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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Toba Super Volcano Threatened Humanity?

Yellowstone Geyser ~ NPS
An Oxford led investigation dismissed a theory that the eruption of the African super volcano Toba nearly wiped out humanity more than 75,000 years ago.  Researchers were unable to find evidence that the volcanic eruption significantly altered the global climate, therefore it likely had little lasting impact upon humanity's survival.  Impacts in the vicinity of the volcano, the researchers found would have been severe.  In some cases eruption buried the surrounding area in hundreds of yards of ash.  But lasting impacts were minimal. 

In my new thriller Unleashing Colter's Hell, I speculate on what might happen to the United States if the Yellowstone super volcano were to erupt.  The story also explores who might benefit from this eruption and how they might make it happen. 

While the Toba eruption appears to have had little impact upon humanity's survival, a Yellowstone eruption could be a greater threat to our future.  Our civilization is far more advanced than our prehistoric ancestors and vulnerable to damage from an eruption.  A Yellowstone eruption would threaten food production and distribution.  Access to other necessities such as drinkable water, medical care, and shelter could be stretched to a breaking point. 

Recent seismic activity at Yellowstone is pretty typical.  However, since modern humans have never witnessed a Yellowstone eruption, we don't truly know what might indicate pending danger. Stay tuned!

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