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Supervolcano eruption -- in Sumatra -- deforested India 73,000 years ago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ^ | Nov 23, 2009 | Unknown

Posted on 11/23/2009 12:23:04 PM PST by decimon

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new study provides "incontrovertible evidence" that the volcanic super-eruption of Toba on the island of Sumatra about 73,000 years ago deforested much of central India, some 3,000 miles from the epicenter, researchers report.

The volcano ejected an estimated 800 cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere, leaving a crater (now the world's largest volcanic lake) that is 100 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide. Ash from the event has been found in India, the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea.

The bright ash reflected sunlight off the landscape, and volcanic sulfur aerosols impeded solar radiation for six years, initiating an "Instant Ice Age" that – according to evidence in ice cores taken in Greenland – lasted about 1,800 years.

During this instant ice age, temperatures dropped by as much as 16 degrees centigrade (28 degrees Fahrenheit), said University of Illinois anthropology professor Stanley Ambrose, a principal investigator on the new study with professor Martin A.J. Williams, of the University of Adelaide. Williams, who discovered a layer of Toba ash in central India in 1980, led the research.

The climactic effects of Toba have been a source of controversy for years, as is its impact on human populations.

In 1998, Ambrose proposed in the Journal of Human Evolution that the effects of the Toba eruption and the Ice Age that followed could explain the apparent bottleneck in human populations that geneticists believe occurred between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. The lack of genetic diversity among humans alive today suggests that during this time period humans came very close to becoming extinct.

To address the limited evidence of the terrestrial effects of Toba, Ambrose and his colleagues pursued two lines of research: They analyzed pollen from a marine core in the Bay of Bengal that included a layer of ash from the Toba eruption, and they looked at carbon isotope ratios in fossil soil carbonates taken from directly above and below the Toba ash in three locations in central India.

Carbon isotopes reflect the type of vegetation that existed at a given locale and time. Heavily forested regions leave carbon isotope fingerprints that are distinct from those of grasses or grassy woodlands.

Both lines of evidence revealed a distinct change in the type of vegetation in India immediately after the Toba eruption, the researchers report. The pollen analysis indicated a shift to a "more open vegetation cover and reduced representation of ferns, particularly in the first 5 to 7 centimeters above the Toba ash," they wrote in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. The change in vegetation and the loss of ferns, which grow best in humid conditions, they wrote, "would suggest significantly drier conditions in this region for at least one thousand years after the Toba eruption."

The dryness probably also indicates a drop in temperature, Ambrose said, "because when you turn down the temperature you also turn down the rainfall."

The carbon isotope analysis showed that forests covered central India when the eruption occurred, but wooded to open grassland predominated for at least 1,000 years after the eruption.

"This is unambiguous evidence that Toba caused deforestation in the tropics for a long time," Ambrose said. This disaster may have forced the ancestors of modern humans to adopt new cooperative strategies for survival that eventually permitted them to replace neandertals and other archaic human species, he said.

###

Editor's note: To reach Stanley Ambrose, call 217-244-3504; e-mail: ambrose@illinois.edu


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: cataclysm; catastrophism; creation; deforested; eruption; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; india; indonesia; meltdown; pyroclasticflow; sumatra; supervolcano; toba; volcanoes

1 posted on 11/23/2009 12:23:07 PM PST by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv; xcamel; steelyourfaith

Eruption disruption ping.


2 posted on 11/23/2009 12:24:10 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

Bush’s fault.


3 posted on 11/23/2009 12:24:22 PM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: decimon

In other news, India filed suit against Sumatra in the World Court for environmental damages for an untold sum of money.


4 posted on 11/23/2009 12:32:33 PM PST by theDentist (fybo; qwerty ergo typo : i type, therefore i misspelll)
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To: decimon

The same thing is going to happen in Yellowstone National Park.

It’s not going to be pretty.

There was a mini-series based on this scenario that hit the air waves a few years ago. I believe it was Discovery channel.

Mt. Saint Helens would have been a science experiment compared to Yellowstone when it blows.

Hopefully we have a couple of hundred thousand years to go.

But ya never no.


5 posted on 11/23/2009 12:32:59 PM PST by montomike (Politics should be about service and not a lucrative, money-making opportunity!)
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To: decimon


6 posted on 11/23/2009 12:38:51 PM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: montomike

That ain’t nothing compared to a mantle plume.


7 posted on 11/23/2009 12:39:36 PM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: pnh102

You beat me to it.


8 posted on 11/23/2009 12:42:47 PM PST by sierrahome
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To: montomike

9 posted on 11/23/2009 12:43:54 PM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: cripplecreek

I am protected! I am! See my last post on the garden thread! Obey!


10 posted on 11/23/2009 12:45:20 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: cripplecreek

Post 112 over there.


11 posted on 11/23/2009 12:47:02 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: decimon

I would like to know what the humans that existed then, did to cause this? /gore sarcasm


12 posted on 11/23/2009 12:48:24 PM PST by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: decimon
The lack of genetic diversity among humans alive today suggests that during this time period humans came very close to becoming extinct.

As I look around today, I see a disturbing amount of genetic diversity.

13 posted on 11/23/2009 12:48:43 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine (Is /sarc really necessary?)
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To: decimon
Ambrose said, "because when you turn down the temperature you also turn down the rainfall."

So, global warming is a cure for droughts?

14 posted on 11/23/2009 12:53:57 PM PST by Andyman (The truth shall make you FReep.)
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To: decimon

bump


15 posted on 11/23/2009 1:04:40 PM PST by happinesswithoutpeace (There was a hole here. It's gone now.)
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To: decimon

Stephen Oppenheimer also states that human beings lack genetic diversity.

I don’t get it. I am fascinated by human genetic history and love to read about it and I just don’t understand the statement. Maybe somebody can help me.

tracing out the human journey in terms of Haplotypes and their mutations leads a person into a bewildering array of genetic branching. There seems to be an endless list of mtDNA and Y-DNA types. So what’s not diverse?


16 posted on 11/23/2009 1:51:14 PM PST by squarebarb
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To: squarebarb; blam
Stephen Oppenheimer also states that human beings lack genetic diversity.

I don’t get it. I am fascinated by human genetic history and love to read about it and I just don’t understand the statement. Maybe somebody can help me.

tracing out the human journey in terms of Haplotypes and their mutations leads a person into a bewildering array of genetic branching. There seems to be an endless list of mtDNA and Y-DNA types. So what’s not diverse?

That's above my bray grade. Maybe someone else can answer.

17 posted on 11/23/2009 2:09:45 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

bump


18 posted on 11/23/2009 2:16:10 PM PST by VOA
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To: decimon

Indonesia has caused plenty of trouble.
Like “The Year Without A Summer” in a young USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer


19 posted on 11/23/2009 2:24:48 PM PST by VOA
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To: VOA

I knew it was them messing with the sunspots.


20 posted on 11/23/2009 2:33:29 PM PST by decimon
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To: squarebarb
Here is a DNA map of the earth developed from the work of Stephen Oppenheimer. He shows the effect of the Toba eruption.

The Journey Of Mankind

21 posted on 11/23/2009 3:24:21 PM PST by blam
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To: 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BBell; ...
Thanks decimon.
 
Catastrophism
 
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22 posted on 11/23/2009 6:19:36 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: decimon; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks decimon.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
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23 posted on 11/23/2009 6:20:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: montomike
The same thing is going to happen in Yellowstone National Park.

It’s not going to be pretty.

There was a mini-series based on this scenario that hit the air waves a few years ago. I believe it was Discovery channel.

Mt. Saint Helens would have been a science experiment compared to Yellowstone when it blows.


Hopefully we can alleviate it somehow if it does become a threat, perhaps by drilling vent holes or something.
24 posted on 11/23/2009 6:45:50 PM PST by Nowhere Man (The night they drove old America down (11-07-2009))
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To: montomike
There was a post a while back where a scientist was speculating that Yellowstone may have disconnected from the hot spot. That would be nice as I live in the zone where survival would be about 50-50 IIRC.
25 posted on 11/24/2009 10:50:58 AM PST by colorado tanker (What's it all about, Barrrrry? Is it just for the power, you live?)
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To: montomike
the miniseries about Yellowstone was BBC and is now on Youtube...link There are quite a few BBC specials there, at least until the copyright police find and remove them...
26 posted on 11/24/2009 10:14:06 PM PST by LadyDoc (liberals only love politically correct poor people)
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