Monday, February 10, 2014

Prehistoric Megastorms ~ Volcanic Winter

Volcanic Winter following the eruption of Toba

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series Prehistoric Megastorms.

This installment of Prehistoric Megastorms explores the question of whether or not the human species nearly became extinct some 75,000 due to the eruption of a supervolcano at the site of present day Lake Toba  on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Map Showing location of Lake Toba

The Toba Eruption is recognized as one of our planet’s largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000 year-long cooling episode.

Comparison of some major Volcanic Eruptions in recorded history with Toba’s Super Eruption. The number at the top of the diagram indicate the volume of material ejected into the atmosphere in cubic kilometres (km3)

The Toba event is the most closely studied super-eruption. In 1993, science journalist Ann Gibbons suggested a link between the eruption and a bottleneck in human evolution, and Michael R. Rampino of New York University and Stephen Self of the University of Hawaii at Manoa gave support to the idea. In 1998, the bottleneck theory was further developed by Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This and other episodes of the History Channel’s acclaimed documentary series, Prehistoric Megastorms can be purchased from and the History Channel’s online store.

Prehistoric Megastorms ~ Volcanic Winter
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