Catastrophes and Prehistory
Now that we have a better picture of the people who became 'the Polynesians', let us look at the bigger picture, of how humans have changed over time.
The general consensus of geneticists is that the present species of humans - Homo Sapiens began in Africa 150,000 years ago. This has been spelled out fairly clearly by Bryan Sykes in his book 'The Seven Daughters of Eve'. Despite this, we must not forget that there have been many species of humans or bipetal hominids with opposing thumbs that have populated the world before us. The Leaky family did extensive studies in Africa on a 3 million year old bipetal hominid they called Lucy. Recently a 7 million year old bipetal hominid (human) skull was unearthed in Chad by professor Michel Brunet of the University of Poitiers in France. There is also a variety of Homo erectus, Java man, Peking man and Australopithecus, Giganthropus to name a few, some were less than a metre tall others were over four metres tall. With their opposing thumbs, they were all capable of using tools such as hammers, axes and spears. Large 20kg axe heads have been found associated with 60cm footprints in New South Wales, which indicates the size and technological development of these people 800,000 years ago. The tools are thought to have been made by 'Java Man', as similar aged tools have been found in Indonesia. Just as we see a great range of body sizes in the canine species, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas, it is only logical to assume there has been a similar variation with humans. When Sabre toothed tigers, Diprotodons, Woolly Mammoths and other large and powerful beasts dominated the environment, large and powerful people would have had a better chance of survival against these predators. On the other hand, smaller people would have had a better chance of survival after a natural catastrophe, such as a comet impact, where dust was thrown up into the atmosphere, dimming the earth for a few years, causing cooling, massive droughts and a scarcity of food. The locality of impacts, eruptions and tsunamis would have played a big part in who the survivors were. Rather than 'survival of the fittest', chance, had a much bigger part to play in determining who the survivors were.
Proof of the diversity in humans can be seen from recent studies in Indonesia where they unearthed 'the Hobbit' a very small human, from about 13,000 years ago. The skeleton was about one metre tall.
Skeletons at Kow Swamp in New South Wales shows that Homo Erectus was alive and well in Australia only 10,000 years ago. Clear evidence that there were many breeds of humans right up to less than 10,000 years ago.
In the book, The Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, author John Haywood describes; "very large" bones in stone graves found in Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1821. In White County, Tennessee, an "ancient fortification" contained skeletons of gigantic stature averaging at least 7 feet in length.
In February and June of 1931, large skeletons were found in the Humboldt lake bed near Lovelock, Nevada. The first of these two skeletons found measured 8 1/2 feet tall and appeared to have been wrapped in a gum-covered fabric similar to the Egyptian manner. The second skeleton was almost 10 feet long.(Review - Miner, June 19, 1931).
George W. Hill, M.D., dug out a skeleton "of unusual size" in a mound of Ashland County, Ohio. In 1879, a nine-foot eight-inch skeleton was excavated from a mound near Brewersville, Indiana(Indianapolis News, Nov 10, 1975)
In 1875 workmen were constructing a bridge near the mouth of Paw Paw Creek at Rivesville. While digging through heavy clay soil they were astonished to uncover three giant skeletons strands of reddish hair clinging to the skulls. A local doctor was called to examine the remains and was able ascertain after careful measurement, the skeletons had supported people approximately 8 feet tall.
Gigantism often found in America, is not an abberant mutation, but a genetic throwback to a 'time that was'. As variations in the environment put pressure on these groups, whether it be large predators or famine, numbers dwindled in the populations less suited to the environment. This eventually led to the situation today where most humans are between five foot and six foot 6inches.
The first migration of Homo sapiens spread out from Africa between 80 and 100,000 years ago across India into S.E. Asia and across to America. It is believed from genetic markers in remnant populations around the world, that these people were dark skinned, short, with very frizzy, almost woolly hair. Relic populations of these pygmies can still be found in the; Congo Basin, Andaman Islands, the Highlands of New Guinea and the Phillipines. It has been confirmed by geneticists that there are specific DNA markers that indicate without a doubt that The Highlanders of New Guinea are directly related to the Pygmies of the Congo Basin, albeit 100,000 years ago. Skeletons of these people have been found in Tennessee, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego and Tasmania, indicating that they constituted a major pan global population that was crushed by a major natural catastrophe 75,000 years ago. This catastrophic event has been linked to the creation of the Lake Toba Caldera, creating a massive lake in the highlands of Sumatra. Dust from this massive explosion would have dimmed the planet, cooling it down and creating droughts and famine that may have lasted for over 10 years. Survivors of this world population of Pygmies can still be found in the Congo, Andaman Islands, Phillippines, New Guinea highlands and some Aborigines of North Queensland. Even Polynesians have traces of this ancestry in their DNA through contact with Melanesians 11,500 years ago.
It is interesting to note that these pygmies all appear to have the bow and arrow as a hallmark of their culture. It is quite likely that they had this technology 100,000 years ago.
1. Pygmy skull found in Holliston Mills, East Tennessee. They were 3-4 feet tall and their cranium size was equivelant to a 7 year old child. From America B.C. by Barry Fell. A significant population of these people lived in this area between 40,000 and 3,000 years ago.
2. Andamaneseii from the Andaman Islands.Photo; Steve Sailer website (See links).
Their passage to New Guinea from Africa can also be traced by the Malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum that they brought with them. Recent studies on the Malaria parasite gene have shown that; "Plasmodium falciparum appeared in Africa and spread around the world with migrating populations, as much as 100,000 years ago. Both the parasite and the mosquito underwent rapid evolutions about 10,000 years ago, forming Plasmodium vivax, which ranges widely through Asia, Africa, Melanesia and the Americas. Their coincidence with the development of settled agricultural societies in tropical regions seems to be a telling clue to the history of the disease and the movement of man around the world".
As malaria is a tropical disease, it is highly unlikely that it travelled between continents via the Polar Ice caps, therefore; trans oceanic voyages in the tropics must have been undertaken 10,000 years ago. This is the only way this disease could have spread from Africa to Panama. This disease needs to have a significant population of people living close together in order to survive, therefore, this parasite was brought not by some wayward fisherman, but by a whole fleet of ships, carrying hundreds of people. It must be logical to assume that because they had boats seaworthy enough to cross the Atlantic, and they knew how to utilize equatorial currents and the trade winds, there would be nothing stopping them from giving the Pacific Ocean a go. Malaria in New Guinea bears testament to their curiosity. When they crossed the narrow isthmus of Central America, they found another ocean beckoning them. The islands of Melanesia are in the exact place boats from the Panama region would end up, it would have been a case of 'going with the flow' letting the wind take them to a new land over the horizon. From this, we can only assume that Melanesians originated from a number of different migrations at different times from Africa. The Blue Black Solomon Islanders bear testament to a separate migration to the Papuans from Africa. Once again 'isolationism' has marked comparison of African to Melanesian genes a no go area for research.
The second wave of humans to leave Africa after the Toba disaster were the Anu. The age of the Pygmy was over and a new balance of human genes spread across the planet. This time they were taller, had wavy black hair and beards. In Africa they were called the Anu, in India - the Veda, in Japan - the Ainu, in Lake Toba - the Batak and in Australia, numerous tribes went under many different names.
Japanese Ainu, racially similar to the Indian Veda and Australian Aborigines, These people once populated Asia, Australia and America 50,000 years ago
Genetic studies indicate that Cro Magnon man and the Veda separated ~28,000 years ago. Cro Magnon man lived in the colder areas of Eurasia, had pale skin, blonde hair and a beard, he was very tall, averaging 6 to 10 feet. The Veda were also tall and had beards, but living in the tropics they developed a darker skin for protection against the damaging rays of the sun. These people saw the sea levels around the planet, recede to 140m below their present level. They are bound to have witnessed many natural catastrophes. Needless to say a significant pocket of Veda/Anu survived in India and carried on to begin Western civilization in the Middle East as we know it today.
In Biblical records, Lord Anu was the culture bringer to the Sumerians. According to Hebrew texts, this occurred 10,000 years ago. In other words, knowledgeable survivors of the Veda/Anu civilizations of India, decided to resurrect their civilization amongst the Sumerian tribesmen. According to Christian O'Brien, in his book "The Genius of the Few" The great 'Lord Anu' decided to 'plant a garden in Eden' which was a fertile valley overlooking fertile plains in Lebanon where a village named Ehdin still exists. Then 600 years later the "Shining ones" - white faced, purple robed people with gold wings came and gave them incredible scientific knowledge. These people were obviously survivors of the pan Atlantic culture that also gave rise to the purple robed, red haired Phoenicians, the blue robed copper culture of the Tuaregs, the seafaring Berbers, Celts, Basques, Toltecs, Anasazi and Araucano. Therefore we have a Veda bringing knowledge of agriculture and a Caucasian American bringing science to the Sumerians to start Western civilization as we know it today. It would only be natural, that the survivors of a global catastrophe, regardless of their origins, would have pooled together their recources to start anew.
So what was this global catastrophe that ended these civilizations?
In Plato's Critias, The wise Egyptian priest in talking to Solon, gives a fairly good picture of what has happened in the past; " There have been and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes, the greatest have been brought about by the agency of fire (comets) and water (ice age meltdown), and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes (volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis)."The declination of bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth (comet/asteroid impacts), which recurs after long intervals; at such times those who live upon the mountains and in the dry lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by the rivers or on the sea shore. When on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water, the survivors will be those who dwell up on the mountains, as the water always having a tendancy to come up from below (Tsunamis and sea level rises)." He also says "that wherever the extremity of winter frost (Ice ages) or of summer sun (climatic change and drought after volcanic eruptions) does not prevent mankind to exist, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser numbers." These disasters "leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education, and so to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times."
Catastrophic events such as massive volcanic eruptions, comet or meteor impacts as well as associated earthquakes and tsunamis have not been given enough consideration when assessing the forces that have shaped the development of man. The earths ancient geological history is full of evidence of such catastrophes. For example; 256 million years ago a large celestial body impacted the planet south of South Africa, the reverberations around the planet met in Siberia, rupturing the earth's surface, creating a massive 12,000 feet thick lava flow, this catastrophe ended the 'Age of Amphibians' and almost wiped out all life on Earth. 210 million years ago another meteor impacted the planet in Canada - the Manicouagan Crater - 100km wide. This meteor brought to an end the Triassic period. Then 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period a meteor impacted the Yucatan Peninsular, once again, the opposite side of the planet ruptured, creating the Deccan in India, a 5,000 foot thick lava flow. This catastrophe brought to an end the 'Age of the Dinosaurs'. The Atherton Tablelands in Queensland is a 2,000 foot thick lava flow that formed about 1 million years ago in a geologically stable area. A meteor impact in the North Atlantic would most likely have been the perpetrator of this catastrophe.
During human history, similar, but smaller events have occurred. The cave system in Malta called the Hypogoeum was filled with 7,000 bodies, soil and debris washed in from a massive tsunami, possibly from a meteor impact in the Mid Atlantic. On the other side of the Atlantic, the island which is now the Bahama banks, also appears to have been devastated by a tsunami at about the same time. This island that was once as big as Ireland was known as Tulapin or Turtle Island and according to legend was the homeland of many native American tribes. Numerous floors and foundations under the sand indicate that a large city was devastated by a massive tsunami ~7,000 years ago when the sea level was over 10metres lower.
The underwater ruins around Yonaguni and India are also testament to rapid sea level rises within the last 20,000 years. Scientists are beginning to realise that the 140metre rise in sea level since the last ice age was not necessarily gradual, but may have occured in steps, as massive ice shelves broke off the Polar ice cap and drifted into tropical waters, melting within the year. Rapid rise in sealevel is also believed to have been caused by massive lakes forming on top of the ice sheets as the ice melted, then in one terrible moment the ice holding back the water would break and this huge body of water would gather all the other lakes in its path, resulting in a massive sheet of water punching into the ocean causing a tsunami and contributing to a rise in sea level of a couple of metres.
From this we can see that catastrophic events have occurred repeatedly in the past and have most definitely played a big part in the evolution of species on our planet. Charles Darwin in his 'Evolution of the Species' did not put enough emphasis on the effects of catastrophes and the part that random chance played in determining who the survivors were. The most obvious example of random chance changing the course of history is the meteor that ended the reign of the large and powerful dinosaurs allowing smaller mammals to freely develop, without predators.
Here is the geologic history of our planet showing the chronological connection between meteor impacts and major extinction events.
The geological time scale compared to meteor impact craters. Lattitude and longitude is included so they can be viewed on Google Earth. (I wonder how creationists explain the various stages of weathering of these impact craters?) You will note from the above chart, there appears to have been periods of particularly intense bombardment at a frequency of approximately 35million years. Some people believe this to be when the solar system oscillates through the plane of the ecliptic of the Milky Way Galaxy. You will notice a major series of impacts 144myrs ago, then another series from 65-74myrs ago, then another 35-50myrs ago. Most of the impact dates coincide with the end of geologic ages. Although there have been no major impacts during the reign of man, it would be foolish to discount the effect of smaller impacts on global human populations. They may not have been large enough to cause total extinction of the human species, but enough to cause a massive reduction in population followed by a re-emergence of a new breed from the surviving lucky ones.
So far170 meteor craters have been recorded on the Earth Impact Database, as 75% of our planet is ocean, it stands to reason that there are at least over 500 craters on the sea floor waiting to be discovered. The mind boggles at the effect of a 5km object impacting the ocean.
Not all impact craters have been correctly identified and there are sure to be many more. For example the Richat structure of Mauritania is clearly a very ancient meteor scar, yet there is still controversy over it's origin. This 40km structure is merely the central rebound spike of a massive ancient impact causing the crust to rebound into a dome. The existence of Coesite (heavily compressed quartz) in and around the structure is proof that it is a meteor scar.
Picture 1 is the 40km Richat structure. Picture 2 is a weathered rock from the Richat structure Photo by Jebrak. Inclusions are surrounded by pressure waves in sedimentary rock liquified by the impact. The third picture shows something similar - pseudotachylitic brecchia in granite from the Johannesburg dome which is a 3,200myr old impact site.
Interestingly over the last 3,000million years of Earth History, there has been no significant reduction in frequency of impacts. It appears the size has reduced somewhat, but disturbingly there appears to be no reduction in frequency of 5km bodies impacting the earth. As we see from the end of Geologic ages, this sized body impacting the earth at over 25,000mph has a devastating effect on life on earth.
Craters of particular intererst are;
A 480km crater in Wilkes Land Antarctica at the end of the Permian (248myr) marked the end of the age of Amphibians. (A 12,000foot thick lava flow on the opposite side of the planet in Siberia was caused by shock waves from this impact).
A 220Km crater Manicougan, Quebec at the end of the Triassic (206myr) marked the end of the massive lycopod and glossopterid forests that produced today's coal.
A 160km crater Morokweng S Africa, a 40km crater Gosses Bluff and a 40km crater Mjolnir, Norway at the end of the Jurassic (all at 44myrs) marked the end of conifer and cycad forests resulting in the rise of flowering plants.
A 170km crater Chicxulub, Yucatan at the end of the Cretaceous (65myrs) marked the end of the dinosaurs. (Opposite this, a 5,000foot thick lava flow in India - the Deccan was caused by shock waves from this impact).
A 100km crater, Popigal, Russia and a 90km Chesapeake Bay crater at the end of the Eocene (both at 35myrs) saw the emergence of modern mammals.
Even though modern man (during the last 50,000 years) has only seen impacts resulting in 2km diameter craters or less, such catastrophic events would still have had a devastating effect on populations through the effect of earth dimming or tsunamis if the impact was in the ocean. Dust from a terrestial impact as well as dust from volcanic eruptions caused by the impact (from shock waves meeting on the opposite side of the planet) would have caused the sun to be blocked out resulting in severe cooling for a number of years. This in turn would cause a drought due to absence of solar induced evaporation, resulting in failure of crops and famine. The ecological imbalance caused by such a catastrophic event would also cause plagues of opportunistic vermin as the predatory creatures died from the harsh conditions. The people lucky enough not to be effected by this terrible sequence of events would go on to repopulate the planet with a new mix of genes.
Legends often speak of their ancestors emerging from caves to repopulate the planet. Is this because caves held the only survivors of the firestorms and cold from a meteor strike?
Here is just one example of the destruction caused by a comet in human history. Andrew Collins in Gateway to Atlantis talks about this event in detail.
This event is thought to have occured around the time that the civilization of Atlantis ended.
USA showered by a watery comet ~11,000 years ago,
ending the Golden Age of man in America.
Approximately 11,000 years ago a variety of animals went extinct across North America. These were mostly mammals larger than approximately 44 kg. Some of the animals that went extinct are well known (like sabre toothed cats, mammoths and mastodons). Others were less well known animals (like the short-faced skunk, giant sloth and the giant beaver). Some animals went extinct in North America but survived elsewhere (like horses and tapirs).
Before this extinction the diversity of large mammals in North America was similar to that of modern Africa. As a result of the extinction, relatively few large mammals are now found in North America.
The possibility that a comet destroyed the mega fauna and human population of North America is highly likely.
Photos from George A. Howard website (see Links)
Carolina Bays - 11,000 year old Impact sites, caused by bullets of water either from a disintegrating watery comet or bullets of water from a meteorite impacting a 2-3km thick ice sheet North West of the region. Either way it is direct evidence of a cataclysmic event around the time of the Clovis hunters of America.
The geological formation of the oval shaped depressions termed Carolina Bays, which number in total, 500,000 litter the SW corner of North America. Their orientation across the landscape is in a NW to SE direction, with earth piled up on the SE rim up to 25 feet high. Carolina Bays tend to become more elliptical with increasing size - up to 10km long. This is consistent with a large body of water taking longer to dissipate as it travels at speed across the landscape. Large bays tend to be deeper than small bays and they tend to occur either in linear arrays or in complex clusters. The consistent repition of shape and alignment can mean only one thing. Comet impact.
It is believed that these depressions were not caused by a rocky comet as no heavy metals have been found in the craters, but by bullets of water hitting the ground from a disintegrating comet. There has been some disbelief that such a catastrophic event could have occured in human times, people have tried desperately to think of some other way that these depressions could have occured. The fact is that these depressions occur in sand, mud, soil, upland gravel, but not on any rocky outcrops. The only mechanism for similar shaped depressions to occur in a diverse range of sediments is by a massive body of water, travelling at a high velocity at a low trajectory and dumped upon the earth. All the craters show a similar amount of weathering and infilling, therefore they must be all of the same age. It has also been noted that there are two oval shaped craters on the bottom of the ocean, just north of the Grand Bahaman banks.Their orientation is consistent with a NW to SE trajectory comet impact. It is believed that these impact sites are associated with the Carolina Bays. Whether or not there are any craters on the bottom of the ocean, the nature of a disintegrating comet entering the atmosphere is that small pieces of debris break off first, the largest remaining piece/s travels the furthest. Therefore as there are 500,000 small craters along the Atlantic coast, one must assume that a significantly large body impacted the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in a massive tsunami.
Core samples indicate the Carolina Bay formations was between 11-15,000 years ago, a more accurate date for their formation has not been ascertained as yet. Pollen samples indicate a pine forest prior to their formation changed to a deciduous forest after their formation. This change is seen in the core samples either side of a layer of sandy blue clay, devoid of pollen. This marks the time of creation of the lakes, and the resultant settling of dust after impact. The change in forest type after these depressions were formed indicates that they precipitated a radical climate change. Whoever was living in America at the time would have found this event totally devastating as shown in the following accounts of tribes from the area. Whether it was this, or a later event that destroyed Atlantis is yet to be determined.
The Anasazi have a legend that talks of a fiery sky serpent destroying the civilizations on the islands of the Carribean, or more specifically Tulapin (Turtle Island), their homeland. One can imagine an elongate meteor, rotating as it enters the atmosphere, creating a wiggly, snake like trail. The speed at which a meteor enters the atmosphere also gives the visual impression of the speed of a striking snake.
From Andrew Collins book; "Gateway to Atlantis" we get the following interesting information.
Many native American traditions tell of:…a moon fell out of the sky, onto the earth. During it's passage through the sky it looked like a feiry snake, there were terrible earth quakes and the day turned into night, there was a gigantic flood and a formidable rain that lasted many days, many people died.
This most likely describes the impact of the comet that created the Carolina Bays.
"The water having poured over the land (2km thick ice sheet collapses into the sea),
human dwellings disappeared. The wind carried them away.
They fastened several boats to one another.
The waves traversed the Rocky Mountains.
A great wind drove them.
Presently the moon and the sun disappeared (atmospheric dust, post impact).
Men died of a terrible heat (firestorms post impact).
They also perished in the waves.
Men bewailed what happened.
Uprooted trees floated about in the waves.
Men having fastened boats together trembled with cold.
The above translation is attributed to the native tribe called the Esquimaux of Canada. Just one of hundreds of flood traditions that many scholars have collected.
Also from further south in the Carolinas we have the following very interesting tradition:
"a star fell to the earth, and rain soon followed (oceanic impact, causing vast amounts of water to evaporate).
Days and days of rain quenched the fire.
Great holes burned in the earth by the fire were filled,
forming a great inland sea.
A number of cultures retained stories of impact induced winter. Most telling of such lore this author has read are these amazingly informative tales of the Yakuts:
. . . is said to be "the daughter of the Devil and to have had a tail in the early days". If it approaches the earth, it means destruction, storm and frost, even in the summer; . . . , the daughter of the Devil is a beautiful girl ... she is the bride and the sweetheart of Satan's son ÜRGEL (Pleiades). When these two stars come close to one another, it is a bad omen; their eager quivering, their discontinuous panting cause great disasters: storms, blizzards, gales. When they unite, fathom deep snow will fall even in the summer, and all living beings, men, animals and trees will perish . . .
…… five planets went out of their courses. In the night, stars fell like rain. The earth shook. The E and Loh became dry.
What is remarkable about these particular tales is the conjunction of several pieces of information. From these lines we gather that a comet with a tail came close enough to influence weather on Earth--i.e. deadly storms, frost and deep snow in summer. Also, we are told that this is most likely to occur if the comet appears close to the Pleiades. In short, these legends accurately describe what can now be inferred from astronomical data on comet Encke and the ring of debris its progenitor strew about the Sun, according to the above information; into five significant chunks. "Stars falling like rain" indicates a large amount of debris entering the atmosphere, "the earth shook" suggests a sizable impact.
As the above example suggests, contemporary researchers need to be wary of assuming our predecessors' folk memories of astral events relate to bodies familiar to our time. There is considerable reason to suspect that the majority of the planets namesakes were comets--probably of the Encke family. Human belief systems have been greatly influenced by the phenomena attending the progressive break-up, over thousands of years, of this large comet. The idea of a wrathful sky god or star positions influencing events on Earth are legacies of this influence.
Recent studies on ice cores in the Antarctic have found numerous Iridium layers during the last 100,000 years. Often these layers of Iridium are mixed with Volcanic ash, confusing the origin of the Iridium. Iridium is commonly found in meteors, but is an extremely rare mineral on Earth. This mixing suggests that the impact of a Comet or Meteor precipitated volcanic eruptions. Scientists have also found a direct correlation between Iridium layers and the beginning of many ice age events suggesting that the combined effect of a comet impact and the resultant volcanic eruptions had a big part to play in turning points in human history.
Comets are not the only cause of major changes in the earths population over the last 15,000 years. It appears that sea level rises since the end of the last Ice Age have not been as gradual as previously believed. Sudden sea level rises appear to have happened a number of times in the past, destroying coastal trading ports causing a shift in surviving populations.
Antarctic ice sheet key to sudden sea level rise
Researchers show Antarctic ice sheets may not be as stable as previously thought. by Janet Wong
March 28, 2002 -- Physicists from Canada, the United States and Britain have concluded that a massive and unusually abrupt rise in sea level about 14,000 years ago was caused by the partial collapse of ice sheets in Antarctica, solving a mystery scientists have been heatedly debating for more than a decade.
Near the end of the last Ice Age, the Earth's sea level abruptly rose over 20 metres - four times faster than usual for that time period and at least 20 times faster than sea levels are rising now, report geophysicists Jerry Mitrovica of the University of Toronto, Peter Clark of Oregon State University , Glenn Milne of the University of Durham in the U.K. and Mark Tamisiea, a post-doctoral fellow at U of T, in the March 29 issue of Science .
The cause of this event - called the global meltwater pulse 1A, first identified in 1989 - has been unknown until now. The scientists say their research not only pinpoints the source of the meltwater pulse as coming from West Antarctica. It also makes the case that significant climatic events can occur very rapidly and unpredictably.
Ancient Mangrove Forests Found Under Reef
North Queensland marine researchers have opened a window into the past by exposing ancient mangrove forests entombed beneath the Great Barrier Reef.
Dr Dan Alongi from the Australian Institute of Marine Science says they have unearthed 9,000-year-old mangroves in old river channels that were swamped when sea levels rose after the last ice age.
He says the relic mangroves show an abrupt rise in the sea level, 20 times faster than previously thought.
"Material was very much intact, it didn't even have time to fully decompose when it was buried, so it does tell us that when climate change happened at least when it happened in the past it was comparatively quick," he said.
A cold event 8,200 years ago
Nature 22 July 1999
A cold event occurred between 8,400 and 8,000 years ago which affected Europe, North Africa and North America causing significant climate changes. It is believed to have been triggered by global warming which caused a catastrophic drainage of the Laurentide lakes in Canada.
This cooling event was forced by a massive outflow of fresh water from the Hudson Strait. The glacial lakes Agassiz and Ojibway were originally dammed by a remnant of the Laurentide ice sheet and drained catastrophically 8,470 calendar years ago. The sudden increase in freshwater, reduced sea surface salinity and altered ocean circulation, thereby initiating the most abrupt and widespread cold event to have occurred in the past 10,000 years.
Antarctic mud reveals ancient evidence of global climate change
By Mark Shwartz
In 1998, ODP scientists extracted a 150-foot-long sediment core from the muddy bottom of the Palmer Deep - a submerged section of the continental shelf along the west Antarctic Peninsula about 3,000 feet below sea level. The sediment sample was loaded with the shells of microscopic creatures called diatoms dating back some 10,000 years to the beginning of the Holocene - the most recent geologic epoch.
"The Antarctic Peninsula is an ideal region to investigate climate change at decadal to millennial time scales due to its location in one of the Earth's most dynamic climate systems," noted Dunbar. "The ODP sample gives us the first continuous, high-resolution Holocene sediment record from the Antarctic continental margin."
The sediment sample revealed higher concentrations of diatom shells during the mid-Holocene, roughly 5,500 to 7,000 years ago, which indicates that the waters surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula were more biologically productive then. According to Dunbar, higher productivity suggests that sea ice was less abundant during the mid-Holocene - a further indication that temperatures were higher.
"We think it was quite a bit warmer then," he observed, noting that geochemical analysis of the sediment also revealed higher levels of nitrogen during the mid-Holocene. "Warmer temperatures appear to have produced freshwater streams that fed nitrogen and other nutrients into coastal waters," he explained.
During this warm period, sea levels rose from approximately 10m below the present sea level to approximately 1.7m higher than present day levels.
Legends around the Caribbean tell of a heavy rain falling for many days and many were drowned. It was this deluge that separated their islands from the mainland.
Little by little subsequent tempests submerged the lands of the Bahamas, separating the people from one another by arms of the sea.
Future studies of archaeological remains on the Bahama Banks will most likely prove that this strategically placed large island at the end of the Northern Equatorial current and at the beginning of the Gulf Stream was not only the homeland of Many American tribes, but was also the homeland of many European tribes such as the Basques and Celts.