Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

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Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Mal5252 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:26 pm

Hi all,
I was watching 'The Known Universe' on the NatGeo channel and they were talking about active and dorment volcanoes on earth and our neighboring planets. A "super" volcano lays beneath Yellowstone National Park and scientists revealed that this volcano has erupted on a regular cycle of 600,000 years. However, the last eruption was 640,000 years ago so the next is far overdue. They said the next eruption could be 2,500 times greater than the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. It could almost instantly wipe out all life within a 2,000 km radius.

Mal
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:32 pm

I say party hearty now then. Smile

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Mal5252 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:38 pm

gillyflower wrote:I say party hearty now then. Smile

Hi gillyflower,

right on! Mal
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:43 pm

Yeah, well, I always wonder about those forecasts.

Last I heard, California was still there despite numerous predictions that The Big One is imminent.

I think they missed the deadline on imminent.

In any case, the Yellowstone volcano erupting or the New Madrid, MO earthquake redux (another one long overdue)--where I live, it's pretty much a tossup which is more likely to get me.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:15 pm

Well, at least if it happens, we won't have time to do anything about it.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:49 pm

True enuf, all.

That old saw about bending over and kissing your ass goodbye would definitely apply.

Personally, I think I'd take the earthquake over the volcano. I've seen a few too many photos of the castings made of people who died in Pompeii. Don't think that looked like an easy way to go.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Ebon on Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:33 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:Yeah, well, I always wonder about those forecasts.

Last I heard, California was still there despite numerous predictions that The Big One is imminent.

I think they missed the deadline on imminent.

In any case, the Yellowstone volcano erupting or the New Madrid, MO earthquake redux (another one long overdue)--where I live, it's pretty much a tossup which is more likely to get me.

This is a problem with probabilities. The chances of the Big One hitting California at some point are 100%, it absolutely will happen sometime. However, that's 100% over infinity years so the chances of it hitting in any particular year are pretty small. Media, on the other hand, sees the entirely accurate 100% prediction and assumes that means it's going to happen right now. There is a technical name for this botch of probabilities but I can't remember it off the top of my head.

Likewise, the super volcane will erupt at some point, that much is certain. But the chances of it erupting in any particular year are fairly small. Yes, we're about 40,000 years overdue but in geological terms, that's bugger all and we've been screwing around with the earth in a big way for the last few centuries.

What worries me rather more is a complete magnetic reversal (which we're also overdue for) and the disappearence of bees that will, if it continues, have a catastrophic effect on our food supply.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Sakhaiva on Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:20 am

You guys are making me nervous with all these talks of 'the big one.' The Northridge quake was big enough ride for me. Talk about a wake up call!

Earthquakes... volcanoes.... good reminders that we're dwelling on a living planet. At least the Calderas are constantly measured.

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/

What scares me more is the idea of the Long Valley Caldera blowing. http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo/
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:15 am

Sakhaiva wrote:At least the Calderas are constantly measured.

True, but that doesn't give us anywhere much safer to go when the Yellowstone one does blow. An eruption of its likely magnitude is going to render most of the western and central U.S. and a goodly portion of Canada uninhabitable for who knows how long.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:18 am

I've been anticipating the magnetic pole swap too.

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:48 am

If one thing doesn't get you, another will. (We're all going to die.) There is something in humans that likes to think about that as a group event though.

But really, isn't every day a gift? Just one more day you aren't done in by a magnetic pole swap, a supervolcano, an earthquake, world wide tsunami or aliens. My personal favorite is being hit by a huge meteorite.

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:09 pm

If scientists don't find out what's causing the disappearance of honey bees, we won't need to worry about all this other stuff, we'll be too busy fighting each other for what's left of the dwindling food supplies.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Ebon on Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:07 pm

gillyflower wrote: But really, isn't every day a gift?

No. Every day is another dead-end grind to occupy time in a world that's overheating, drowning and probably (BP spill) enviromentally fucked. Humans are, generally, petty, cruel, vindictive, vicious, not very intelligent, actively resentful of actual intelligence, greedy and hateful. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt and the stupid are winning.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:26 pm

I really don't look at every day as who is winning. I work with what I've got. I am very glad each day that I am alive.

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Ebon on Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:10 am

I don't. I spend each day trying to resist my suicidal urges and, when they get too much, hacking myself up with razor blades.

That said, I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder so I'm probably the wrong person to have this conversation with.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:05 am

Yes, you are probably right. I'm sorry that you have that disorder.

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:38 pm

I expect Ebon would empathize with the philosophy expressed in a play written for my college theatre group.

"Life's a shit sandwich, and every day's another bite, and it's hell if you don't like bread."

Funny how those immortal lines have stuck with me these 40-some years later. Wink
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:43 pm

Yes, we used to say the first part of that a lot when I was in college, only it was "Life is a shit sandwich and every day you take a bigger bite."

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Mal5252 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:51 pm

gillyflower wrote:If one thing doesn't get you, another will. (We're all going to die.) There is something in humans that likes to think about that as a group event though.

But really, isn't every day a gift? Just one more day you aren't done in by a magnetic pole swap, a supervolcano, an earthquake, world wide tsunami or aliens. My personal favorite is being hit by a huge meteorite.

Hi gillyflower ,
you make a good point there. While the scientific community and "experts" are arguing about whether mankind is going to be wiped out by a supervolcano, a world-wide earthquake, a gigantic tsunami, or all, it could all happen by a "huge meteorite". That'd show 'em!

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:59 pm

Cynic that I am, I think it's far more likely that we're going to trash the planet to the point that it can't sustain life any longer, not ours anyway.

I suspect that Al Gore thinks we've already done so and are merely living on borrowed time.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:13 pm

The plague killed 1/3 of Europeans (could be 1/4 to 1/2) so don't rule out a new virulent disease. I really think that it is more likely that a new disease will decimate the human population than anything else.

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Ebon on Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:56 pm

DotNotInOz wrote: I suspect that Al Gore thinks we've already done so and are merely living on borrowed time.

Post-BP Spill, I'm inclined to agree.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Ebon on Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:05 pm

gillyflower wrote:The plague killed 1/3 of Europeans (could be 1/4 to 1/2) so don't rule out a new virulent disease. I really think that it is more likely that a new disease will decimate the human population than anything else.

Want me to terrify you? May I present Ebola Zaire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola). Highly infectious, 90% fatality rate, no known treatment. The CIEBOV variant is 100% fatal but only to primates (so far). It mutates quickly (five known variants within the last thirty years) and it's wiped out 88% of observed chimpanzee populations in the last seven years alone.
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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:24 pm

There you go, another thing to add to the list. I haven't heard anything about Ebola for awhile now. It is too bad about the chimpanzees.

I'm kind of hard to terrify. I'm not afraid to die and I've heard all the scary things that could happen for so many years that they have pretty much lost their power over me. All those things could happen, plus a whole lot more. I'm so glad that they haven't yet. YMMV

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Re: Super Volcano (Re:2012?)

Post by Ebon on Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:45 am

Here's another one: Toutatis 4179. It's an asteroid that orbits earth roughly every four years. Because it sort-of tumbles through space and crosses the orbits of Apollo, Alinda (both large stable asteroids), Mars and us, it's orbit is erratic and hard to predict. In 2004, it came within 4 lunar distances (1,537,612 km. For comparison, Mars is roughly 78 million km away). Astronomically, the thing is parting our hair.

It gets worse: Toutatis is a planet-killer. It's big enough that if it ever hit us, or passed sufficiently close, it would wipe out all higher life forms on earth. A few bacteria and maybe very simple life like algae might survive but that would be game over for everything more complex. It's chances of collision are considered slim but, because of it's unique and unpredictable trajectory, it can't be ruled out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4179_Toutatis
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