did a Google news search on “asteroid mammoth” and “comet mammoth”, “asteroid mammoth” peaked several days ago.

    As far as most of the archaeology community goes, they’re still pretending that nothing happened.

    Aside from that, the impacts came in the middle of a normal glacial cycle, and the cause of these is still unknown.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Dennis,

    I simply pointed out to you last year that your “impact features” were at variance with what is physically known about these events, In My Opinion.

    The “insult and invective” were all yours, and Morrison’s. And I don’t mind kicking Morrison’s dog in the nose, as the impact hazard estimates he gave to the Congress were “junk” to put it politely.

    Aside from that, I spotted and published evidence about the HSI a full year before Firstone, Kennett, et al. The problem that I had was funky 14C dates for sites, and this led me to make dating errors based on a local sampling bias.

    The HSI were simply one cometary impact, and there have been other more recent ones, resulting in the loss of large numbers of lives.

    When Morrison admits that the HSI was cometary, then we can move on.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi TLE –

    Perhaps you did not catch it, but the data was independently confirmed by several European teams last year. But “denial” is a powerful mental process.

    The Mexican team simply has far thicker samplez, ones that can not be denied. Why those samples are so thick is a good question.

    One fire field is likely to have been along the Cordillera.

    The Assiniboine also remembered an large impact somewhere in the Northern part of the western one third of what is today’s United States.

    Both Iltrualde and the Lloydminster structure still await geological dating.

  • Ed Said:

    I simply pointed out to you last year that your “impact features” were at variance with what is physically known about these events, In My Opinion.

    The thing is, and the thing you are apparently still too insane or stupid to get into your thick head, no matter how many times I tell you is that nothing I have ever said about anyplace I have actually been talking about in the real world has ever been mentioned, or posted here on the Tusk period; much less last year. And the places you have been calling my features have nothing whatsoever do do with anything I have ever really said about anyplace at all. And since you have never mentioned a single GPS coordinate I don’t even have any idea where those imaginary features you’re talking about are. So the features you have been ranting about for the past year no matter how times I told you you were full of shit. And no matter how heated the argument got, probably are at variance with what is known about these events. But since have no idea what locations you’ve been ranting about, and are so fixated on, and don’t even know where they are, I can’t offer a real opinion of them.

    But in fact, what I think happened to North Central Mexico a few thousand years ago is at variance with the entire uniformitarian/gradualist paradigm that’s been the foundation postulate of the Earth science sir Charles Lyell published ‘The Principles of Geology’ more than 150 years ago. So tell me something I don’t know about what I think happened being outside of the standard model box.

    The simple catastrophic facts are that contrary to the standard uniformitarian paradigm, not all geomorphology on Earth is the result of the slow, and gradual processes we see going on around us today. The present is not the “key to the past”.  Terrestrial volcanism is not the only source of enough heat, and pressure to melt and move the terrains of this world. And craters are not the only kind of planetary scarring that happens in a major impact event.

    The “insult and invective” were all yours, and Morrison’s.

    All mine my ass! That’s a gawdamn lie! In fact, after I hadn’t posted anything here in months you drug me back into this mess with a totally unprovoked invitation out of the blue to “kiss your ass”. And that childish little piece of invective from you came as the very first comment in that thread. You’ve been running me down with your insane, and disingenuous ad hominem bullshit in every thread for coming up on two years now you freakin’ idiot!

    And I don’t mind kicking Morrison’s dog in the nose, as the impact hazard estimates he gave to the Congress were “junk” to put it politely.

    So what? You keep ranting about that shit. But you’ve never provided a single piece of refereed literature to back it up.

    Aside from that, I spotted and published evidence about the HSI a full year before Firstone, Kennett, et al. The problem that I had was funky 14C dates for sites, and this led me to make dating errors based on a local sampling bias.

    Who gives a rip? That was then. This is now. And we are talking about real honest to peer reviewed science here. In point of fact, you have no academic credentials whatsoever. And you have never published a bloody word in a refereed publication.

    The HSI were simply one cometary impact, and there have been other more recent ones, resulting in the loss of large numbers of lives.

    When has anyone ever said there was only one impact event?

    When Morrison admits that the HSI was cometary, then we can move on.

    No, you can continue with your obsessive ad hominem rants about Morrison until we read your name in the obituaries. In the meantime the rest of us are perfectly capable of moving on without you. And we’re not waiting around.

  • George Howard

    OK guys, time out. No comments for a week from either of you. I hate that for Dennis, because I believe he is contributing more here and elsewhere. But “insane and stupid” is over the line. And Ed has crossed that same line repeatedly as we know. We are all sick of it and must ask you two to leave a little while.

    Folks, you may seem them pop up — because I dont yet want to yet designate Dennis and Ed as spam — which is the only way I know (at this point) to block them. Not sure how to turn off the auto-approve for them withtout a death sentence (but looking into it). So, I will delete them for the next week as soon as they pop up. I would suggest you two just not attempt to write on here at all for a week because it will be waste of time. See you next week if you want to comment then.

    The rest of you, please comment like mad without all the personal invective — so others can see how it is done. These are good times for our subject — and I assure you getting much, much better in the next few months. We need a clean bar — the party is coming to town!

  • The ozone catastrophe theory was what got me thinking about this again. It wouldn’t take much of a foilage withering event to put a further stress on the larger sized, less mobile and smaller populations of megabeasts, already under stress from predation and climate. A cumulative insult which would explain the near synchronous North American continental extinctions. You are still going to have outlier populations under any scenario. And that allows the larger more mobile herds to migrate their way out of trouble.

  • QUOTE
    OK guys, time out. No comments for a week from either of you. I hate that for Dennis, because I believe he is contributing more here and elsewhere. But “insane and stupid” is over the line. And Ed has crossed that same line repeatedly as we know. We are all sick of it and must ask you two to leave a little while.
    Folks, you may seem them pop up — because I dont yet want to yet designate Dennis and Ed as spam — which is the only way I know (at this point) to block them. Not sure how to turn off the auto-approve for them withtout a death sentence (but looking into it). So, I will delete them for the next week as soon as they pop up. I would suggest you two just not attempt to write on here at all for a week because it will be waste of time. See you next week if you want to comment then.
    The rest of you, please comment like mad without all the personal invective — so others can see how it is done. These are good times for our subject — and I assure you getting much, much better in the next few months. We need a clean bar — the party is coming to town
    UNQUOTE

    THANK YOU

  • Here is a link to a paper on the Bloody Creek Structure in Nova Scotia. It’s not very large but it has all of the earmarks of a YD era impact onto an ice sheet. Additional information and discussion may be found on the Acadia University website.

  • Steve Garcia

    I have literally been so busy over at http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com on this subject that I have not had time to come here and see what is here. I DID have time to point people there to CosmicTusk, and at least one – one of the most intelligent ones, IMHO – commented that he would be here checking it out.

    Things there went is various directions, but not so many addressed the Lake Cutzeo paper. A lot addressed the YD impact hypothesis itself, and that is good. One guy was an ardent Holliday/Paquay/Daulton/Pinter fan who did not ever seem to have read anything other than YDB-critical papers – not even the Mexican one. There was a good deal of talk about Lake Agassiz and the Laurentide ice dam hypothesis, which I was at pains to point out what I have learned from Rodney Chilton. (Thanks, Rodney!)

    Over there Ed and Dennis were for the most part civil (amazing me beyond belief – I agree with Popeyesmotto above here), while being especially very informative in interacting with others.

    I myself did my best to plug the YDB over the THC climate change hypothesis, which I think is a failed premise from the get go. I pointed tens of commenters to YDB-positive papers – including especially the authors who didn’t have a horse in the race and had found the impact hypothesis consistent with the evidence.

    All in all, the comments on that post brought a lot of welcome exposure to the YDB.

    This has been a good week for the YD impact hypothesis.

  • Steve Garcia

    All in all, I am flabbergasted that this paper has garnered some much attention, when it doesn’t seem to say anymore than several other papers had said. Whatever the reason, I am happy to see the momentum swing in our favor for a while.

    We definitely have more papers supportive than the critics have attacking the YDB. They have few papers and no objective outsiders – always the same little core group of naysayers. And their papers have pretty much been negated. As Dennis said over at WUWT, the one Holliday groupie keeps pointing at Firestone 2007 as if that is the only shell we had in our rifle.

    Now let’s see what kind of mojo begins to build.

  • Steve Garcia

    (cross-posted at http://www.whatsupwiththat.com)

    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

    I had cause to go see Luis Alvarez’s 1980 K-T dinosaur killer paper at
    http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/dept/GY/ISES/docs/alvarez_et_al_1980.pdf

    Here is what Alvarez says he had to deal with – what the hypotheses were that weren’t getting the job done in explaining the K-T Extinction:

    . . . two recent meetings on the topic produced no sign of a consensus. Suggested causes include gradual or rapid changes in ocean-ographic, atmospheric, or climatic conditions due to a random or a cyclical coincidence of causative factors; a magnetic reversal, a nearby supernova; and the flooding of the ocean surface by fresh water from a postulated arctic lake. [!!!]

    Even in 1980 the ice dam/Lake Agassiz scenario was in play. Apparently different scientists who read the Alvarez paper in re the YD then picked the one that fit their discipline best – then worked up grant proposals accordingly.

    Steve Garcia

  • [...] The YDB team does not claim the blast materials are from space. They believe they are terrestrial. The Lake Cuitzeo paper restated this conclusion. (See graphic below). These authors appear to not understand this [...]

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