Saturday 1 August 2009

Blowing In The Wind

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the dark……….. For those of us who enjoy a good Apocalypse and as it is the beginning of August, it is time to reflect on the more permanent features of our planet rather than our obsessions with money and the mess we make of using it.

Many of the documentaries and feature on volcanic eruptions on TV and in information sources relate to those in the America’s. This arises from the amount of research and financial support done in the USA. This is understandable, given the number of active volcanoes they have, the existence of the Yellowstone Megachamber of lava, and the risks that are ever present. Because while everyone knows that they erupt, nobody can predict the timing or the incidence.

That so little information or comment is in the history books about the effects on human history and populations about geophysical and climatic events is again understandable. Firstly, so much has only been established in very recent decades as new scientific methods and techniques have become available. Secondly, because the complications of geophysical information are difficult to align with theories of politics, religion, or history. Thirdly, few historians know much, if anything, about the scientific side, or have any concept of theories of catastrophe, or collapse dynamics.

So to cheer you all up this weekend, I am going to suggest that the time is nigh for a big volcanic eruption in the near future. Just as the Chinese had a major earthquake in time for their 2008 Olympics, we ought to have something else for ours by 2012.

Where will it be? Krakatoa is getting lively, but is claimed to be too small at the moment. That is on top, nobody knows how much is underneath. This is attractive, in that this is one volcano that many know about. The 1883 one did affect world weather patterns, so there is plenty of material about. Others with known major effects are Tambora in 1815, following another in the America’s in 1812, Laki of Iceland, an island on top of a large volcanic plug, in 1783 that did serious damage in the Northern Hemisphere, and Vesuvius in 1944, never mind the one of 79 AD. In the summer of 1939 part of the Royal Navy were detached to deal with Kick ‘Em Jenny off Grenada, an undersea one.

It is said that the Little Ice Age from the 14th Century onward, may have been the consequence of a series of Latin American eruptions in earlier decades. The jury was still out as to what happened in the 6th Century, although it is now agreed that the Santorini catastrophe in the Mediterranean around 1500 BC ended a number of early civilisations. The real big one was around 75,000 years ago when Mount Toba in Sumatra went up, and did for a lot of species, and nearly the human race reducing us to a small number, suggested to be all in Africa. The unlucky feature of that one was that the surviving hominids were largely a greedy, aggressive, predatory lot, who bred rapidly and have since devastated the planet.

Personally, I have a small wager on Vanuatu, very much an outsider. True Apocalypse types tend to prefer something around Alaska, because it might take out lumps of the USA, Russia, Japan and China at the same time. But you never know, as with the Credit Crunch, Iceland may surprise us all in the spring of 2012.

Have a good weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I very much believe climactic changes are mainly from natural sources. When human interference causes any change,I suspect it is in it's own unsustainable growth and mis-use of nuclear weapons testing. Volcano,earthquake, nuclear explosions?