Friday, June 15, 2012

Worst Decade Prediction 3 - the Dark Decade

The previous two predictions will likely happen within 80 years or so - the Great Depression was 80 years ago so there is a certain symmetry. The Dark Decade may begin tomorrow or not happen for another 200,000 years.

Dark Decade - Super Volcano Eruption
Lake Toba
A lot has been written about possible asteroid impact but they only happen every twenty or thirty million years. Supervolcano eruptions are ten times more frequent. The last super massive volcanic eruption was only 26,000 years ago in New Zealand, the Oruanui eruption at Lake Taupo.

Some 70,000 years ago Lake Toba erupted with such force it nearly wiped out the human race. Ejecting 2,800 cubic kilometers of matter into the atmosphere, the volcano plunged the world into a six to ten year volcanic winter.
Vallex Caldera, New Mexico

Advocated of American Exceptionalism will be proud to know that half of the identified supervolcanos on earth are located in the United States. The baby of the three, the Valles Caldera, is just twelve miles in diameter. California's Long Valley Caldera is a much more impressive. It was 760,000 years ago that an eruption sent 600 square kilometers of ash into the air.
Yellowstone Valley

But the granddaddy of American supervolcanos is Yellowstone. The whole of Yellowstone Valley is one giant volcanic crater. When it last exploded, 640,000 years ago, it made the Long Valley eruption look like a squirt and that was a mild eruption by Yellowstone standards. Twice it has blasted forth with a force to rival the Toba eruption mentioned earlier.
If Yellowstone erupts it will not be an extinction level event but it will be a civilization ending event. The bulk of the United States will be smothered in ash. Those not killed in the initial blast, everyone within 100 miles of the epicenter, or choked to death by the ash cloud, will be thrown back into the stone age. The rest of the world will fair little better. The sun will be blanketed for years. Crops will die. People will be frozen to death by summer snowstorms on the equator.

On the bright side, a Yellowstone eruption will cure global warming in an instant.

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