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

Younger Dryas trigger: Cosmic Impacts or Volcanoes?

Sun et al. and Sweatman trade notes through Twitter Tusk

Update: Sweatman publishes paper outlining problems with the volcano theory

An extensively covered journal article by Sun et al. in Science Advances concludes that volcanoes — not a fragmenting comet — caused the Younger Dryas. Sun provides an invaluable trove of data, but less than 72 hours after the publication their interpretation is suffering.

In a wonderful demonstration of the power of the internet, and the sometimes speed of modern science, polymath and dulcet brit Dr. Martin Sweatman managed to immediately refute the conclusions of Sun on Youtube. The Tusk then tweeted Sweatman’s video and received an equally timely response from a Sun et al. co-author, Dr. Kenny Befus.

As you can read below Dr. Befus is open to an alternative interpretation of the data. This is admirable. I was so impressed with Befus’ tweet I “guaranteed” him that the Younger Dryas Impact authors would work with him and his co-authors to approach the truth.

The truth is, I can’t guarantee such a thing and surely got ahead of myself. The other truth is that Sun et al. provides significant information that will improve our understanding of what the hell happened at the YD.

Please watch Martin’s video carefully, please read Sun closely — and ignore Twitter. But enjoy live science in action.

Hi, I watched the video you suggested. Martin Sweatman does a very careful job pouring through our dataset. He makes some strong points regarding our weaknesses. In the words of my coauthor “we are at the start of a new direction, not an end.” We’ll keep learning.

~Kenny Befus, co-author, Sun et al. 2020, Twitter 8.4.20



Download the PDF file .

6 Responses

  1. When the KT impact was first brought up by the Alvarez’s, we had similar volcanic “confusion”. That was ended by the iridium layer, and the Chicxulub crater, but none the less persisted for a very long time.

    Now we have this bit of “stuff”, which may likely continue until the impact structures ( that is structures, two of them ) from the Holocene Start Impact Events are found.

    But there is no need for that, as gamma rays are produced in large hyper velocity impacts, a process which does not occur in volcanic eruptions:

    You’re welcome.

    You can send me my Nobel Prize in Physics now, as I am still alive, and could really used the money. Or you could just send me the money you planned to use looking for those imaginary volcanoes.

    And speaking of money, our impact geologists get none of the federal research moneys. None. So I guess we are all relatively “broke,” to use the technical term.

    Aside from that, I am really looking forward to the launch of the NEOcam. See you all in Florida for that one.

  2. For the record, I was the first to discover and publicly claim (on Cosmic Tusk site) that the Laacher See eruption was caused by the impact, namely that it is an impact site onto a volcanic field which resulted in subsequent eruption. All rare earth elements in the Laacher See tephra were enhanced by the factor 20-30, and there are other anomalies which make this eruption quite unique.

    It is the only known impact caused eruption. You should credit me for rediscovering that.

    The event happened on June 29, 10,961 BC, and it is the year marked on the Göbekli Tepe+s Pillar 43. Sweatman’s +/-250 estimate I reduced to +/- 0 years, and I wrote a follow-up paper to MAA journal promptly when he wrote his first paper. I wrote it timely, but it was rejected from publication because it was a follow up research, not a knee-jerk critique, like the other 3 were.

    I was also being name-called as ‘Sweatman’s only supporter’, which I am not, and yet for years I am the only person involved in the YD debate that he entirely ignored. He made not a single reply to any of my comments to his work, even though he debated with everyone else. I find it extremely rude.

  3. For the record, my claim was made in 2015, in the comments about the Andronikov paper. It was one of the 2 most popular pages on Cosmic Tusk.

  4. Hi once again: I do not often toot my own horn, but in 2009 I wrote the book “Sudden Cold” An Examination of the Younger Dryas Cold Reversal. Apart from dismissing the North Atlantic as cause for the Younger Dryas, the still widely touted explanation that many scientists still cling to, I did discuss volcanic eruptions, though only briefly. Here is a direct quote from my book p. 65. ” the most important role of volcanic dust as it relates cold intervals may well have to do with its exacerbation of already established cold intervals.” My part of the Younger Dryas story has to do with the climate aspects of the event. I attempted to look at all of those aspects. I cannot of course take any credit for the cosmic impact theory as several astronomers, William Napier and Victor Clube, suggested this a number of years before 2009. I am currently writing a much expanded book where I look into a number of other critical factors having to do with the megaherbivore extinctions. I am getting close to completing this task that has occupied a lot of my time since 2010. I hope to find a publisher who would be interested in this new book

  5. 1) Why so few samples for Pt group testing at any one layer? Cost/time to analyze each sample? More samples = greater certainty.

    2) There is no protocol to follow a strata/horizon when sampling? If the layering is VISIBLY not flat, sampling at a constant elevation has no value other than showing the slope of spike before and/or after the main event, by (intentionally) sampling the adjacent layers.

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