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Secrets of the Dead Catastrophe, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 366

Essay

The video, “Secrets of the Dead: Catastrophe”, researchers have been analyzing theories of a possible global climatic catastrophic event that took place around 535 A.D.  Researchers indicate that the catastrophic event which possibly occurred during this time may have changed the course of history.  The current paper discusses the event in the video, the relationship to climate change, the cause, and the current hypotheses.

Researchers began studying annual tree ring growth in order to illustrate the environmental conditions over time. During this study, it was found that tree rings from around the world during 535 A.D. exhibited conditions that were not favorable for tree growth.  In addition, after analyzing several accounts through writings from several civilizations across the world also indicated that time period as harsh times. These accounts were described as the sun darkening and very cold conditions.  Other accounts indicate or reference dimming of the sun.  From these historical accounts, researchers theorized that there was some atmospheric event that took place.  Three hypotheses were developed linking a comet, asteroid, or volcano as the cause of the climatic event that ran a decade.

After analyzing data over the global, a comet and asteroid were ruled out, as there were no craters large enough on the earth for such an event to have taken place.  The researchers then began to focus on a possible major volcanic eruption.  Gathering ice cores from the Antarctic exhibited large amounts of sulfur captured in the ice from that time period, suggesting a volcano.  In order for the effects to occur globally, such as volcanic ash covering the atmosphere and causing climatic changes, the volcanic eruption would have had to occur near the equator.  Further research has supported this theory in Sumatra, Indonesia.  Charcoal samples from strata formed from volcanic eruptions over time have resulted in a correlation with a major eruption occurring from the Volcano Krakatau in Sumatra.  This theory is very possible; a major volcanic eruption in that part of the equatorial zone could have caused major climatic global changes, interfering with normal sun, wind, and rain patterns.  Further research, identifying charcoal from that time period could further support this theory.

Works Referenced

Keys, D Secrets of the Dead: Catastrophe.  2000  PBS Video.

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