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Solar System and Earth
 

The first Stone of the Sun Bear Medicine Wheel is in honor of Creator, represents Creator, is Creator in the Wheel. In the Wheel building cermony this Stone is placed first, with prayer and song, and in the very center of the space you have marked out for the Wheel.
… "The Creator is the beginning of life and its ending, the Great Mystery within all things and around all things, the Universal Energy"............"In many Native languages the word for Creator......... "was a verb, indicating the movement, the activity, the motion, the pulsation of this sacred, never-ending force."
- In The Beginning, the Sun Bear medicine Wheel
http://www.ewebtribe.com/StarSpiderDancing/begin/

“And God [Elohim] said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
- Genesis, King James Version of the Bible, http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=Genesis&KJV_version=yes&language=english
 


    As one should expect from my theory, there is ample evidence of the astrophysical event found in Earth’s geologic and fossil record. To obtain the evidence, radiometric dating of rocks has been performed by comparing the radioactive decay rate of various isotopes.

“The longer the half-life, the longer the span of measurable time, but the less accurate the calculation.”
“The geological time scale is an internationally used reference point.”
- Stephen Jay Gould and Contributing Scientists and Illustrators Copyright 2001, Pp. 24-25, The Book of LifeAn Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth.


    The geological time scale is presented in a linear format. However, our solar system, including Earth, does not travel through the Galaxy in a straight line. I believe it to be elliptical and I don’t believe our velocity is constant. This is analogous to Earth’s orbit of the Sun and the findings of the examination of stars in the galaxy Andromeda. I contend our solar systems orbital velocity of 250 km/sec is at best, an ‘average’ velocity.

“Our Sun, with its family of planets, is racing around the center of our Galaxy at about 250 km/sec (563,000 miles per hour). Even at that incredible speed, our solar system requires about 220 million years to complete just one revolution.”
- Dinah L. Moche, Copyright 2000, p. 140, Astronomy A Self-Teaching Guide by, Fifth Edition


    While I’ve seen 30,000 light years stated in multiple places in the past (e.g. Astronomy by Moche and the Cosmos series by Sagan), and 24,000 cited in the Sept. 5, 2001 Chandra X-Ray observatory findings previously mentioned, our solar systems distance from the galactic center remains a matter for significant debate. All of the estimates I’ve cited vary by 20%. I contend that this dispute over technique is concealing the fact that the distance has in total, decreased dramatically over the past 10 years.    The image below is from the PBS NOVA program, “Runaway Universe”. The caption reads, “The solar system is situated about halfway between the Milky Way's center and its outer edge.”

“The distance of 28,000 light years has recently (1997) been confirmed by the data of ESA's astrometric satellite Hipparcos. Other investigations published consequently have disputed this investigation (McNamara et al 2000, based on RR Lyrae variables) yields roughly 26,000 light years. These data, if of significance, wouldn't immediately effect values for distances of particular objects in the Milky Way or beyond.”
- Hartmut Frommert and Christine Kronberg, 13 Apr 1999, 12:10 MET, The Milky Way Galaxy, http://www.seds.org/messier/more/mw.html 
- Image is from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/universe/tour_map03.html

 


    From my own research I’ve discovered that if you divide the geological time scale by our orbit of the Galaxy and accept ‘increasing’ inaccuracy for older dates, you will find major events occur at the beginning/end of galactic ‘years’. For example in millions of years, (* dates taken from “The Book of Life– An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth”)

bullet~4,800 / 220 = 21.8 (Origin of the Sun) *
bullet~4,600 / 220 = 20.9 (Origin of Earth and Moon) *
bullet~4,000 / 220 = 18.1 (Origin of Life) *
bullet~3,800 / 220 = 17.2 (Oldest known rocks) *
bullet~439 / 220 = 1.99 (Begin Silurian (First land plants) also marks the Ordovician-Silurian mass extinction) *
bullet~220.7 / 220 = 1.00 (Permian-Triassic boundary. Very rapid mass extinction which marked the rise of dinosaurs) – 220.7 date from Christopher Behrens on Yahoo! News BBS, August 13, 2001, Misleading story , republished at, http://www.timeenoughforlove.org/saved/MisleadingStory.htm

    According to “The Book of Life” and other resources, the continents of North and South America, Antarctica, Eurasia and Africa were combined into a super continent (often referred to as Pangaea) as recently as 225 million years ago (I believe it to be 220 mya / 1 galactic year). There appears to be considerable disagreement of the date of the Permian-Triassic boundary. I have found a variety of sources that give 250, 248, 245, 225 and 220 million years ago. While the traditional consensus appears to be 250 I believe there is a trend moving toward 220 as more evidence is collected.

    Before reviewing this material I was under the impression that the continents had ‘drifted’ apart several billions of years ago. This evidence indicates that the Earth has been ‘much’ more seismically active over its history then I think most people realize. While I agree that occasional dramatic tectonic shifts occur throughout Earth’s orbit of the Galaxy, I assert that the most widespread and dramatic upheavals occur, with regularity, in a very short period of time at the end of a galactic year.

“Where two plates collide, and drive one continent against another, the land is forced upward, caught between colossal bulldozers. This happened when the Indian subcontinent plate left its original moorings next to Africa, Australia, And Antarctica, and slid northward over the asthenosphere to collide with the main Asian plate. The Himalayas are young mountains, and still growing.”
- Stephen Jay Gould and Contributing Scientists and Illustrators Copyright 2001, P.27, The Book of LifeAn Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth.

    Some significant evidence that these upheavals result in large scale mass extinctions was announced very recently. The research confirms that in Earth’s history there have been lava flows that have covered areas as large as entire continents. Again I contend that the date of 250 mya should instead be 220 mya and most of the confusion can probably be attributed to the enormity of event and the upwelling of older material over younger.

“We knew it was big - but not this big. Geologists now suspect the massive eruption of lava in Siberia 250 million years ago was at least twice as large as they'd thought. This makes it even more likely to have caused the biggest extinction the world has ever seen.”

“The Permian period ended with the extinction of 85% of all ocean creatures and 70% of land ones - a toll three times greater than the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago.”

“At the same time Siberia was flooded with at least a million cubic kilometres of lava. Scientists have wondered for years whether the two were related.”

“Very probably, say Andrew Saunders of the University of Leicester in the UK and co-workers. They have found that the Siberian flood basalt province extends much farther west than previously analyses suggested.”
- PHILIP BALL, 7 June 2002, More evidence for mass extinction - Lava flow twice the size of Europe covered Siberia 250 million years ago., http://www.nature.com/nsu/020603/020603-6.html

    The following article identifies what I believe to be the most likely source of the enormous quantities of molten material that could cover an entire continent, allow whole continents to move apart or collide and is likely the source of the continents themselves as well as the oldest known rocks at 17 galactic years.

“Scientists have documented two of what they call superplumes of molten rock pushing through the boundary between the Earth's upper and lower mantle, and they may be the source for volcanoes and could be affecting movement of the planet's crust.”

“Smaller regions of magma rising to the Earth's crust provide the force under volcanoes and other hot spots. But the superplumes come from far deeper, crossing the boundary between the upper and lower mantle about 400 miles deep, an area that had been thought by some scientists to impede the flow of material.”

"Generally, it is assumed that only about 10 percent of the heat that comes out at the surface of the Earth comes from the earth's core. This number may thus be underestimated, perhaps as much as by a factor of two," she [Barbara Romanowicz] wrote.

Regions above the superplumes tend to bulge upward. The plateaus of southern and eastern Africa are about 1,600 feet higher than most old continental areas in the world, she pointed out. This is referred to as the "African superswell."

Also, she wrote, heat flow from the Earth's interior measured in a wide area of southern Africa is higher than expected, indicating that an unusually large supply of heat must be coming from underneath.

Volcanoes in Africa and in the southern Atlantic Ocean could be related to the superplume in the same way as Hawaii and other hotspot volcanoes in the southern Pacific may be related to the Pacific superswell, she said.
- Cosmiverse Staff Writer, April 19, 2002, Source: University of California, Berkeley; AP, Inner Earth Spews Superplumes, http://www.cosmiverse.com/news/space/space04190202.html
 

    From the Superplume research, note the revised estimate for the core’s contribution to surface temperatures. Because this evidence is new I don’t believe most theories of global warming include its contribution. This contribution in addition to my contention that core temperatures are increasing I believe helps explain the current accelerated melting of Earth’s icecaps and glaciers.

“Vast sheets of ice on the warming fringes of Antarctica may be on the verge of collapse and could eventually release rivers of ice that would cause sea levels worldwide to rise more rapidly than expected, according to new study of satellite images released Tuesday.”

“Ice experts say the greatest immediate danger doesn't even come from polar ice. Glaciers around the world are melting at ever-faster rates.”
- Robert Roy Britt, 17 January 2001, Meltdown: Satellites Show Accelerated Polar Ice Threat,
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/ice_melt_010117.html

“Satellite imagery being presented today shows that the great majority of the world's glaciers are melting at rates equal to or greater than long-established trends, including some that are receding at alarming and accelerating paces.”

"Glaciers in most areas of the world are known to be receding," said Kargel, who heads up the project. "But glaciers in the Himalaya are wasting at alarming and accelerating rates, as indicated by comparisons of satellite and historic data, and as shown by the widespread, rapid growth of lakes on the glacier surfaces."
- SPACE.com Staff, 29 May 2002, Satellites Show Alarming Retreat of Glaciers, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/glacier_retreat_020529.html
 

    I think it is worth considering how an inland sea might develop as a consequence of seismic activity. Here is an article reporting on a study released in August 2001 calmly titled, “Mega-Tsunami Threatens To Devastate U.S. Coastline”.

“A tsunami wave higher than any in recorded history threatens to ravage the US coastline in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands, UK and US scientists will report today. Locations on both African and European Atlantic coastlines - including Britain - are also thought to be at risk.”

“The new research, a collaboration between Dr. Simon Day of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at UCL and Dr. Steven Ward of the University of California, reveals the extent and size of the mega-tsunami, the consequence of a giant landslide that may be triggered by a future eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.”

“The greatest effects are predicted to occur north, west and south of the Canaries. On the West Saharan shore waves are expected to reach heights of 100 metres from crest to trough and on the north coast of Brazil waves over 40 metres high are anticipated. Florida and the Caribbean, the final destinations in the North Atlantic to be affected by the tsunami, will have to brace themselves for receiving 50-metre high waves - higher than Nelson's column in London, some 8 to 9 hours after the landslide. Towards Europe waves heights will be smaller, but substantial tsunami waves will hit the Atlantic coasts of Britain, Spain Portugal and France.”
- College London, August 31, 2001 , Mega-Tsunami Threatens To Devastate U.S. Coastline, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010903091755.htm


    One could argue that such dramatic seismic and tectonic activity on Earth could be explained by the radioactive forces in the Earth’s core alone and does not need an external catalyst. For evidence of the kind of explosive outward thrust I am attempting to describe I direct your attention far from Earth and the Sun to Uranus’ moon Miranda. It is a very cold moon and has no radioactive core and yet there are dramatic and unexplained geologic formations on it surface thought to have formed as recently as “half a billion years ago”. That time frame would encompass the last two galactic orbits.

“For one thing, when Pappalardo studied the racetracks of concentric ridges and grooves, they didn't look like features formed by compression. Instead, it looked as if the moon's crust had been ripped apart.”

“The sawtooth patterns of ridges, so striking in Voyager's first closeups, were likely created when blocks of icy crust fractured and tipped, like books falling over on a bookshelf. And a close look at the ridges by Pappalardo and others indicated that some are actually icy volcanoes.”

“Suddenly the whole picture changed. Instead of dense blocks sinking into the crust, Miranda's features seemed to be formed by something rising up from below.”

“For that reason, McKinnon and others doubt that Miranda's geologic activity could have been powered by the decay of radioactive elements, the heat source that has helped fuel the Earth's geologic ‘engine’.”
- Andrew Chaikin, 16 October 2001, Bizarre geologic formations on Uranus' moon Miranda, (images of Miranda including the one shown here are found on the first page), http://ww.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/miranda_creation_011016-1.html  &
http://ww.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/miranda_creation_011016-2.html


    While I had hypothesized that the rings around gas giants such as Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus were formed as a result of the same outward explosive thrust, I now have some research to cite to support the idea. Keep in mind that gas giants are most likely not entirely made of gas. While we have been unable to examine their cores because of the surrounding gas it’s commonly believed that Saturn has a rocky core much like Earth. I propose that an explosive outward ejection of rock and dust from its core is what primarily constitutes the rings around Saturn. Additionally, the earliest dinosaurs roamed the Earth 220 million years ago as noted in a citation further on.  Also note that Jeff Cuzzi places the origin of the rings at around 200 million ago which coincides with the other evidence I present.

"After all this time we're still not sure about the origin of Saturn's rings," says Jeff Cuzzi, a planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center.

Astronomers once thought that Saturn's rings formed when Saturn did: 4.8 billion years ago as the Sun and planets coalesced from a swirling cloud of interstellar gas. "But lately," Cuzzi says, "there's a growing awareness that Saturn's rings can't be so old."

Cuzzi speculates that some hundreds of millions of years ago -- a time when the earliest dinosaurs roamed our planet -- Saturn had no bright rings. Then, he says, something unlikely happened: "A moon-sized object from the outer solar system might have flown nearby Saturn where tidal forces ripped it apart. Or maybe an asteroid smashed one of Saturn's existing moons."

“Cuzzi says there are two reasons to believe the rings are young:”

“First, they are bright and shiny like something new. It's no joke, he assures. The wide-spanning rings sweep up space dust (bits of debris from comets and asteroids) as Saturn orbits the Sun. Rings much older than a few hundred million years would be darkened by accumulated dust.”

"The fact that they're bright suggests they're young," he says.

“Second, small moons that orbit through the outermost regions of the ring system are gaining angular momentum at the expense of the rings.”

"During the next few hundred million years," explains Cuzzi, "the outer half of the rings will fall toward the planet, and the little moons -- called shepherd satellites -- will be flung away. This is a young dynamical system."

“The first argument (shiny rings) is less certain than the second (angular momentum), he cautions, "because we're not sure there's enough dust at the orbit of Saturn to pollute and blacken the rings."
- Tony Philips, 20 February 2002, Space.com, The Real Lord of the Rings, Saturn Still Mystifies, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/lord_rings_020220-1.html & http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/lord_rings_020220-2.html



    This might be an appropriate point to comment on evolutionary theory since most people who are aware of it think of it as a very slow and gradual process. Evolutionary theory is an ‘evolving’ science based on incorporating physical evidence into the theoretical ‘process’ of evolution particularly where it involves the transition from one species to another. The study of Genetics I believe is the most thoroughly researched and best understood area of the ‘theoretical’ evolutionary process. The study of genetics proves that changes can occur ‘gradually’ through a process of mutation and natural selection. The fossil record however, contradicts the notion that the most significant ‘changes’ to species occur on a slow and gradual scale. This aspect of evolutionary theory has been termed “punctuated equilibrium”.

"The "punctuated equilibrium" theory of Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould was proposed as a criticism of the traditional Darwinian theory of evolution. Eldredge and Gould observed that evolution tends to happen in fits and starts, sometimes moving very fast, sometimes moving very slowly or not at all. On the other hand, typical variations tend to be small. Therefore, Darwin saw evolution as a slow, continuous process, without sudden jumps. However, if you study the fossils of organisms found in subsequent geological layers, you will see long intervals in which nothing changed ("equilibrium"), "punctuated" by short, revolutionary transitions, in which species became extinct and replaced by wholly new forms. Instead of a slow, continuous progression, the evolution of life on Earth seems more like the life of a soldier: long periods of boredom interrupted by rare moments of terror."
- F. Heylighen, Jul 22, 1999, Copyright© 1999 Principia Cybernetica, Punctuated Equilibrium, http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/PUNCTUEQ.html


    I’m proposing two major catalysts for these punctuation marks. Both are somewhat controversial but nevertheless supported by solid evidence. The first is my theory of a galactic annual event every 220 million years and the second involves comet impacts and new genetic instructions. For centuries this second theory was called Panspermia but enough supporting scientific understanding and evidence has accumulated that a new theory of Cosmic Ancestry was created.

“Cosmic Ancestry is a new theory of evolution and the origin of life on Earth. It holds that life on Earth was seeded from space, and that life's evolution to higher forms depends on genetic programs that come from space. It is a wholly scientific, testable theory for which evidence is accumulating.”

“The first point, which deals with the origin of life on Earth, is known as panspermia — literally, "seeds everywhere." Its earliest recorded advocate was the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, thought to be Socrates's teacher. However, Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation came to be preferred by science for more than two thousand years. Then on April 9, 1864, French chemist Louis Pasteur announced his great experiment disproving spontaneous generation as it was then held to occur. In the 1870s, British physicist Lord Kelvin and German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz reinforced Pasteur and argued that life could come from space. And in the first decade of the 1900s, Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius theorized that bacterial spores propelled through space by light pressure were the seeds of life on Earth.”
- Brig Klyce, Cosmic Ancestry, INTRODUCTION: MORE THAN PANSPERMIA, http://www.panspermia.org/intro.htm


    In order to explore one of these galactic annual events here is a somewhat confusing article on several mass extinction topics. I have included it here because it is necessary in discussing some of the issues it raised.

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Like homicide detectives searching for a mass murderer, scientists are trying to find the culprit behind one of the biggest killings in Earth's history. “

“About 230 million years ago, the first dinosaurs arose from earlier reptiles. But there were many other types of animals competing with the dinosaurs. There were other forms of reptiles, including giant, semiaquatic crocodile-like phytosaurs such as Leptosuchus that were among the dominant carnivores of their time. There were the rauisuchians such as Postosuchus, a fearsome bipedal predator.

Reptilian herbivores included aetosaurs such as Desmatosuchus, an armored quadruped, and the somewhat cow-like therapsid Placerias.”

“All of these were knocked out at the end of the Triassic. The situation in the seas was even more devastating. Multitudes of marine creatures disappeared. Clams and corals were clobbered. And many species of land plants also were lost.”

"The Triassic-Jurassic boundary wiped out the competitors to the dinosaurs. It's only after the boundary that you get a dinosaur-dominated ecosystem,'' said Columbia University paleontologist Paul Olsen, a leading expert on dinosaurs of this period. "It's really quite a dramatic change.''
- Will Dunham, 13 August 2001, Did Triassic Asteroid Impact Spare the Dinosaurs?, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/asteroid_triassic_wg_010813.html


    While that article gives voice to various researchers’ ideas as to what may have caused the two mass extinctions during the Triassic, it did not include the most convincing statements made by graduate student Christopher Behrens and his identification of more precise dates for this “horribly researched” time period. His identification that one of the extinctions occurred 220.7 million years ago was the last bit of data needed to trigger my realization of the cause of the galactic annual event.

“1.) There were two extinctions in the late Triassic, one at 220.7 Ma, and one near the end, at 205.1 Ma. These two extinctions affected different groups, and in neither situation were dinosaurs nor mammals severely affected.”

“2.) Dinosaurs and mammals (well, protomammals) had already significantly diversified even in the face of stiff competition from the reptilian-amphibian megafaunal assemblage. Both groups had significant evolutionary advancements over the other groups. Further, the groups of dinosaurs Paul Olsen sites as not appearing until the Jurassic, such as large predators, sauropods, and the like, had already diversified by 215 Ma. I don't have the source in front of me (I'm at work), but a French journal in 2000 published an article by Michael Benton about a Triassic sauropod, and Paul Sereno describes some early sauropods in "The Evolution of Dinosaurs", Science 268 (it was a special issue).”

In actuality, The Triassic extinction has been horribly researched, and there is little evidence to date that any extinction in the oceans can be linked to extinctions on the land. I have spent a great deal of my undergraduate years researching this one, and the data just aren't there yet to support any statement that the dinosaurs passively ecologically replaced the previous megafauna, and vice versa. This whole area needs a lot more work, and I think it should begin by asking some more fundamental questions than the current research asks.”
- Christopher Behrens on Yahoo! News BBS, August 13, 2001, Misleading story, republished at, http://www.timeenoughforlove.org/saved/MisleadingStory.htm


    Of course I would expect a researcher to look for similarities in the evidence for both the 220.7 extinction and the ~439 Ordovician-Silurian extinction to substantiate my claim. By examining the effects the event had on aquatic life for example.

“University of Washington paleontologist Peter Ward said carbon isotope evidence found in rocks from the Queen Charlotte Islands off Canada's British Columbia coast demonstrated a swift collapse in marine plankton populations at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.”

"This thing was real fast,'' Ward said.

“Other theories include massive volcanic activity that released gases into the atmosphere that caused intense global climate changes, and the explosion of a nearby star (a supernova) so intense that it blew away the Earth's protective ozone layer.”
- Will Dunham, 13 August 2001, Did Triassic Asteroid Impact Spare the Dinosaurs?, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/asteroid_triassic_wg_010813.html


    For early circumstantial evidence of my theory that we are undergoing a mass extinction process, or ‘event’ in geologic terminology, I wish to draw attention to both the evidence that there was a “swift collapse in marine plankton populations” during the Triassic and the recent studies finding alarming drops in both Atlantic and Pacific zooplankton of 70%-90%.

“ (12/02/2001) Scientists suspect global warming is cause of "deeply worrying" 80-90% drop in Atlantic zooplankton; loss of bottom of marine food chain threatens to cause widespread starvation and death of all levels of marine life from fish to dolphins and whales, destroying entire ocean ecosystem already being devastated by overfishing.”

"This is deeply worrying," said marine biologist Dr Phil Williamson, of East Anglia University. "We don't know why zooplankton numbers have plummeted, though global warming looks the best candidate. What is certain is that removing the bottom link from the ocean food chain could have profound and unpleasant results."

“(11/19/2000) Scientists say global warming cause of alarming 70% drop in zooplankton off California coast since mid-1970s, warn impact on entire West Coast marine ecosystem could be catastrophic. More than 70 percent of the zooplankton - the tiny free-floating animals that are food for larger creatures - have disappeared from the Pacific Ocean along the coast of California since the mid-1970s, a phenomenon related to the overall rise in ocean temperature due to global warming, say scientists at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Plankton are critical to the survival of all marine life from whales to sea birds, scientists warn, but warmer waters and changing ocean currents mean less plankton for marine animals, which may be why harbor seals, stellar sea lions and sea birds are disappearing.”

"What is going on in the ocean is large and unprecedented," said John McGowan, an oceanographer at Scripps. "These are huge events. This is a new kind of ecology."
- Earth Crash Earth Spirit, updated as of 1/24/2002, Global Warming: Oceans, (citations from various publications), http://www.eces.org/ec/globalwarming/oceans.shtml


    I included the quote above postulating a mass extinction scenario that involved an exploding star and the destruction of the Earth’s ozone layer because I contend that our own sun is rapidly destroying our protective ozone layer. Consequently this increase in radiation exposure is the principle cause of “worldwide” amphibian extinction and mutation today.

“WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibian populations have been mysteriously dying in Oregon for years.”

“But now the species decline is being documented around the world. Fourteen species of amphibians have disappeared from Australia in recent years. The golden toad has become extinct in Costa Rica, and other amphibian declines have been recorded in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.”

"The overall result is that this group of animals, which has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, is now in serious decline all over the world," said Andrew R. Blaustein, a zoology professor at OSU. "And some of the things that are killing frogs almost certainly have implications for other animal species, including humans."
- Richard L. Hill, February 19, 2000, World amphibian populations plummet toward extinction, http://www.oregonlive.com/news/00/02/st021910.html


“Global declines in amphibian population are perhaps one of the most pressing and enigmatic environmental problems of the late 20th century (12-19). While some declines are clearly due to habitat destruction, others are not associated with obvious environmental factors. Causal hypotheses include the introduction of predators or competitors, increased ultraviolet (UV-B) irradiation, acid precipitation, adverse weather patterns, environmental pollution, infectious disease, or a combination of these. Transdermal water uptake and gaseous exchange and a biphasic life cycle are important aspects of amphibian biology. These factors led to the hypothesis that amphibians act as sentinels for global environmental degradation (12,18). However, this role has yet to be demonstrated, and many causal factors may be present (12,19,20).”

Of particular concern are population declines in ecologically pristine areas, such as the montane tropical rain forests of Australia and Central America, where human impact from agriculture, deforestation, or pollution is thought to be negligible. Here, long-term data demonstrate recent and catastrophic amphibian population declines, often resulting in the complete loss of amphibian species (local extinction of multiple species) from large swaths of habitat (20-25).”
- Peter Daszak, Lee Berger, Andrew A. Cunningham, Alex D. Hyatt, D. Earl Green, and Rick Speare, November 15, 1999, Emerging Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Population Declines, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol5no6/daszak.htm


    According to research conducted with the aid of NASA and NOAA satellites, solar radiation can and does destroy atmospheric ozone.

“A new study confirms a long-held theory that large solar storms rain electrically charged particles down on Earth's atmosphere and deplete the upper-level ozone for weeks to months thereafter. New evidence from NASA and NOAA satellites is helping scientists better understand how man and nature both play a role in ozone loss.”

“Solar storms consist of coronal mass ejections and solar flares. Coronal mass ejections are huge bubbles of gas ejected from the Sun and are often associated with these flares. Solar flares are explosions on the Sun that happen when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released.”

“When protons like these bombard the upper atmosphere, they break up molecules of gases like nitrogen and water vapor, and once freed, those atoms react with ozone molecules and reduce the layer.”

"A lot of impacts on ozone are very subtle and happen over long periods of time," said Charles Jackman, a researcher at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for Atmospheres and lead author of the study. "But when these solar proton events occur you can see immediately a change in the atmosphere, so you have a clear cause and effect."
- Goddard Space Flight Center, August 1, 2001, Stormy Space Weather Takes a Toll on Ozone, http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/20010801solarproton.html


    While the research that demonstrates that CFC’s can destroy ozone is compelling I don’t believe scientists have demonstrated successfully that these chemicals are primarily responsible for the destruction of atmospheric ozone, nor do I believe their models anticipated the patterns or intensity of its ongoing destruction.

“Earth's protective ozone layer thinned considerably over parts of Europe for three days in January, highlighting a growing problem of mini ozone holes over the continent that could threaten peoples' health, scientists said Wednesday.”

“Studies suggest higher exposure to UV rays can lead to cancer and premature aging of the skin.
The mini ozone holes occur in addition to larger holes seen each year above Earth's polar regions. The smaller events have been noticed only in recent years and are occurring more frequently and, strangely, only over Europe.”

"The increase in frequency of mini ozone holes over Europe is resulting in an increase in harmful biologically active UV radiation," Erbertseder said.”
- Robert Roy Britt, 07 February 2002, Mini Ozone Holes Over Europe Pose Growing Health Risk, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/ozone_europe_020207.html


    I contend that the earliest and largest holes in the ozone layer were found over Antarctica is primarily because the South Pole receives the most radiation exposure (24 hours a day) when Earth is closest to the Sun in its elliptical orbit (perihelion). It then appeared over the North Pole because it also experiences prolonged exposure even if further away. While I don’t cite an article to prove it, I have read that the hole over Antarctica opens during their summer. In the remaining paragraphs of this section I present additional evidence of environmental consequences that can easily be explained by increasing solar output. In the next section, “The Sun” I present direct evidence that indicates the Sun has been noticeably and increasingly more active for the past 13 years.

    I think many people are aware that there is significant evidence that the Earth’s average temperature is rising. The trend is referred to as “global warming” and within popular debate it is said to be caused by an increase in mostly human induced atmospheric gasses which trap heat thus preventing it from dissipating back into space. While I believe this is very likely a contributing factor for the rising temperatures on Earth, from my research this theory and its models have failed to explain or anticipate the phenomenal rate at which it’s warming. In fact there is significant and compelling evidence that the sun is primarily responsible for this temperature increase. The graph below indicates a direct correlation between solar activity and the rise in climatic temperatures from 1860-2000.

“Global warming -- the gradual increase in planet-wide temperatures -- seems to be accepted by many scientists and people now as fact. Generally, this warming is attributed to the increase of green-house gases in the Earth's upper atmosphere.”

“However, some solar scientists are considering whether the warming exists at all. And, if it does, might it be caused, wholely or in part, by a periodic but small increase in the Sun's energy output. An increase of just 0.2% in the solar output could have the same affect as doubling the carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere.”
- Stanford University, 1997, Global Warming - Does it Exist? If so, is it Man- or Sun-made?, http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html

- Image from Friis-Christensen, E., and K. Lassen, "Length of the solar cycle: An indicator of solar activity closely associated with climate," Science, 254, 698-700, 1991, found at http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html


“There are three important points to make about the reported warming of the last 20 years:”

“1. The warming has occurred mostly at night and not during the day. This result is inconsistent with a warming caused by greenhouse gases, but is consistent with urban heat island and other surface effects.”

“2. The reported warming has occurred only at the surface and not in the upper atmosphere. This type of warming is completely opposite to what is predicted if greenhouse gases are the cause. Again these observations are consistent with problems in the surface measurements.”

“3. The warming has occurred primarily in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes with little in the polar and tropical regions. This result is consistent with urban influences, but is incompatible with the climate warming predicted from greenhouse gases which predict it to be largest in the polar regions.”

“In short, the reported warming is inconsistent with warming due to greenhouse gases in its temporal, vertical, and geographical distribution. The reported warming is consistent with problems in the surface network.”
- Douglas V. Hoyt, 1997, Greenhouse Warming: Fact, Hypothesis, or Myth?, http://users.erols.com/dhoyt1/


    For the Sun to be the principle cause for the increase in Earth’s global temperature one should expect to find evidence of its effects on other planets or moons in our solar system. On Dec. 7, 2001 NASA reported just such evidence on Mars thanks to the Mars Global Surveyor. Earth is not the only planet whose ice caps are melting at an accelerating rate.

“The Earth's ice cover is melting in more places and at higher rates than at any time since record keeping began. Reports from around the world compiled by the Worldwatch Institute (see attached data table) show that global ice melting accelerated during the 1990s-which was also the warmest decade on record.”

“Some of the most dramatic reports come from the polar regions, which are warming faster than the planet as a whole and have lost large amounts of ice in recent decades. The Arctic sea ice, covering an area roughly the size of the United States, shrunk by an estimated 6 percent between 1978 and 1996, losing an average of 34,300 square kilometers-an area larger than the Netherlands-each year.”

“The Arctic sea ice has also thinned dramatically since the 1960s and 70s. Between this period and the mid-1990s, the average thickness dropped from 3.1 meters to 1.8 meters-a decline of nearly 40 percent in less than 30 years.”

“The Arctic's Greenland Ice Sheet-the largest mass of land-based ice outside of Antarctica, with 8 percent of the world's ice-has thinned more than a meter per year on average since 1993 along parts of its southern and eastern edges.”
- Lisa Mastny, 06 March 2000, Melting of Earth's Ice Cover Reaches New High, http://www.worldwatch.org/alerts/000306.html



“Global climate change is having a direct impact on the Earth's sea level and a group of scientists led by two U of T geophysicists is providing the sea level "fingerprints" of polar ice sheet melting to prove it.”

“Rates of sea level change over the last century vary widely from one geographic location to another even after these rates have been corrected for known effects. The question has always been, why? What is causing these significant variations? Jerry Mitrovica, U of T's J. Tuzo Wilson Professor of Geophysics, is lead author of a paper to appear in the Feb. 22 issue of Nature that claims to have discovered the answer. And it is an answer that has an important impact on the debate over global climate change.”

"We've really strengthened the link between today's sea level changes and ice melting and we've found a way of unraveling the details of this link. By doing that, we've also strengthened extrapolations being made for the future effect of climate warming. And these extrapolations show continued acceleration of sea level rise late into the present century, leading to more flooding of coastal communities," says Mitrovica.”
- Janet Wong, Feb. 21, 2001, 'Fingerprints' of melting ice caps point to global climate change - Sea levels are rising, on average, by about 1.8 mm per year, http://www.newsandevents.utoronto.ca/bin1/010221a.asp



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vast fields of carbon dioxide ice are eroding from the poles of Mars, suggesting that the climate of the Red Planet is warming and the atmosphere is becoming slightly more dense.”

“Caplinger is co-author of a study appearing in the journal Science that analyzes photos of Mars taken by an orbiting spacecraft. The photos were taken in 1999 and in 2001, a period of time that represents one Martian year. Mars is farther from the sun than the Earth and it takes the Red Planet about 23 months to complete one year, a single solar orbit.”

"It is eroding away at a rapid pace and is going to continue to do that," said Caplinger. "This is not a seasonal change."
- PAUL RECER, December 6, 2001 , Mars climate may be changing - Study suggests permanent carbon dioxide ice caps are eroding, http://www.canoe.ca/CNEWSSpace0112/06_mars-ap.html



"High-resolution images snapped by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor show that levels of frozen water and carbon dioxide at the Red Planet's poles have dwindled dramatically — by more than 10 feet — over a single Martian year (equivalent to 687 days or about two Earth years)."

"We weren't expecting to see something nearly this large," said Caplinger.
- Amanda Onion, Dec. 7, 2001, Red Planet Warming, Images Show Mars' Ice Caps Are Melting Fast, http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/DailyNews/mars011207.html

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