Stephen Hawking: Earth will become inferno by 2600 and humanity will become extinct

alexonedeath

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Thanks for offering that optimistic assessment, demon007! I'm glad to hear that the most dangerous hot-spots are on the opposite side of the planet from me. Your mention of Neanderthals reminds me that I just recently came across a report stating that there was a great deal of interbreeding between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. If I understood correctly, every one of us today has detectable Neanderthal genetic material in us.
 

deaddirty

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Yes there was some interbreeding between Neanderthal and Sapiens - those of us of European descent normally have about 4% Neanderthal DNA, whereas SE Asians have some Denisovan DNA. And a 50/50 Neanderthal/Denisovan skeleton has recently been discovered.
And it has recently been suggested that the extinction of Neanderthals was due to a major eruption of the Campo Flegria supervolcano, which blanketed much of their range in ash. But there doesn't seem to be much positive evidence so far, so I'd put my money against it being the main cause though it could have contributed.
Toba probably isn't extinct - volcanoes that have massive caldera collapses normally start erupting again from within the caldera and may have another massive caldera eruption sooner or later - that applies to both Krakatoa and Santorini for instance. But the 2001 earthquake was on the plate boundary maybe 200 miles from Toba so won't be connected to Toba except in the general sense that it's the subduction of the plate and the melting of the sediment carried down with it that provides the magma feed for Toba and all the other Indonesian volcanoes. It's when you get a swarm of small (normally) earthquakes under and around a dormant volcano that you need to worry, because that's normally caused by magma moving up underneath and often is the warning of an eruption within the next few months or years.
Thinking of which - the biggest eruption in the last 2,000 years wasn't actually Krakatoa or Tambura, it was Samalas on Lombok in 1257, which had enough global cooling effect to cause famine deaths in London in 1258. Also known as Rinjani, because Samalas blew itself out of existence whereas Rinjani (which was the smaller volcano next door) half-collapsed into the caldera but the other half survives as a major mountain on the caldera rim. So the caldera and the new volcano that has formed within it since 1257 are often all called Rinjani. And there has just been a swarm of earthquakes on Lombok …
Actually I don't think there's much to worry about on that score - the earthquakes were far too big for the normal 'warning swarm' and seem to have been on a series of geological faults in the general area rather than specifically beneath the volcano.
 

alexonedeath

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Deaddirty, you are CDG's resident expert on...ALMOST EVERYTHING! :D I will continue to attend your scientific lectures as long as you don't start talking about earthquakes and volcanoes in the Mid-Atlantic states of the U.S. If I hear any of that, I will be switching my season ticket to the pornographic lecture series.
 

deaddirty

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Sounds like a deal, since so far as I know there aren't any.
 
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