The Toba supereruption was a supervolcanic eruption that occurred some time between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia). It is one of the Earth's largest known eruptions. The Toba catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode. The Toba event is the most closely studied super-eruption. In 1993, science journalist Ann Gibbons suggested a link between the eruption and a bottleneck in human evolution, and Michael R. Supereruption The Toba eruption took place in Indonesia and deposited an ash layer approximately 15 centimetres thick over the whole of South Asia. Volcanic winter and cooling The Toba eruption apparently coincided with the onset of the last glacial period. According to Alan Robock, who has also published nuclear winter papers, the Toba eruption did not precipitate the last glacial period. Migration after Toba
Related: Výbuch supervulkánu
Year Without a SummerThe year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also known as the Poverty Year, The Summer that Never Was, Year There Was No Summer, and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death), because of severe summer climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F),. This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere. Evidence suggests that the anomaly was caused by a combination of a historic low in solar activity with a volcanic winter event, the latter caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions capped by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), the largest known eruption in over 1,300 years. The Little Ice Age, then in its concluding decades, may also have been a factor.[attribution needed] Description The Year Without a Summer was an agricultural disaster. North America Many commented on the phenomenon. Europe Asia Causes Effects
Neanderthals, Humans Interbred, DNA Proves- A newly mapped Neanderthal genome provides strong evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred. - Between 1-4 percent of the DNA of many humans living today likely came from Neanderthals. - People of European and Asian heritage are most likely to carry the Neanderthal genes. It's official: Most of us are part Neanderthal. Although the Neanderthal contribution to the DNA of these individuals is estimated at being just one to four percent of the total, the finding, published in the latest issue of the journal Science, helps to resolve the long-standing controversy over whether or not humans mated with Neanderthals when the two groups encountered each other outside of Africa. It also gives new life to Neanderthals that, as a species, went extinct 30,000 years ago. "Neanderthals live on in non-Africans," co-author David Reich told Discovery News. Photos: Humans Vs.
Fearmongering Gets Started in 2012: Laacher See is Not "Ready to Blow"A quick post today about a tremendously terrible “article” in the Daily Mail this morning. The headline reads “Is a super-volcano just 390 miles from London ready to blow?” It is, of course, referring to the Laacher See in western Germany – a caldera volcano that had a large eruption 12,900 years ago that covered a significant area of Europe with ash and tephra. Surely impressive considering how few people know about the caldera volcanism in central Europe. Pumice and ash deposits from the ~12,900 year ago eruption of Laacher See caldera in Germany, seen very close to the main caldera vents. Image by Erik Klemetti, taken in 2007. The article in the Daily Mail is about as substance free as you can produce – it starts off with the usual doom claptrap: “a sleeping super-volcano in Germany is showing worrying signs of waking up.” ” This monster erupts every 10 to 12,000 years and last went off 12,900 years ago, so it could blow at any time.”
100 Websites You Should Know and Use (updated!)Entertainment Meet David Peterson, who developed Dothraki for Game of Thrones There are seven different words in Dothraki for striking another person with a sword. Among them: “hliziﬁkh,” a wild but powerful strike; “hrakkarikh,”a quick and accurate strike; and “gezrikh,” a fake-out or decoy strike. But you won’t find these words in George R. R. Culture My Year of TED: How 54 talks changed a life By Kylie Dunn What do you get when you cross a 39-year-old perfectionist with 54 TED Talks and far more honesty than any person probably needs to experience?
Homo floresiensisDoubts that the remains constitute a new species were soon voiced by the Indonesian anthropologist Teuku Jacob, who suggested that the skull of LB1 was a microcephalic modern human. Two studies by paleoneurologist Dean Falk and her colleagues (2005, 2007) rejected this possibility. Falk et al. (2005) has been rejected by Martin et al. (2006) and Jacob et al. (2006), but defended by Morwood (2005) and Argue, Donlon et al. (2006). Two orthopedic researches published in 2007 reported evidence to support species status for H. floresiensis. Critics of the claim for species status continue to believe that these individuals are Homo sapiens possessing pathologies of anatomy and physiology. A second hypothesis in this category is that the individuals were born without a functioning thyroid, resulting in a type of endemic cretinism (myxoedematous, ME). Discovery Anatomy Small bodies LB1's height has been estimated at about 1.06 m (3 ft 6 in). Small brains
Raining animalsRain of fish in Singapore, as described by local inhabitants Raining snakes, 1680. Raining animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which flightless animals "rain" from the sky. Such occurrences have been reported in many countries throughout history. The English language idiom, "It is raining cats and dogs" (referring to a heavy downpour), is of uncertain etymology, and there is no evidence that it has any connection to the "raining animals" phenomenon. History Rain of flightless animals and objects has been reported throughout history. Explanations Tornadoes may lift up animals into the air and deposit them miles away. French physicist André-Marie Ampère was among the first scientists to take seriously accounts of raining animals. Sometimes the animals survive the fall, suggesting the animals are dropped shortly after extraction. Doppler Image from Texas showing the collision of a thunderstorm with a group of bats in flight. Occurrences Fish Others
Asian Neanderthals, Humans Mated- The oldest modern human remains from East Asia have been found and date to at least 100,000 years ago. - The structure of the fossils and age all suggest that modern humans interbred with Neanderthals. - The findings also reveal that modern humans were established in East Asia much earlier than in Europe. Early modern humans mated with Neanderthals and possibly other archaic hominid species from Asia at least 100,000 years ago, according to a new study that describes human remains from that period in South China. The remains are the oldest modern human fossils in East Asia and predate, by over 60,000 years, the oldest previously known modern human remains in the region. SEE ALSO: Prehistoric Jewelry Reveals Neanderthal Fashion Sense The fossils -- a chin and related teeth -- belonged to a modern human that also featured more robust Neanderthal-type characteristics, indicates the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Laacher See: The caldera in the middle of EuropeWe’ve been discussing calderas recently on Eruptions (I wonder why) and the Laacher See in Germany came up. I’ve actually been to the Laacher See on a field trip lead by one of the world’s experts on the caldera, Dr. Gerhard Worner. So, I thought I’d post some pictures and talk a little about this feature that up until maybe 5 years ago, I didn’t even know existed. Laacher See, Germany The Laacher See is a caldera in the Rhine Valley of Germany (see below). The ash from the eruption can be found in the North Sea and throughout central Europe. Here are a few pictures from my trip to the Laacher See (as a part of the 2007 Goldschmidt Meeting in Cologne). Pumice from the 12.9 ka Laacher See eruption at the Standort Wingertsbergwand, a quarry near the caldera. This is the plucky mascot that guided us to the deposit. A close up of the tephra deposits showing the beautiful layers of ash, pumice and lithics. Another view of the stunning tephra deposits. Dr. Dr. A view across the caldera lake.