Sunday, August 12, 2007

Climate History

This is interesting bit of news. A village submerged in the English Channel for the past 8,000 years off the Isle of Wright has been discovered. And just in time it seems, some bits are dangling over a cliff. It seems back then there was a land bridge linking England and France, alas the rising sea levels at the end of an ice age submerged this land bridge and thus this village.

Which reminded me of Dr. Ballard's expedition in the Black Sea back in 1999 and 2000. From about 12,000 years to about 7,000 years ago, there was a dam keeping the Black Sea a fresh water lake. That natural dam broke, flooding the Black Sea with saltwater from the expanding Mediterranean. The water had to go somewhere with an Ice Age melting down after all. It is from this flooding of the Black Sea that some theorize the Great Deluge stories of Gilgamesh and of Noah came from.

Of course from reading Dr. Hoffman's book, we also see cycles of desert and rain in Africa. One such cycle happened at the time the last massive ice age was ending. And then there were the land bridges linking Asia to North America that brought migrating bands of human beings.

With all this past evidence of Earth going through extreme climatic cycles, one wonders how the heck it is the fault of humans for this much disputed rise in temperature that has so many in a dreadful fret? I am now reminded of the Permian Extinction where 95% of all living things went extinct. First over tens of thousands of years land species went extinct. Then there was a quick die off of marine species. And finally a further land species extinction. In the middle of the marine die off there was an extremely rapid rise in C-12 which stumped scientists until they realized the Siberian magma flows managed to raise the atmospheric temperature by over four degrees Celsius which meant the frozen methane trapped in the seabed could be released quickly and thereby leaving the C-12 evidence and raising the Earth's atmospheric temperature a further four or five degrees Celsius. Twas a miracle any life survived that, but a cow-sized creature did and from that animal all species that came later can trace their lineage.

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