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

Oceans to Ice: Marine diatoms found in Greenland ice suggests pummeled planet in 530’s AD

Restored from the library fire 1/11/20

8 Responses

  1. That’s a very informative paper,
    Not only does abbott have good evidence for multiple impacts,she also pinned down a date window for an major volcanic episode within the same time period.

  2. George,
    Not only was it a rough decade, this series of events sets the stage for nearly a thousand years worth of social change around the world.
    One thing I find very interesting is how this global cooling episode, led to a moderation of climate in scandinavia, particularly in light of a possible impact in Scandinavia.
    While central and southern Europe had a overall cooling, scandinavia saw a warmer and milder climate, which allowed for a population explosion, and started the Viking age.

  3. Hi Cevin –

    I can assure you that both Abbott and Baillie conduct civil discussions with both Keys and volcanologists.

    Back in 2002, I surveyed some historical records for what data I could find bearing on that particular climate collapse. I posted a link here to that essay here; I think you will enjoy reading it.

  4. The “Ni-Fe-Cl-C rich dust from ice core” cell with spectrograph graph —

    Just something I happen to remember…

    This brings to mind a find (mentioned by Michael Cremo, I believe) of a man-made hammer in some really old layer – with fossilized wooden handle attached. The iron alloy was said to be one no one had ever seen before. It was an iron-chlorine alloy, which basically makes little sense, but that is what it tested our to be, according to reports. The CL should have readily combined with water/moisture to make HCL, which would have oxidized the hell out of the iron.

    In this graph, Ni is prominent, too. In the very, very ancient hammer, no mention was made of Ni, but if present, it would have inhibited oxidation.

    That brings to mind that perhaps the hammer was made of a meteorite that was found. I am sure I am not the first to think of that…

    The timing would be way off, vs 535 AD, but I thought this was worth a mention. If meteoric, then it would not have been limited to earth-bound alloys or human created alloys.

  5. Slightly off-topic, here…

    Abbott’s cell with the title “Importance of Ni” has a photo of a meteorite, very large, with a very rough-out remainder. Since the cell is talking about nickel, I have to think that what remains there in the meteor is mostly, if not all nickel.

    If one imagines that as a meteoroid out in space, before the other materials were ablated out during atmospheric entry, then it brings to mind my question of a while back:

    How do these conglomerates really agglomerate and fuse? The standard model it that as a meteor it is a planetesimal or a planet that didn’t form all the way, made out of materials floating/whizzing around in the planetary nebula that randomly impacted each other, and somehow fusing together. It takes a lot of heat to fuse nickel to anything else here on Earth.

    For me, looking at that meteor it is difficult to imagine that skeleton of nickel having come together like that, with other materials just happening to separate into the in-between regions of the meteoroid, leaving the nickel such a nice continuous form. One would imagine the nickel would arrive randomly and be distributed as simply loose molecules, somewhat heterogeneously distributed with other materials.

    How did all the nickel migrate to separate coherent solid parts of the meteor?

    Out there, then. we have comets that tend to be somewhat “strengthless” on one hand, and solid-body nickel-iron meteors, plus solid-body silicon-ish chondrites.

    And for those who think simplistically that there are “dirty snowballs ” for comets, I’d remind them that there are many statements out there about how so many asteroids have comet-like characteristics. Quite a few astronomers are not satsified with the current dividing line between comets and asteroids.

    If CT had a decent capability, I could find my long ago link to a paper that mentioned that around HALF of all meteors appear to have at least some cometery characteristics.

    That poses a problem for astronomers, if it is ever shown that so many DO share characteristics, because they are said to have such different origins. It would pose a daunting task to come up with a common birthing process.

    The current hypothesis on asteroid formation is that they just kept on bumping into each other for a few billion years and evevtually they got bigger and bigger.

    I argue that each of nthose bumps – at tens of km/sec is more likely to have blown them apart than to have fused them. And in there I see no capacity for sufficient heat to overcome the forces ripping the body(ies) apart. Such impacts on Earth all blast things to smithereens – NOT fuse them, except at a nano-particle scale. That is, after all, what ejecta is all about. If ejecta are driven at high velocity from Earth impacts, why should asteroid impacts at somewhat similar velocities do exactly the opposite?

    IOW, When I see a meteorite like that one, it makes me reject the standard hypothesis for asteroid formation. I am trying not to look too stupid here, but, guys, that thing makes no sense to me.

  6. Hi Steve –

    Peter Norton’s “Rocks from Space is THE standard introduction to meteorites and the terminology of meteoritics.

    If I simply told you here I’d get a handful of stuff slung at me; so you have some reading to do.

  7. Since these diatoms are tropical, and we currently have nothing for the northern tropics, we may be looking at a medium impact in the southern tropics, with minor waves coming north to coastal France and to the Carolina Banks.

    To my knowledge, no one is currently working north west African coast.

    Which is not to say that no one is, its just that I have not met them yet.

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