Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

6th Century Wasteland: Secret Volcano or Cosmic Interaction?

I was not surprised to see the paper below this week in Science. I have read all of Mike Baillie’s books, as well as ‘Catastrophe’ by David Keys, leaving me feeling as though I had actually lived through the 6th Century.

The inescapable conclusion of the popular books and the hard science is that something quite horrid happened during this period.  Dr. Baillie, one the world’s most experienced and published dendrochronologists, has maintained for over a decade that the sum of all the evidence; tree rings, ice chemistry and (heretically) written accounts from the time, suggest that it was a horror from above — not below — that led to the worldwide decline of trees, global cultural upheavals, and human health reversals such as the Justinian Plague.

As might be expected, other scientists disagreed with Baillie’s conclusion and instead finger an unidentified equatorial volcano for the misery of the era.  Chief among these critics is Keith Briffa of “Climategate” fame.

Over the next week or two, the Tusk plans to dig more deeply in the drift of evidence for the ~536 event and it’s cause.  I hope to bring attention to what I believe is another attempt to brush away the reasoned conclusion of a respected mainstream scientist — Mike Balllie — by a group of thinkers consumed by an agenda that discourages free inquiry or alternative explanations.

The dispute can be characterized as the two typical camps of thought in our discussion:  1)  Those who believe the earth climate during human history is a closed system without the influence of space debris; and, 2) Others like Baillie and many Tusk readers who believe that space borne material has from time-to-time intersected the earth during recorded human history and changed the course of civilizations by inducing rapid climate change and its consequences.

This single blog post for the time being will be a “living document,” to which I hope to add any insights or evidence — pro-or-con — from readers, as well as fleshing out the issues at hand in several perfecting posts. So please stay tuned, and join in if you like.

6th century downturn: Secret volcano or cosmic interaction?

Ice Core Redating Paper Baillie

Magnetite and Silicate Spherules from the GISP2 Core at the 536 A.D. Horizon
Authors: Abbott, D. H.; Biscaye, P.; Cole-Dai, J.; Breger, D.
Affiliation: AA(Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, 66 RT 9W, Palisades, NY 10983, United States ; [email protected]), AB(Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, 66 RT 9W, Palisades, NY 10983, United States ; [email protected]), AC(South Dakota State University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brookings, SD 57007, United States ; [email protected]), AD(Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Stree, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States ; [email protected])
Publication: American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008, abstract #PP41B-1454
Publication Date: 12/2008
Origin: AGU
AGU Keywords: 0738 Ice (1863), 1029 Composition of aerosols and dust particles, 4901 Abrupt/rapid climate change (1605), 5420 Impact phenomena, cratering (6022, 8136)
Bibliographic Code:

We examined the solid fraction of melt water from a depth of 361.45-361.55 meters in the GISP2 ice core. This subbottom depth covers the time from 536.15 to 536.66 A.D. roughly from February 24th to August 28th, 536 A.D.[1,2]. Earlier work measured a Cl value of 64 ppb from 535.9 to 536.2 A.D. roughly from November 24th, 535 A.D. to March 14th, 536 A.D. [3]. This is the highest nonvolcanic Cl value in the last 2000 years. The Cl value of 48 ppb from 536.2 to 536.5 A.D. or roughly from March 14th to July 1st, 536 A.D. is the third highest nonvolcanic Cl value in the last 2000 years. These high Cl values are at the same time as the beginning of an 18-month long period starting in March of 536 A.D. when ‘ the sun gave no more light than the moon’ [4]. Because there is no evidence for a volcanic eruption during this 18-month time period, some authors have proposed a cosmogenic origin for the dust veil [5]. Our data supports the latter hypothesis. We have found 5 perfectly round, smooth spherules at the depth corresponding to early 536 A.D. Three of the spherules are pure iron oxide. They range in size from 0.3 to 1.3 micrometers in diameter. One spherule is mixed silicate plus iron oxide, with a diameter of 0.5 micrometers. One spherule is Na-K aluminum silicate, with a diameter of 2.6 micrometers. The spherules occur in association with crystals of titanium oxide and zircon, and partially crystalline Ca-Na feldspar. Associated K-Na feldspar and quartz grains have sharp edges. The largest grains in the sample are translucent C-O spheroids of volatile material that is sensitive to the electron beam. The translucent C-O spheroids often contain small amounts (0.2 to 2 percent) of Na and Cl. We also found some calcium carbonate precipitate. We interpret the perfectly round FeO and silicate spherules as impact spherules. The associated crystalline and sharp edged grains are also impact ejecta. The mixed chemistry of the spherules and the lack of Ni are inconsistent with their origin as ablation products from meteorites (i.e. cosmic spherules). Instead they must have originated from a terrestrial impact event. We have found an impact ejecta layer in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia that contains abundant magnetite spherules with quench textures and ablated surfaces. Using existing carbon-14 ages, the spherule horizon is from an impact that occurred prior to 900 A.D. and after 70 A.D [6]. The most likely source craters in the Gulf formed from an impactor that was about 640 meters in diameter, in line with the 600-meter estimate of [5] for the diameter of the impactor needed to produce the dust veil event of 536-537 A.D. Because the age and impactor size are both a good match within the errors of our data, the Carpentaria impact event is our best candidate for the source of the impact spherules in the GISP2 ice core. However, much more work remains before we can be certain that the impact into the Gulf of Carpentaria was the source of the dust veil event that began in March of 536 A.D. [1]. Meese et al., 1994. Science, 266:1680-1682. [2]. Sowers et al., 1993. Paleoceanography 8:737-766. [3]. Mayewski et al., 1997. J. Geophys. Res., 102:26345-26366. [4]. Stothers, 1984. Nature 307:344-345. [5] Rigby et al., 2004. Astron. Geophys. 45:1.23-1.26. [6] Abbott et al., submitted, Geophys. Res. Lett.

54 Responses

  1. Some of you might enjoy my overview of the history of Europe at the time and the volcano/impact debate:


    This would have gone into “Man and Impact in Europe” had my stroke not intervened.

    To my knowledge, no one has yet examined what appears to have been an impact at Bazas, despite the fact that the working conditions there are much better than those at Tunguska in Siberia.

    I urge our Russian colleagues in Siberia to apply for a research grant to study the Bazas area next winter.

  2. Ed, I took the liberty of posting your essay below the 6th century post.

    I know that many Tusk readers are more familiar with more ancient impacts, but this period simply fascinates me. It is difficult for me to get the story across with my pea brain, however. That’s why I am going to take my time with this one and any help is appreciated.

    I may have a guest Q and A with Baillie. If you have any questions for him, or any other ideas, let me know.

  3. Pursuing Ed’s reference, a citation from his essay led me to this quote from Melfyn Thomas:
    “It is also interesting that Alastair McBeath gives the date 537 as referring to a sighting of a celestial object (probably a comet) as having a bearing on the origin of some dragon-related myths. In ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, Gibbon (Pelican abridgement, Low. D.M., 1960, p. 580) refers to this very date as one where a comet was sighted widely in Europe and was considered to have brought pestilence and crop failures in the following years.”
    This is from

    That Edward Gibbon mentions a noxious comet for 537 is news to me, although I had read large parts of his famous treatise (available online, Project Gutenberg). Gibbon does not often mention comets, hence that he does so for 537 is important and his sources valuable for this blog.

    When I was reading Gibbon, this was mainly on the climate downturn around 365, the year of the Alexandria tsunami. The ceaseless rains (Gibbon) led to the Visigoths crossing a mile-wide Danube with great difficulty. They annihilated the Roman army 378, an event seen by Saint Jerome as signalling the end of the Roman empire — he moved to Jerusalem 388, where he wrote his major works. Was his move caused by bad weather in Italy, or by threats from the Goths?

  4. Hi George, Hermann –

    Sorry, but since my stroke I will not be doing work like that again, so if you can’t find the answers to your questions in that piece I did then, I’ll be of no further help.

    What abilities and memories I have left mainly concern the fundamental sequence for Eastern North America, and as I have mentioned before, a search for mentions of Andaste in surviving archives will take around $12,000 -$15,000, $10,000 minimum, while even a visit to Juducala rock will take $1,000-$2,000.

    Besides the limitations of my abilities, that sequence is where my interests lay now.

    I could use more than a little help now. Does anyone here know how to manufacture an ibook for the ipad?

    I will say that it is amusing to watch researchers try to parse out CO2 effects on climate, while the effects of solar variability are so poorly understood.

  5. Greetings. I do not know if you are familiar with the work of Laura Knight-Jadczyk, but she has researched and written much on the subject. Please see the following.
    I hope this helps.


  6. I’m sure you’ll be able to set up a nice discourse with Mike Baillie. We’ve always found him highly amenable at SIS in the UK. He’s addressed two of our speaker meetings and one of our conferences. Patrick McCafferty, his co author on ‘Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish Mythology’ has also spoken at one of our meetings. The 6th century AD event has been a focus of interest at SIS for a number of years and we actually have a number of members actively researching Bede and the chronology of the period. One suggestion is that Bede’s history was changed by around 12 years, from Celtic time to official Roman time, following the Augustine mission. There was a massive earthquake at Antioch in 526 and if that was 12 years out it would have coincided with 538. It also impinges on the date of Halley’s comet that falls into this time-gap. However, I have to admit most of our effort until now has been in trying to make events fall into the 536-45AD narrow tree ring boundary but after reading Mr Grondine’s account concerning 580AD and thereabouts, I think we have missed something important. After, all, something inspired Mohammed and something inspired the early church fathers of the 6th century. These include St David, patron saint of the Welsh, who famously made his monks live just on leeks and herbs (such as wild cabbage)which fits in quite well with the low growth tree ring cold event. Now, after reading Mr Grondine’s offering it might be possible to see the 5th and 6th century more in terms of Clube and Napier who saw a precedent there with the Little Ice Age. In the other direction we have the Early Iron Age between 800-400BC which was also cold and wet in NW Europe and where Baillie has indicated two events, towards the beginning and towards the end of this period, may also involve cosmic intrusions (private communication). So, perhaps we should not just concentrate on the 536 or 541 low growth events but look at the whole period as one of constant flux, some decades having an opaque sky (dust and debris) and other decades being clear sky (with normal temperatures) somewhat like the LIA. Alastair McBeath (also a private communication) informed me that there was more meteoric activity in the 5th century than the 6th, if you see what I am driving at. While dragons can resemble comets, or meteors, they obviously have a connection with lightning, as the CCNeT thread of Benny Peiser (former SIS member) suggested (archived by Bob Kobres), and I have a nice little booklet by McBeath about dragons in the sky – namely the constellations. Whereas he was content to see fixed stars as avatars of dragons I would disagree – the constellations are named after events seen in the sky and a comet as a dragon appears to be a nice similarity. However, aurora were clearly involved also – as in the miracles associated with St Columba and his miraculous birth. It has been suggested Columba was originally a druid and became a Christian – presumably because of what was happening in the sky and its similarities to what was portrayed in the Bible. I look forward to how this project develops. Good work on George’s side.
    PS there is a nice aside to this problem and that is rising sea levels and/ or water tables in the 5th and 6th centuries and we have published a couple of articles on this in SIS journals. The same situation prevailed in the early Iron Age where archaeologists have noticed river valleys were abandoned and settlements gravitated towards higher ground. It actually corresponds to the Dunkirk Transgression event in the Netherlands, same time same kind of water table/ sea level problem. It was probably one of the reasons behind migrations into Britain, from low lying country in Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, the Netherlands and Flanders etc. In the Iron Age it was Belgic tribes that crossed into Britain. Baillie has associated rising water levels in lakes, especially Lough Neagh in Ireland not just with the 6th century but with earlier low growth events, particularly towards the end of the third millennium BC. According to textual sources from the 5th century the rising water level was already a problem in mid 5th century, preceding the 6th century low growth event. It might mean taking a look at what happened in the 3rd century AD to get a handle on things as barbarians, earthquakes and that kind of thing, including plague (an epidemic) was part of the world scene as it was a feature everywhere in the Roman Empire and beyond its borders. In contrast we have no evidence of rising sea levels in the LIA. The coastline of Britain has been fairly stable since the Tudor period. Therefore, it is unlikely that whatever caused the earlier rise in sea level/ or drop in the land, did not happen in the 16th and 17th centuries. No impact perhaps?

  7. There is another item I should also mention in the course of this discussion. Volcanic atmospheric dust loading does not rule out cometary atmospheric dust loading, 1628 BCE being a case in point. Thus it may not simply be one or the other.

  8. And back on to topic, it appears that the fourth division of the Tuscarora died in impact-megtsunami
    during this pass of Comet Encke:

    We now know that the “flying heads” were tornados; kahastenes is the proper Iroquoian word for comet.

    Thanks ever so much to Mike Grffin for his miserable performance, and to Benny for his titling of the note.

    This should be cleared up by the analysis of the sediment cores from the Carolinas.

  9. Ed, George —
    thanks to your efforts this topic is alive as an arrea of study, after Benny cut it loose, mainly because of adverse feedback from various sci outfits. And it does seem a huge task to bring the area into a respectable sci format. The complexity and the diverse sources and sub-studies that are absolutely essential for its success could be listed — yet such a list would be long enough to make anybody look like an outsider because the topic has long overflowed its banks. To make sure everybody knows what I mean, unless you are an astronomer (a la Bill Napier), geologist (a la Dallas Abbot), isotope mass-spectrometer cosmo-geochemist (a la Andrew Glikson), and have all of the skills of the Firestone et al team members, plus E.P. Grondine’s Native American mythologies, Mike Baillie’s tree-rings, whom did leave out: DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO WORK IN THE FIELD of ET impact science In today’s sic epub world, papers with 10 to 20 authors are frequent, daily occurrences. We need 200 authors on a single article.

  10. Hi Kelly –

    I was tempted ask you to please pass on to Laura a message the Cassiopeans sent to me: “Go f**k yourself”, but have now decided against that.

    You need to read the book “Combating Cult Mind Control” by Steve Hassan, right now. You will find it very useful, and will treasure it. Get a copy through inter-libtaty loan, if you can’t get a copy any other way.

    How can you recognize a cult? The dead give-away is the lies.

    In this case, from what I’ve read at the site linked to above, Laura simply borrows or plagiarizes, and then adds in her own nonsense, playing on peoples’ fears and anxieties.

    A friend of mine has told me she often lifts from his site without crediting it.

    My own writings are available for free through the CCnet archives, and you can buy my book at powwow, amazon, or see the sidebar link here.

    Kelly, put down those scissors right now, and stay away from the Kool aid. And if Miss Laura ever tells you that any of your government officials are alien lizards, report it to the police immediately.

    Take care,

    (This is the second $125/hour today. The first was Dwayne Day trying to pass himself off as an impact specialist. Anyone want to go over to spacepolitics.com and straighten byeman out?)

  11. My long rant on how great the TUSK is as a platform for an emergent science has disappeared… How do these things happen? It fell right inbetween Ed’s multiple outbursts. The gist of my remarks was, unless a guy has the skills of astronomers Bill Napier of this world, geologists Dallas Abbott, dendrochronologists Mike Baillie, cosmo-geo-chemists Andrew Glikson, historians Ed Grondine, and all the skills of the Firestone team, and unless we can assemble from anywhere between 20 and 200 of such experts, we will never put a respectable paper about ET cosmogenic impactors and impacts on the table. If you are not with such a team multi-author research project, don’t even work in the field. Forgot to mention the noses of people like Dennis Cox, and all the other great crater hunters out there . . (Please don’t delete this time..)

  12. Hi Hermann –

    Yes Hermann, you have it: respect.

    You may have noticed that there is no money to assemble the team you have mentioned, and actually no money available for any of the component studies. Thus that’s why the Cambridge Conference was so very useful, as what little could be done could be sorted through, pooled, and rapidly disseminated and why I’m so bitter about Benny moving it over to Global Warming Scepticism.

    You left out of your list palaeo-climatologists and planetologists, those who look at impacts on other bodies.

    You need to understand that this lack of funding for impact research is intentional, deliberate, and the results terrible.

    For example, in the case of the YD NASA has funded sceptics, not the research. You need to understand the depth of pettiness the debate over the cometary impact hazard has sunk to.

    You and I may know that cometary impact forms far more than 5% of the impact hazard, but many do not, and here in the US research is stymied by those who do believe that cometary impact is only 5% of the problem. That’s another reason why the Cambridge Conference was so useful, as it was international and free from that bias.

    You need to understand that that’s why I turned to the private sector, only to be hit by a pretty severe stroke followed by more c**P than any person should have to put up with, and thus why the small type, typos, and lack of illustrations in my book irritate me so much.

    In the case of the YD, locating the layers and processing the samples is non-trivial. So you get others trying to duplicate the studies, and with no one to show them how to do it, failure is often the initial result.

    And its the same process by which Dwayne Day managed to head up the NRC study, and now presents himself as an impact specialist.

    Would any of you here be so good as to please, please, please, take a few minutes of your time and go over to spacepolitics.com and tell Mr. byeman that Mr. Day is not an impact specialist?

    And would you suggest that NASA’s Ed Weiler needs to be fired while you are there? You can do that anonymously if you like.

    Hermann, you’ll have to excuse me, but when I find my work and my friend’s work being used to promote the idea that Mr. Bush and Jewish bankers bombed the World Trade Center, I get upset. We have recently seen the result of that nonsense in Tucson. The use of the fear of impact by these people to scare and con their victims will further damage the field.

    Aside from that, Eugene Shoemaker, George Brown Jr., and Brian Marsden have now passed on. It has snowed here, the sky is grey, its cold, and I do not produce internal body heat anymore.

  13. “The use of the fear of impact by these people to scare and con their victims will further damage the field.”

    Like bullies in the playground, unscrupulous people who prey upon the fears of others will be with us always. And it doesn’t help that the impact threat is both real, and underestimated.

    As for me, I am of the belief that the impact threat is far worse than anyone has imagined in their most frightening nightmares. But the weight of more than 150 years of unquestioned uniformitarian/gradualist mutual-inter-assumptive confabulation, and reasoning, in the Earth sciences is considerable.

    If I am studying something new, with a dictionary close to hand, the words I don’t recognize are the easy ones. All I have to do is look them up. It’s the words that I recognize but mis-understand that get me into trouble. So, the task of sorting out the things we simply do not know is nowhere near as daunting in my view, as the task of identifying, and sweeping out, all the mistaken uniformitarian/gradualist assumptive crap we only think we know. Old habits die hard. Old, unquestioned, assumptions, and considerations, die harder.

    Unfortunately, it may take another major impact event to get the world’s attention. We can only pray the next catastrophic impact is just big enough for a wakeup call, and not another civilization buster.

    Aside from that, Eugene Shoemaker, George Brown Jr., and Brian Marsden have now passed on. It has snowed here, the sky is grey, its cold, and I do not produce internal body heat anymore.

    I hope you don’t get too discouraged to keep on talking about it Ed. From where I stand as a newcomer, your two cents worth carries a lot of weight. And your contribution is extremely important. We’ll keep a fire lit, and a warm place for you. You just keep talking, and sharing what you’ve learned.

  14. Thanks for your comments, Dennis. And your invitation to share what I’ve learned.

    In my view, the problem is not uniformitarianism versus catastophism, but rather cometary impadct versus asteroid impact. I think that as you continue with your research you will understand what I asm talking about here.

    If Eugene Shoekaker were alive, at least someone skilled would take a look at the formations you’ve been looking at. As it is, no.

    Welcome to the nightmare.

  15. Don’t be so quick to assume no one skilled is looking. I’ve got specimens in two different labs. And the scientists analysing those specimens are both very well known, and at top of their fields. They’ll remain nameless, and blameless, until they’re ready to publish something

    I have to agree with you about funding though. Finding interested, and well qualified, scientists who can mentor me a bit, and analyze rock specimens if I can get them, has been easy enough. But road trips, and expeditions, to most of the formations I’m looking at are too damn remote to get to easily, or cheaply.

    But the remoteness of those places, while being a logistics nightmare to get to, might be a good selling point for a good documentary series. After all these are some of the least populated, and least explored, areas on the continent.

  16. P.S. I think you are correct that it’s more about comet vs asteroid. And I am far more worried about a large cluster, or stream, of smaller cometary fragments from the Taurid complex, than a single large bolide from the asteroid belt.

    But I think uniformitarian-gradualist assumptive reasoning has blinded the Earth sciences to the existence, and nature, of some very important impact related materials, and geomorphology.

    “Simulations suggest strong coupling of thermal radiation to the ground, and efficient ablation of the resulting melt by the high-velocity shear flow.”

    ~Mark Boslough

    When you think it through, and consider what form that geo-ablative airburst melt would take, you can see the problem I am dealing with.

    While in motion, and during emplacement, any geo-ablative materials would be in a kind of fluid density current similar to a pyroclastic flow. But where the motive force for a volcanogenic pyroclastic flow is gravity pulling a superheated cloud of ash, and rock down a slope, the motive force for a pyroclastic density current of airburst melt would be atmospheric pressure pushing the ablated materials from behind, like the froth, and foam, on a storm tossed beach. Unfortunately, in your hand, a fragment of the resulting rock is visually indistinguishable from welded volcanic tuff, or ‘Ignimbrite’.

    The good news is that thanks to the different motive forces involved, the two kinds of pyroclastic materials have distinct, and dramatically different, patterns of movement, and flow, that get frozen into them as they come to rest, and cool. So the wind-driven formations of airburst melt are easy to identify in good satellite image data. And ET origin can be confidently proven by detailed chemical analysis. Like I said, locating those formations is easy, the hard part is getting there to get specimens.

    The bad news is that until SL-9 no one could have imagined such energies comming from above. And the Earth sciences have always assumed that only terrestrial volcanism can produce pyroclastic rock. And the consequence of that mistaken assumption is that every last pebble of airburst melt on this world of ours has been mis-defined as volcanogenic. Even when no vent, or volcanic system, can be identified.

    So finding the truth isn’t enough. Each place I identify as an airburst melt formation, I have to slog through all the existing literature regarding that place so that I can explain how the theorists of the past could be so mistaken. And there is a hell of a lot more of the stuff than people think.

  17. “the motive force for a pyroclastic density current of airburst melt would be atmospheric pressure pushing the ablated materials from behind”

    Not: “atmospheric pressure” so much but of the impactor momentum, its mass x speed, as Mark Boslough discovered when he simulated the Tunguska impact. Dennis we disagreed on this point before.

  18. Yes, and we are going to have to agree to disagree, maybe not. There is a hell of a lot more to consider than just mass times speed.

    I’m not basing my thinking on simulations of the Tunguska event. The fireball of the Tunguska event didn’t reach the ground. So it wasn’t big enough to produce any geo-ablative melt. The simulations that are applicable, simulated the airbursts of much bigger objects. Look to Mark’s work on the Libyan Desert Glass for a more applicable example.

    Here’s a short poster: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2268163/DesertGlass.pdf

    I suppose it’s question of viewpoint. But while the impactor’s momentum is the source of the heat, and pressure, for the purposes of understanding the fluid mechanics of how the products of a geo-ablative airburst move across the ground, you have to think of the vaporized impactor’s momentum as a precursor to the forces that actually melt, ablate, and move, the blast effected materials.

    In a very large geo-ablative airburst, the fireball does reach the ground. But there’s little, or nothing, left of the impactor itself. The kinetic energy of the vaporizing object gets translated into heat, and pressure in the atmosphere. But it’s not a point explosion. The downwards momentum is retained in the form of the supersonic downwards flow. And that supersonic, hyper-thermal, blast of heat, and pressure fans out when it reaches the ground.

    That’s what does the work at ground level. And it does so in the form of a very high velocity shear flow that ablates the surface as fast as it melts. And also provides the motive force for the resulting atmospheric pressure-driven pyroclastic density current of geo-ablative melt.

  19. Hi Dennis –

    Congratulations on getting those 2 labs to look at your samples, but I would not get your hopes up about a tv show.

    Your ablative airbursts are pretty much limited to being generated by comet fragments. And as you must certainly realize now, not all of these came/come from Encke, and not all hit at 10,750 BCE.

  20. I agree that they are all the work of comet fragments. I had figured that out before I had even heard of Firestone et al, the Younger Dryas Boundary layer, or Clube & Napier’s work on the Taurid Complex. Or your own exellent work for that matter.

    I’m not clear where you got the idea that I thought there was only one impact storm. But I have never said they all hit at 10,750 BCE. Or that they all came from Encke.

    I have only said that I am convinced that the planetary scaring of the YD impacts does not consist of craters. It consists of very large, multple airbust formations, and emplacements, of geo-ablative melt. In the Great Lakes region, the scars consist of vast hydrothermal burns.

    If you’ve read my web site you should know that I am looking at two different major impact zones. One in the Great Lakes region. And the other in central Mexico.

    One hit desert terrain. The other hit an ice sheet. And the resulting giant hydrothermal explosions produced completely differnt scarring from the impact zone in the southwest. The directionality of the blast effected materials of the two impact zones is different. Indicating that they didn’t have the same trajectory. And I doubt they happened at the same time.

    But either of them would’ve been violent enough to be an extinction level event in North America.

    I haven’t spent much time looking at other continents. But even with a cursory look, I do see similar airbust geomorphology, apparently of varying ages, and levels of decompostion, and all over the world.

    These kinds of catastrophes are far more common than the world is ready to accept.

  21. Dennis – we all know your hypothesis. One problem we have here at the tusk is that you use every topic to restate it.

    For example, in the case at hand, do you have any ablative air-bursts from the 500’s CE?

    We can understand your personal frustration, but some of us have other specific interests in other impacts. If you look at the Alvarez’s, it took 30 years to nail most of the K/T down. And it still is under attack. I hope you won’t take this personally, but my g*d if I can stand you repeating your hypothesis on every thread here for the next 30 years.

    Instead, consider for a moment that the oil companies have cores for the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and West Coast of North America which should demonstrate nearly every recent impact, and a good many before that.

  22. Damn Ed, you’re great scholar.

    And I hope you won’t take this personally. But you make it painfully obvious sometimes that deep down, you’re also a cantankerous old fart who’s bitter, and pissed, about the raw deal he got from life. And g*d if I can stand your overwhelming need to share your depression with others. And on every thread too, with constant reminders of what a rotten hand you’ve been dealt. And how screwed it is that the world isn’t unfolding as you think it should.

    Instead of dragging the rest of us down with your negative, and discouraging crap, how ’bout get treatment? Have you considered trying Prozac, or some other effective anti depressant?

  23. Mark Boslough poster and video re Libyan Desert Glass — simulation of
    geoablation from meteor air burst 29.5 Ma: Rich Murray 2011.02.27
    Sunday, February 27, 2011
    [ at end of each long page, click on Older Posts ]
    [you may have to Copy and Paste URLs into your browser]

    [ Thanks to Dennis Cox http://craterhunter.wordpress.com/ ]


    2 page

    Computers and Information Sciences
    Red Storm [ supercomputer, Sandia Labs, Albuquerque, New Mexico ]

    High performance computing provides clues to scientific mystery
    Enigmatic silica glass in the Sahara desert has survived nearly 30
    million years.
    How did it form?

    (Left) Libyan Desert Glass is found in an area spanning 6500 km2, in
    the Great Sand Sea of the Western Desert of Egypt, near the border
    with Libya.
    In 1998, an Italian mineralogist showed that a carved scarab in King
    Tut’s breastplate was made out of this glass.
    Red Storm was used to simulate the airburst and impact of a 120-meter
    diameter stony asteroid.

    Most natural glasses are volcanic in origin and have chemical
    compositions consistent with equilibrium fractional melting.
    The rare exceptions are tektites formed by shock melting associated
    with the hypervelocity impact of a comet or asteroid.

    Libyan Desert Glass does not fall into either category, and has
    baffled scientists since its discovery by British explorers in 1932.
    The 1994 collision of Comet ShoemakerLevy 9 with Jupiter provided
    Sandia with a unique opportunity to model a hypervelocity atmospheric
    Insights gained from those simulations and astronomical observations
    of the actual event have led to a deeper understanding of the geologic
    process of impacts on Earth and presented a likely scenario for the
    formation of Libyan Desert Glass.

    High-resolution hydrocode simulations, requiring huge amounts of
    memory and processing power, support the hypothesis that the glass was
    formed by radiative heating and ablation of sandstone and alluvium
    near ground zero of a 100 Megaton or larger explosion resulting from
    the breakup of a comet or asteroid.

    Using Sandia’s Red Storm supercomputer, we ran CTH shock-physics
    simulations to show how a 120-meter asteroid entering the atmosphere
    at 20 km/s (effective yield of about 110 Megatons) breaks up just
    before hitting the ground.
    This generates a fireball that remains in contact with the Earth’s
    surface at temperatures exceeding the melting temperature of quartz
    for more than 20 seconds.
    Moreover, the air speed behind the blast wave exceeds several hundred
    meters per second during this time.
    These conditions are consistent with melting and ablation of the
    surface followed by rapid quenching to form the Libyan Desert Glass.
    These simulations require the massive parallel processing power
    provided with Red Storm.

    The risk to humans from such impacts is small but not negligible.
    Because of the low frequency of these events, the probability and
    consequences are both difficult to determine.
    The most likely scenario that would cause damage and casualties would
    not be a craterforming impact, but a large aerial burst
    similar to the one that created this unusual natural glass.
    This research is forcing risk assessments to recognize and account for
    the process of large aerial bursts.

    [ supercomputer simulation images in color of vertical impact torch
    hitting ground from air burst with very complex curling flows
    3.80 sec frame 205 in Part 5 of NG video documentry
    4.00 sec frame 210 torch hits ground
    5.00 sec
    7.49 sec frame 228
    9.99 sec frame 232 ~5 km ground radius, gives expansion velocity ~800
    m/sec after hitting ground at 4 sec, to 6 sec later at 10 sec. ]

    Ablated meteoritic vapor mixes with the atmosphere to form an opaque
    fireball with a temperature of thousands of degrees.
    The hot vapor cloud expands to a diameter of 10 km within seconds,
    remaining in contact with the surface, with velocities of several 100
    Simulations suggest strong coupling of thermal radiation to the
    ground, and efficient ablation of the resulting melt by the
    high-velocity shear flow.


    In February, 2006, Mark Boslough participated in an expedition
    to the site of the Libyan Desert Glass (LDG).
    The glass has a fission-track age of about 29.5 Ma.
    There is little doubt that the glass is the product of an impact
    event, but the precise mechanism for its formation is still a matter
    of debate.
    This lively discussion was a featured element of the documentary.
    Evidence for a direct impact includes the presence of shocked
    quartz grains and meteoritic material within the glass.
    However, the vast expanse of the glass and lack of an impact structure
    suggests the possibility of radiative/convective heating from an
    aerial burst.
    “Ancient Asteroid” will be shown on the National Geographic
    Channel on Sept. 21, 2006.
    [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAmzCR_RSpo 5 parts
    Christian Koeberl, geologist

    Rarouk El-Baz

    John Wasson, UCLA

    In Part 5, Frames 205-232 show these 5 images, while other views are
    at 149-200, 242-257, 312-328 ]

    [ 7 images ]
    Camp was set up in “corridor B” in the southern part of the Great Sand
    Sea, within the area of LDG concentration.
    Corridors consist of quaternary gravel and alluvium and are separated
    by linear dunes. The lower photograph is looking southeast.
    Geologic setting is shown by inset map.
    LDG sits on silica-rich weathered remains of Upper Cretaceous
    Nubia-Group sandstones.
    The main area of concentration is 20 km across.

    Left: 120-meter asteroid explodes over the Egyptian desert in 2006
    National Geographic documentary Ancient Asteroid.

    Right: Documentary animators used Red Storm simulation to visualize
    the effect of an asteroid explosion in the atmosphere above the city
    of London.

    Sandia National Laboratories

    Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a
    Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States
    Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under
    contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

    For more information:

    Technical Contact:
    Mark Boslough, Ph.D. 505-845-8851 [email protected]

    Science Matters Contact:
    Wendy Cieslak, Ph.D. 505-844-8633 [email protected]

    24.673243 24.95889 .564 km el
    crater for Libyan Desert Glass

    Impact melt formation by low-altitude airburst processes, evidence from
    small terrestrial craters and numerical modeling, H E Newsom & MBE Boslough
    2008 Mar 2p abstract: Rich Murray 2010.11.17
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010
    [ at end of each long page, click on Older Posts ]
    [you may have to Copy and Paste URLs into your browser]

    3 times more downward energy from directed force of meteor airburst in 3D
    simulations by Mark B. E. Boslough, Sandia Lab 2007.12.17: Rich Murray
    Monday, August 30, 2010
    [ at end of each long page, click on Older Posts ]
    [you may have to Copy and Paste URLs into your browser]

    [ Extracts ]

    “Dr. Boslough has also shown that an LAA from a ~100 meter diameter NEO
    melted sand into glass across a region about 10 km in diameter during Libyan
    Desert Glass impact ~35 million years ago.
    During this event the LAA’s fireball settled onto parts of Egypt and Libya
    for about a minute with temperatures approaching 5,000 K.
    Its hypersonic blast wave extended radially for about 100 kilometers.”

    NEO Survey: An Efficient Search for Near-Earth Objects by an IR Observatory
    in a Venus-like Orbit

    Submitted to the Primitive Bodies Subcommittee of the Decadal Survey

    Harold Reitsema 2, Robert Arentz 1
    Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.


    In 2003 NASA commissioned a Science Definition Team 3 (SDT) to study the
    threat posed by Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), to recommend solutions for
    efficiently detecting NEOs down to a much lower diameter than before, and to
    study techniques for mitigating an impending impact.
    Subsequently, the United States Congress directed NASA to investigate ways
    to implement many of the SDT’s results.
    At this time Congress also set the goal of compiling a catalogue complete to
    90% by 2020 of all NEOs larger than 140 meters in diameter.
    This 90%, 140 meter, 2020 set of goals was named in honor of George E.
    Brown, and is henceforth called the GEB requirement.
    The SDT concluded that: the thermal infrared (~5 to ~11 microns) is the most
    efficient spectral regime for an efficient NEO search;
    that any IR aperture from about 50 to 100 centimeters is sufficient;
    and that locating a NEO-finding observatory in a Venus-like orbit
    (approximately a 0.7 AU semimajor axis) is ideal.
    The SDT had to make assumptions about future advancements in detector
    technology and deep-space compatible processing power, and assumed that
    diffraction-limited optical systems with no chromatic aberrations were
    doable within the constraints of a flight mission.
    Since then, NASA and its industrial partners, of which Ball Aerospace is one
    of many, have flown several deep-space missions, two of which are very
    relevant here — the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), and the
    recently launched Kepler mission, as discussed later.
    In this paper we present a high reliability, credibly costed, high-heritage
    design that meets the GEB requirements for about $600M (USD).
    For no additional cost, this design will detect about 85% of all >100 meter
    diameter NEOs, about 70% of all >60 meter diameter NEOs, and about 50% of
    all >50 meter diameter NEOs.
    These smaller NEOs constitute a newly recognized threat regime that cannot
    be efficiently detected from the ground.

    …Recent work by Dr. Mark Boslough 4 shows that the impact physics of NEOs
    in the 30-100 meter range has been misunderstood due to a process he calls a
    Low-Altitude Airburst (LAA), which is a newly recognized threat regime that
    has been previously underestimated.
    In an LAA event the main body of the NEO comes apart at high altitudes (~80
    km to ~10 km), but the object’s mass and kinetic energy are conserved as a
    fast moving, loosely aggregated, collection of particles which entrain a
    column of air reaching the ground in what might be termed an “air hammer.”
    Dr. Boslough’s work shows that the “air hammer” from NEOs as small as 30
    meters inflicts significant damage, as was seen in the 30-meter-class
    Tunguska event.
    Dr. Boslough has also shown that an LAA from a ~100 meter diameter NEO
    melted sand into glass across a region about 10 km in diameter during Libyan
    Desert Glass impact ~35 million years ago.
    During this event the LAA’s fireball settled onto parts of Egypt and Libya
    for about a minute with temperatures approaching 5,000K.
    It’s hypersonic blast wave extended radially for about 100 kilometers.
    Dr. Boslough has also shown that the interaction of the LAA with the ocean’s
    surface is much different from a large object’s strike, and that any ensuing
    tsunami is not yet well modeled.
    Therefore any survey instrument capable of searching well below 140 meters
    is quite valuable.
    Derating the estimate of the Tunguska object’s size from ~60 meters to
    today’s ~30 meters greatly decreases the impact interval
    from ~1,000 years to ~200 years.
    Given that Tunguska happened 101 years ago, the expected time until the next
    impact is ~100 years….

    4. Boslough, Mark.
    The nature of Airbursts and Their Contribution to the Impact Threat.
    Proceedings of the First Annual Planetary Defense Conference,
    April 27-30, 2009, Granada, Spain.

    I haven’t yet found detailed public information about temperatures,
    pressures, and durations of the complex turbulent blast jet on the surface.

    Rich Murray, MA
    Boston University Graduate School 1967 psychology,
    BS MIT 1964, history and physics,
    1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
    505-501-2298 [email protected]


    http://RMForAll.blogspot.com new primary archive

    group with 118 members, 1,618 posts in a public archive

    group with 1226 members, 24,280 posts in a public archive


    participant, Santa Fe Complex http://www.sfcomplex.org

  24. Good morning George and Hi Dennis –

    I have gotten a pretty good deal from life.

    Its just the frustration.

    Once again, we all know the conflict between uniformatarianism and catastophism. So there is no need to repeat it here ion every post.

    And there is no need to call attention to the features you are looking at in every post.

    But you are blissfully ignorant of the conflicts between cometary impact and asteroid impact, and injection models.

    Stick around, and you’ll be frustrated as well. I don’t know how to break the news to you, but you may be looking at 30 years of it.

  25. Ed

    It took 40 years for the academic community to recognize that Harlan Bretz was exactly right about the mega-floods that gouged the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington. And he was able to figure out what had happened there by using aerial photography to map catastrophic mass movement of terrains that was not so visible, or apparent, from the ground.

    Mine is much the same approach to reading catastrophic terrains, and for scoping out candidate locations for field work as Mr. Bretz used. Except that, now we have far better image data to work with. And, if I am correct, what I’ve found will have a far greater impact on the Earth sciences than anything Bretz ever found. And because of that, I expect even greater resistance to the ideas I put forth than Harlan Bretz faced. I think your thirty years is a bit optimistic. And I am lookin forward to putting up a good long fight.

    You’ve done some amazing, and interesting, work. And you have much to teach, and share, that most of us will never learn, or find out for ourselves. But of all the things we need to learn from you, we can do without the constant reminders of your depression, and all your arguments as to why we should be as discouraged, and frustrated you. If I need discouragment, I already have plenty of homespun frustrations of my own that work just fine thank you

    And if going into agreement with your many logically framed reasons for frustration is a prerequisite, to everything else you have to teach us, never mind. The price is too high, I’ll be dropping your class, and putting your book back on the shelf.

  26. Hi Dennis –

    “If I need discouragment, I already have plenty of homespun frustrations of my own that work just fine thank you.”

    Yes, we know. already.

    I think I can cut you a deal on the $125 per hour, and give you the group rate.

  27. Thanks to Rich Murray for posting the details of Boslough et al’s work on Libyan Desert glas. Am beginning to peruse it, and looked at 24.673243 24.95889: Are there some good hints on what we can see? A dark complex about 150 km to the NNW of the spot, is it the desert glass? Crater said to be about 100 km from LDG. Looking at Google satellite map which shows km scale besides Earth.

  28. Up yours Ed,

    You need to spend $125 to buy your depressingly rude, insulting, and crabby, ass some prozac. I don’t know though. Anti depressant drugs, and therapy, might not be effective in a case as severe as yours. Such a depressed, and shitty, outlook on life indicates a more invasive procedure is required. You should see what your proctologist will charge you for a rectal craneotomy.

  29. The KEBIRA CRATER (Wikipedia) is at that location (coordinate loci differ by only 1 km). The crater is mentioned under “SEE ALSO” on the LDG page. The crater page has the usual obstructionist baloney including from officialese spouters at the IFSG. No mention of the pyroclastic blast process that created LDG, natch.

    But my question is simple and noncontroversial: In which compass direction should I travel, standing at the center of the crater 24.667,24.967, in order to walk toward the LDG area supposed to be 100 km away? Is that clear enough?

    BTW, the tear drop shape of the crater (drop is falling toward N, pointy end of drop points S) is strongly suggestive of the pyroclastic impact blast coming from the North.

    HENCE: My here is my wild guess: Walk straight S from the center of the crater for 100 km hot Sahara Desert treck, and thou shall find the LDG..

    George: Sorry, this event was NOT taking place during the 6th century wasteland episode that is of interest on this here blog..

  30. Actually, the answer to my question is here on this very elaborate page:

    There is an old map which shows the strewn field to be centered NNE of the Kebira crater, at about 26.3,26.7 while the crater center is at 24.67,24.97, or about 1.63S and 1.73W of the strewn field. So, my wild guess was wildly off.

  31. “Up yours Ed,

    You need to spend $125 to buy your depressingly rude, insulting, and crabby, ass some prozac. I don’t know though. Anti depressant drugs, and therapy, might not be effective in a case as severe as yours. Such a depressed, and shitty, outlook on life indicates a more invasive procedure is required. You should see what your proctologist will charge you for a rectal craneotomy.”

    Seems pretty anal, Dennis, and a little hostile. Traditionally that would be viewed as transference, and Freudian.

    Of course, modern therapy calls for b-mod. Thanks Hermann.

  32. Good morning, Dennis –

    “If I need discouragment, I already have plenty of homespun frustrations of my own that work just fine thank you.”

    Yes, we know. already.

    “And, if I am correct, what I’ve found will have a far greater impact on the Earth sciences than anything Bretz ever found.”

    Dennis, did it ever occur to you that several of the posters here have already found and confirmed features which will have a greater impact on Earth sciences than anything you ever found?

    I think we’re at $250 now.

  33. Shut up Ed,

    It’s not a contest. And you are starting to sound more, and more, pathetic, with every comment. I should have expected that you’d need to plop out another pathetic cheap shot. You can’t help yourself.

    You are a sad, before, and after, study in stroke damage Ed. In the work you did before your stroke, we read the words of a brilliant scholar . But now all we’re able to get from you is a pathetically bitter old fart who’s stuck in the past, and can’t get beyond dwelling on all the marbles he’s lost. So he drags others down into his depression, instead of seeking treatment.

    You keep bitching, and whining, about your “f***in’ stroke”, and lost memories. But the most glaring of the things that stroke took from you is your ability to participate in a civilized, and intelligent, discussion in present time. It’s sad, that the best behavior you can come up with anymore is that of a common, ordinary, rude, and insulting, web troll with all the social communication skills of a spoiled 10 year old.

    And my only frustration is in having to deal with your cantankerous, sorry, ass on a daily basis.

  34. CORRECTION: The LDG area is at about 25.2,25.1 and not at the location further NNE in my earlier comment (February 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm). I had misread the map given here:
    The region is marked in the map as a narrow strip, ~80 km N-S and less than 20 km wide. W-E. It lines up nicely with the Kebira crater.
    Google satellite appears to show a darker shade in that region, but the shape is wider.
    The teardrop shape of the crater with the pointy end going S could well agree with Mark Boslough’s simulation, thinking of an initial contact of the down-ward directed blast furnace being narrow (the pointy end) and then widening as full contact of the exploding meteorite is made with the ground, carving out the main crater. The rapid progression from S to N agrees with the LDG being ejected to a distance of about 100 km. A similar situation is well-known from the famous Ries crater in Bavaria where tektites are known as Moldavites falling mainly in the Moldau region, Bohemia, Czech Republic, at a distance of ~250 km.
    The de.wikipedia page states that LDG differs from tektites by a much higher water content, 30 times higher.

  35. I wish the image quality in that part of the world was beeter in Google Earth. It’s hard to make out the features with enough detail to make out what it might look like at ground level with any degree of confidence. Or to read any patterns of mass movement in the geomorphology other than the sands of the dunes.

    I’ve noticed though, that they are constantly upgrading Google Earth imagery. So if the image data for any given place isn’t very good when you first look it up, don’t give up. You might check back a month later, and find the imagery is excellent, complete with street level view.

  36. I am coming into this conversation a bit tardy and am going to post this comment without having read all the preceding comments, but I will get to them this weekend.

    I was led to an interesting article at
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmsctech/writev/856/m09.htm due to my ongoing interest in the global warming issue (skeptical I am). The article is by Professor Michale J Kelly of Cambridge University, who has over 250 peer-reviewed papers on nanotechnology, and is entitled simply Peer Review.

    Peer review has come under the microscope in a kind of Watergate way since the Climategate “event” occurred in mid-November of 2009 – a sort of drip-drip-drip, perhaps leading to something more, but no one knows for sure at this point.

    I wouldn’t be posting this comment, except in the middle of the article Kelly has a paragraph that is pertinent here. I was looking for somewhere on CosmicTusk to post it, and this thread won the gold ring:

    6. I am still trying to get my paper published [which he describes as having been turned down for over 10 years] in the peer review literature, before going to the press on the issue of the integrity of peer review. Until it is published, the paper will always suffer from the unanswerable put-down that it has not been peer-reviewed, a common critique used of much work in other fields such as critical climate change science and impacts. I am concerned that my arguments should first be debated in the scientific literature. There is the chance that a counter-example to my theorem might emerge, and I shall be proved wrong. That would be good for the science. There is a greater chance that the emphasis in nanotechnology might move towards trying to discover unconventional fabrication routes that might circumvent the preconditions of the theorem. That too would be good for nanotechnology. What is not good is that the discussion is not had and that large quantities of public funds continue to be squandered in futile exercises. New orthodoxies get established prematurely without sufficient critical analyses in the literature in the early days. Some of the present problems in the climate science and impacts communities are down to the lack of a healthy sceptical debate within the peer reviewed scientific literature. The unquestioned hyperbole associated with hot areas of science, including nanotechnology, is a further manifestation of the lack of hard-nosed realism.

    The long-respected scientific procedure of peer review certainly isn’t the only way that research might reach its intended audience, whether through academic journals or not. I believe that the internet is one of the driving forces that are gaining momentum. Blogs such as CosmicTusk can perhaps be an alternate route to publication. When evidently perfectly good papers like the one Kelly talks about can’t get published, and the reasons are other than accuracy or good research, or because the subject is controversial or has powerful opponents, scientific progress suffers needlessly.

    I think that the Y-D Impact Event is one that is going through what all papers should go through – a good dose of healthy skepticism liberally applied. Going toe-to-toe with skeptics makes proposers of new ideas dig down and find stronger arguments and better evidence and solidify their research.

    I do think it applies to Baillie’s work as well. And Ed’s and George’s, too. I think it would be wonderful if Dennis could team up with someone on the subject of his impact sites and get a real paper or two or three published. And then let the nay-sayers come forth. Impact studies and firestorms they engender should, if anything, bring more and more attention to the field. I agree wholeheartedly with Professor Kelly that impacts are a “critical” area of study (even while I don’t cotton to his characterization of “hyperbole” as applying here – controversial, yes, hyperbolic, no…).

    Peer review as it stands is not peer review, when one’s accusers are hidden behind anonymity as is currently done. Having two unknown and possibly antipathetic reviewers is like being in court with a judge and plaintiffs who all wear masks. And what makes 2 the magic number? Two unknowns either of which (or both) can sabotage a paper that might challenge their own paradigm? Is that the best system the great minds of science can come up with?

    Kelly points out that the massive glut of submitted papers requires journal editors to use considerations other than scientific worth when deciding to publish or not. This alone means the system is inadequate, even if it was good enough in the days of the fictitious Indiana Jones (the 1930s and 1940s), when academia had far fewer professorships and far less publish or perish.

    Kelly makes many good points, and I invite all here to have a read.

    (…now to get to reading the comments here – after a couple of other comments on another thread…)

  37. Oh, also, one of the reasons I chose this thread to post that link and quote was because George mentioned that Keith Briffa of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University was one of the critics of Mike Baillie’s ideas.

    That is not a suprise. Briffa, who is not himself a dendrochronlogists, nevertheless compiles dendro data in ways that are very “inventful.” Briffa and his cohorts have an agenda, and that agenda includes conveniently leaving out data that is “off message” – that might (in fact would) “water down the message of global warming. It was specifically Briffa’s truncating of the dendro data at 1960 that prompted the imfamous “hide the decline” email of Michael Mann, hismself no dendro man, either, but merely a compiler with a climatology degree and a record for being well-connected to the point of academic political power. In other words, where Mann goes, so goes funding – meaning many people can’t afford to cross Mann, for fear of funding droughts. Thus, Mann bullied Briffa into falsifying the data after 196o, which showed that tree rings aren’t good temperature proxies, after all. In fact, the record after 1960 is terribly UN-correlated: tree rings vs instrument readings don’t match up well at all, except inversely! Mann convinced Briffa to be a good team player.

    So, Briffa has an agenda for which he will fudge the data, so what importance could his opinion possibly be? He should be run out of academia on a rail. Instead, he remains a lead author for the U.N. IPCC. Shame on him, and shame on them for keeping him on.

    So, don’t pay any attention to Briffa – he is one of the men behind the curtain, pontificating to keep himself in a fat cat situation.

  38. Hi Steve –

    THE problem in the review process of impact research appears to have been Dr. Morrison and his colleagues at NASA, who claim that comets do not impact. The “standard paradigm” they put forth.

    It appears that they have presented themselves as impartial referees on cometary impacts, when in fact they have a horse in the race.

    We don’t even know what publications they referee, but we do know that
    1) formal publication has been hitting obstacles
    2) funding is unavailable.

    And it feels to everyone working in the field that they have been subjected to this bias.

    Fortunately, in some cases the data is overwhelming.

  39. Hi

    Fortunately the paradigms may change beyond the control of their drivers!

    Comets should have heterogeneous morphology, an amalgam of rock ice, silicate rock, mud and frozen gases, depending on the fragment, composition and mass, it is quite possible that the low-altitude atmospheric explosions cause perceptible scars and the elliptical structures visible on Google,still in fossils found in these structures. I do not know, history is inexorable, we’ll see.


  40. Hi Pierson –

    From what I’ve seen comets are like cats – each has a different personality. A lot depends on how many cometissimals have been accreting for how long.

    Don’t be deceived by surface appearances. It appears some comets have pge metals at their cores, hence the observed iridium spikes.

  41. Hi EP

    It’s true. Comets seem to have originated in the solar system debris, garbage far, there has got everything.

    But remember also that asteroids sometimes seem a block of solid rock, or seem a heap of stones trapped by their weak gravity, and consequently they are very sensitive to the gravitational tides of the planets. These can also produce a trail of meteoroids in its orbit, and form possible meteor showers.

    But also I affixed to the fragments of comets to the origin of most palaeolagoons. Besides the possible impactites I found, and although it is very difficult, my dream is to find meteoritic fragments, probably rocky.


  42. Hi Pierson –

    Welcome to the wonderful world of meteorites.

    You’re right, a lot of asteroids are rubble piles loosely bound by gravity.

    The problem with finding “larger samples” is that when an impact occurs most of the impactor is vaporized.

    The only times that this does not occur is when later fragments run into the blast generated by the first impacts, or when you have a medium size iron asteroid hit, and fragments will survive in pockets in the explosion, like at Campo del Cielo or Meteor Crater.

  43. Hi EP

    Yes, in general the effects on the large craters are well known.

    Small craters have been found some debris, stone meteorite as in the case of Rio Cuarto on Argentina, or iron meteorites in the craters of U.S. or Australia.

    But there are so many palaeolagoons of all sizes.

    So, among other search criteria, I selected craters smaller than 300 or 100 m to start my research. I believe in smaller, on the small scars, may be find some fragment in the future. But I still have to prepare myself better for it. For now I continue the path among impactites.


  44. Hi Pierson –

    Your point about large/small impacts is very well taken. Compare Barringer Crater with Odessa crater, for example.

    I have not heard of any meteorites surviving the Rio Cuarto impacts. Perhaps the meteorites found were separate from the impact. Do you have an online link to them?

    If Boslough’s model is correct (and in my opinion that is likely)
    then some paleolagoons will not have meteoritic remains in them.

    Other paleo-lagoons will be caused by the secondary impacts of materials from the primary impact(s), and what they will contain will be that material from the primary impact(s)’s location. No meteorites once again.

    Your focus on impactites seems to be most promising of results, but not meteorites. But that is okay, impactites are pretty nice as well.

  45. Hi EP

    Unfortunately is that old story of lack of financial resources for research, so its difficult to any systematization.

    The impactites is what I believe more viable in terms of methodology, practical and fast to start my research.

    Meteorites, I know very little about them, I know just what I read.
    Yes, it is possible to find in small craters, but we need more than luck to find them.




    About meteorites found in small craters (<300m) and small scars (<100m), only the field research will be able to respond. It is a hypothesis!


  46. Hi EP

    This is a type of scar where I would start a meteorite investigation, a possible small multiple events site in Bahia, which seems to have just parched the ground. Impactites should be found. It is too small to form a crater itself.

    On this same region there are fractals twin structures with hundreds of meters in diameter, biger events. Water is important in this region, and is common to see small towns grew up around the palaeolagoons.


    Unlucky the scar´s site is too far, more than 1,000 km from where I live, and an specialist systematic research must be need, it is far beyond my expertise.

    For palaeolagoons meteorites are very important, but they are not fundamental.


  47. It appears [from available literature] that Earth’s climate throughout the Holocene has been strongly forced by cometary (mainly Taurid?) impacts and/ or halo/ tail interference with our atmosphere. Ergo, the following paper may be of interest to the COSMIC TUSK readership.

    [Climate Related] Sea-Level Variations Over The Past Two Millennia Paper in PNAS by Andrew C. Kemp, Benjamin P. Horton, Jeffrey P. Donnelly, Michael E. Mann, Martin Vermeer, and Stefan Rahmstorf.

    From the abstract (comments in parens) by yours truly,

    (The results seem satisfactory enough:) Stable SL until 950, then (medieval warm period? has) SL rising by .6 mm/yr during a 400 yr time period (ergo until about 1350 or should we say 1348, the year of the black death?) then (little ice age?) “stable or slightly falling” SL, then SL rises by an average of 2.1 mm/yr, a rate first observed beginning 1865 — 1892 (heavy coal-based industrialization esp. in America, Europe and Japan?).

    The authors state their “extended semiempirical modeling” shows that SL changes are consistent with temperature “for at least the past millennium.”

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