The Yellowstone National Park Caldera (super volcano) goes boom every 600,000 years or so…. and she’s a few thousand years over due… For your information, here is a link to the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory that has constant updates on activity in the area.
I’m not going to get technical – there is plenty of information available on the net – but I will try to give a simple blog entry on a very potent source for the end of life on Earth. The following is pretty accurate, although I haven’t re-read my old research, so I may have messed up a few parts, BUT the general gist of this blog entry is correct (I am open to corrections though).
Very basically: Yellowstone sits on a huge volcano (about 2o miles side to side). It wasn’t discovered for a while, simply because it was so big…. so much bigger than anything like it before.
So what is the big concern? Well, Archaeologists found thick layers of ash from thousands of years ago whilst on various dinosaur hunting digs around the world. The odd thing is, this layer was made up of the same ash, from the same place – and has been found in thick layers world wide.
It goes back about 600,000 years since the last explosion (and about 600,000 before that) – and it caused a volcanic winter. If I remember from my readings (books by proper scientists… not Wikipedia…), it is the possible cause of the lack of diversity in horses and humans. There are many types of birds, fish etc… but only one type of human, and very few horse variations. This is because the world wide darkening of the skies due to ash after the last eruption pretty much wiped out the species.
Is it any concern now though? Yes… more so in the last few days if you watch the news. The swarm earthquakes that surround the Yellowstone Caldera have picked up in intensity – a lot. Now this could just die down, or it could be the prologue to a bigger eruption. Maybe not a full blown eruption – maybe nothing – but also maybe the cease of existence as we know it – much as it was 60,000 years ago.
What would happen? Well, America would go pretty quickly, and then the volcanic ashen cloud would plunge the World into a volcanic winter – which is a bit colder than you’d want it to be… a deathly cold. The earth, in a worse case scenario, would not recover for many, many thousands of years. No life at all.
The knock on effects of a huge volcanic eruption could cause the already fractured island of La Palma (in the Canaries) to collapse into the sea. The scientists believe that this would cause a huge tidal wave unlike any we have seen before. Let’s face it, dropping an island into the sea is going to cause a bit of a splash – but the Islands are a bit special. When they fracture, the huge land mass will slide, rather than fall.
Imagine making a flat hand, then pushing it down and forward into a bath of water. The result is a push of water and huge displacement causing a wave. La Palma will cause a wave that would reach all the way over to, and wipe out the East coast of America (and a few hundred miles in shore).
Regardless of the Yellowstone Volcano, La Palma is a worry anyway and already being monitored. The fracture is being recorded all the time, but even as it grows bigger there will be no defence against a wave that will hit multiple continents and that would make the Phuket Tsunami seem like a light April shower.
Should we worry? “Is there much point in worrying?” is the real question. These events are out of our hands any way and there is nothing we can do to stop or defend against them.
Food for thought on top of this is another thing I read (A Bill Bryson book about a brief history of time for the layman)…. It talked about the possible causes for the end of the World – including the Yellowstone volcano, the La Palma tidal wave and finally, a meteorite strike….
Surely a meteor strike is the least of our worries with the volcanic winter and giant floods? Apparently not! Earth has been likened to a blind man crossing a hundred lane motorway at rush hour over and over again. Earth is the blind man, the motorway is the meteorite storms we are currently missing at the moment….
We really are lucky to have evolved this far!!! You’ve been surfing on this huge globe, through deadly space rocks, fractured ground masses, and an environment on the brink of killing us all….and you never knew it – AND you have survived it – so why worry now!?
Here’s to tomorrow and life on this time bomb.
This could very much be a reason to embrace stupidity though.
I’m a little concerned as to the future as I have read the facts on these things – and verified them against other sources. In this case my knowledge makes me worried – so maybe blissful ignorance would be a better option – and if that is the case, I recommend that you don’t read what I have just written!!!
If this did interest you, then I recommend you take a look around and do some reading yourself.