A controversial new theory has been proposed to explain the disappearance of the Neanderthals—current thinking is that they were replaced and crowded out by modern humans. And [ (2) below] a study on increased crustal tensions being used to predict likelihood of volcanic eruptions within a region.

An untimely overlap of several future natural events (including Mr. Watson's sunspot activity) might produce significant climate effects.

The Neanderthals were a hardy species that lived through multiple ice ages and would have been familiar with volcanoes and other natural calamities. But the eruptions 40,000 years ago were unlike anything Neanderthals had faced before, Cleghorn and company say.

For one thing, all the volcanoes apparently erupted around the same time. And one of those blasts, the Campanian Ignimbrite, is thought to have been the most powerful eruption in Europe in the last 200,000 years.

"It's much easier to adapt to something that's happening over a couple of generations," Cleghorn said. "You can move around, you can find other places to live, and your population can rebound.

"This is not that kind of event," she said. "This is unique."

and from the UK Daily Mail :

"The study's authors write: 'Volcanic eruptions had an unusually sudden and devastating effect on the ecology and forced the fast and extreme climate deterioration ('volcanic winter') of the Northern Hemisphere.'

The team analysed the soil layers in Russia's Mezmaiskaya Cave and identified two types of volcanic ash corresponding to two separate volcanic eruptions in western Asia between 45,000 and 40,000 years ago. "


Dr Hamling said: "If you look at this year's eruptions at Ejafjallajokull in Iceland, by estimating the tension in the crust at other volcanoes nearby, you could estimate whether the likelihood of them eruption has increased or decreased. Knowing the state of stress in this way won't tell you when an eruption will happen, but it will give a better idea of where it is most likely to occur."

Here is a useful blog that stays on top of potential volcanic activity.


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