TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It
TEOTWAWKI – This article is just about facts. No nonsense!
Past Extinction Events on Earth
Opposed to what people think extinction events are very common on Earth’s timeline. TEOTWAWKI might be just around the corner or a million years away from now. An extinction event is a widespread and rapid decrease in the amount of life on Earth usually caused by an apocalypse. During the five major extinction events that we know so far, over 98% of the documented species had become extinct. This means that the conditions on Earth were so drastically changed that life didn’t have enough time to adapt itself to the new environment.
The last major mass extinction was the Cretaceous–Paleogene event which occurred approximately 66 million years ago and wiped out three-quarters of plant and animal species on Earth including dinosaurs.
After recent discoveries by Luis Alvarez, it is now generally believed that the event was caused by a massive asteroid impact and its catastrophic effects on the global environment including a lingering impact winter that made it impossible for plants and plankton to carry out photosynthesis.
Nobel Prize winner, Luis Alvarez together with a team of researchers discovered that all over on Earth there is a clay boundary (0.2 – 1.6 inches) distinct from other layers, that has dinosaurs fossils underneath it and nothing just above. More so, he discovered that this layer (called K–Pg boundary) contains a concentration of iridium many times greater than normal on Earth: 30 to 160 times. Iridium is extremely rare in the earth’s crust because it’s a heavy element (just like gold), and therefore most of it sank into the earth’s core during planetary differentiation. But iridium is an abundant element in most asteroids and comets. The layer was carbon dated and the results were as expected: 66 million years ago. The Alvarez team had now the evidence that an asteroid or comet struck the earth at the time of the K–Pg boundary and dispersed massive debrits into the atmosphere which wiped out most of life forms. More so, on the coast of Yucatan, Mexico there is an impact crater which matches the Alvarez hypothesis and it was also carbon dated to be 66 million years ago.
Based on the scale of the crater the asteroid must’ve had a 10 miles diameter: about the size of Manhattan. Such a large impact would have had approximately the energy of 100 trillion tons of TNT, or about 1.98 million times greater than the most powerful atomic bomb ever tested.
But the Cretaceous–Paleogene event was not the largest extinction event. Not even the second one. The largest extinction took place about 252 million years ago: P-Tr extinction event. The cause of this apocalypse it’s not completely understood and not 100% scientifically proven. But it is believed that the catastrophe resides in the massive volcanism, coal/gas fires and explosions from the Siberian Traps. The massive eruptive event which formed the traps is the largest known volcanic events of Earth’s geological history and took place about 250 million years ago. 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species disappeared.
What Are The Threats?
Knowing this help us better understand what can trigger TEOTWAWKI. Apocalypses had happened and will happen in the future. Sooner or later the mankind will face TEOTWAWKI. In order that the human species to survive it has to be prepared.
We’ve been on this world only for a brief period of time: approximately for 2 million years. If you take a look at Earth’s clock, you barely can see us.
A Nuclear War
Between 1940 and 1996, the U.S. spent at least $8.75 trillion (present-day terms) on nuclear weapons development. It is estimated that, since 1945, the United States produced more than 70,000 nuclear warheads, which is more than all other nuclear weapon states combined.
The Soviet Union/Russia has built approximately 55,000 nuclear warheads since 1949, France built 1110 warheads since 1960, the United Kingdom built 835 warheads since 1952, China built about 600 warheads since 1964, and other nuclear powers built less than 500 warheads all together since they developed their first nuclear weapons.
After the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nuclear powers reduced their warheads to less than a half.
Nuclear Threats that can lead to TEOTWAWKI
If an astronomic apocalypse happens once every 60 million years (so the probability to occur this year is one in 60 million), the probability to face a nuclear war in one’s lifetime is very, very high. Some estimates go as high as 25%. And I tend to believe them. During the Cold War two times we were on the verge of a nuclear war.
Now, that Russia is emerging again as a military power and wants to regain control over the lost USSR sphere of influence and China is caching up as an economic and military power, the possibilities are limitless.
North Korea and its despotic leaders have already made threats of launching nuclear bombs. The world’s most militarized society, with a total of 1.21 million active duty personnel, North Korea has the 4th largest army in the world, after China, the U.S., and India. North Korea itself it’s not a threat to US or other nuclear powers. But backed up by China it can burst into a new world war. A nuclear one. TEOTWAWKI may be just around the corner.
Since the creation of modern republics of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in four wars, as well as many border skirmishes and military stand-offs. The nuclear conflict between both countries is of passive strategic nature with nuclear doctrine of Pakistan stating a first strike policy. A new war between these two countries can bust into a nuclear war.
What would a U.S.-Russia nuclear war look like?
The chances that the U.S. and Russia will clash over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine are very slim. Mostly because Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO, and President Obama is not President Bush. But many of Russian neighbors are NATO members: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Traditionally these states were all in Russia’s sphere of influence. Putin’s ambitions may extend to these states too.
The entire stockpile of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) is essentially aimed squarely at Russia. Russia’s hundreds of ICBMs are probably returning the favor. In all, the U.S. has about 7,700 nuclear warheads, including 1,950 warheads ready to deploy via ICBM, submarine, and airplane, plus thousands more in mothballs or waiting to be dismantled, according to the latest tally by the Federation of American Scientists. Russia has slightly more warheads overall — about 8,500 — but a slightly fewer 1,800 of them operational. China, in comparison, has about 250 nuclear warheads, a bit less that France (300) and a bit more than Britain (225).
Nuclear war with Russia is still mutually assured destruction.
– Peter Weber – What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Here are the largest military bases in the world – from both Russia and NATO.
It’s very hard to estimate the outcome of such a war. Nobody wants it. Even if NATO has a slightly advantage over Russia in term of manpower and military armament, the most “favored” it’s the one who starts it.
As I was saying China is emerging as a new military power. And now it is backed up by its growing economy. Not to mention its manufacturing and army manpower. Soon its military power will overpass Russia and most likely US. Traditionally, there is a bound between Russia and China, although not a very strong one it seems to grow tighter and tighter.
TEOTWAWKI will not happen now! But in time new powers and new leaders will emerge. The order of the world will change and nobody knows for sure what will be outcome. Even if it’s just a one in a hundred chance to face a nuclear war in a year, it means that almost for sure will face one during this century. A nuclear war will change the way we live. Because of the radiation all states will face the consequences. It will be TEOTWAWKI!
An Asteroid/Comet Impact
Meteorites enter Earth’s atmosphere daily. The reason why they do not impact is their small size. Almost all meteorites disintegrate when entering our atmosphere. Although there are hundreds of recorded Earth impacts. In some cases causing deaths, injuries, property damage or other significant localized consequences.
One of the most-known recorded impacts in modern times was the Tunguska event, which occurred in Siberia, Russia, in 1908. The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor event is the only known such event to result in a large number of injuries.
But those asteroids were small comparing to what actually may hit us. The most notable non-terrestrial event is the Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 impact, which – luckily for us – collided with Jupiter on July 1994. If it were to hit Earth, it would have been TEOTWAWKI and possibly the end of life on Earth.
What can we do?
We think that science has reached the level where it can stop such events. That is not true.
Firstly we tend to believe that we will find out about the asteroid’s collision with our Planet long time before it will actually hit us. That is also not true. We know the orbits of some asteroids and we make our predictions based on the celestial objects that we know. We simply don’t have enough astronomers and observatories to monitor/see all meteorites heading towards Earth. Most likely the asteroid will hit us without notice.
Second, even if we know days, months, years ahead of the collision, what can we really do? Forget about scientific movies where the asteroid it’s bombarded with atomic bombs and it explodes in the outer space. Asteroids travel with 11 km/sec (25,000 mph) to 72 km/sec (160,000 mph). It’s difficult to hit such a fast moving target. And what rocket will transport the nuke? There is no such specially made rocket or nuke. If mankind wants to survive surpass such an event it has to prepare. Now would be better! Perhaps we are too busy fighting each other.
What can you do?
Luckily the asteroid won’t hit your exact location or your state, which means you will survive. But the debris will cover the skies for a few years. Only a part of the Sun’s light will pass the dust and a global winter will emerge. It will be impossible for plants and plankton to carry out photosynthesis and food will become scares.
People will die of starvation and powerful countries will subdue the weaker ones stilling their food supplies. Wars will start and the possibility of a nuclear war will considerably rise. Having at least a 5-10 year food supplies and a bunker or a safe room will probably save your life. I have something you need to watch. It’s much better than I am at explaining the threat. Watch it and learn why you need your own sustainable food source and how you can produce it even in such an apocalyptic event.
A Supernova Blast
A supernova is the explosion of a very big star. Supernovas are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy. During this interval a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun is expected to emit over its entire life span. The explosion expels much or all of a star’s material at a speed of up to 10% of the speed of light, driving a shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium.
One theory suggests that a supernova would have to be closer than 3300 light-years to affect the Earth biosphere. The closest known candidate is IK Pegasi located at 150 light-years away. When it will blast into a supernova we will be in big trouble. In 2009 scientists (archeologists) found evidence that a supernova blast was the cause of the Ordovician–Silurian extinction, which resulted in the death of nearly 60% of the oceanic life on Earth (terrestrial life didn’t exist).
What can we do?
The gamma radiations emerging from such a blast will be TEOTWAWKI on Earth. TEOTWAWKI it will be almost a certainty. So far scientists cannot predict when such an event will occur. It can happen tomorrow without a warning. Maybe if the science will make greater steps in the next period of time we will be able to predict or prevent such apocalypses.
What can you do?
Staying away from radiation is your best option. The ozone layer, which protects us from Sun’s radiation, will be mostly burned. People will reinforce their homes and move to underground bunkers or other shelters. They will avoid as much as possible staying outside, and when they do they’ll use protection suits.
You should know that the cause of death by radiation is cancer. And a very malignant one like Louis Slotin developed. Louis accidently received a lethal dose of radiation while working on Manhattan Project. He painfully died nine days later.
A Glacial Period Or A Snowball Earth
The last glacial period ended about 15,000 years ago. It seems that Earth is going thru these ice ages periodically. Most scientists suggest that the ice ages are caused by variations in Earth’s orbit (Milankovitch cycles).
The second well-documented ice age, and probably the most severe of the last billion years, occurred from 850 to 630 million years ago and produced a Snowball Earth in which glacial ice sheets reached the equator. This will not only be TEOTWAWKI but most probably the end of mankind.
A New Virus, A New Bacterium Or A New Germ
The Black Plague killed one European in four during the 14th century. But back then diseases spread very slowly. International travel means diseases can spread faster than ever. A contagious virus can spread worldwide in a matter of days.
The most lethal of the natural diseases is Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever but fortunately it has never fully erupted outside of Africa. Ebola outbreaks continue till today, in a mild form. But if Ebola develops a more contagious root we might face TEOTWAWKI.
During the past 20 years, more than 30 new diseases have emerged. For most of them there is no cure or vaccine. In addition, the uncontrolled use of antibiotics has resulted in increased antimicrobial resistance and in a reduce will of white cells to produce antibodies to fight the disease.
With more than a new virus emerging every year, most likely someday we will meet our match.
A Super Volcano
A Supervolcano is any volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an ejecta volume greater than 240 cubic miles (1,000 km3). This is thousands of times larger than a normal volcano. There have been only a handful of supervolcanoes in the last 2.5 million years. Supervolcanic eruptions typically cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash and cause a long-lasting change to weather (such as the triggering of a small ice age) sufficient to threaten species with extinction.
But Supervulcanos can be even deadlier. As I was saying at the beginning, the largest extinction event that has ever happened on this Planet was the P-Tr extinction event – 250 million years ago. 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species disappeared.
It is believed that the apocalypse resides in the massive volcanism, coal/gas fires and explosions from the Siberian Traps. The Siberian Traps form a large region of volcanic rock in Siberia (Russia). The massive eruptive event blasted unprecedented amounts of lava and gas into the atmosphere. See map!
One Of The Things You Should Think About
Mass extinctions can last for thousands of years. They’re not necessarily caused by a single event. Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We are responsible for the extinction of Mammoths, North American Passenger Pigeon, Eastern elk, Moa, Texas Crab, Aurochs, Dodo Bird, Quagga, Rocky Mountain locust and hundreds(recorded) maybe thousands of other species. There are other thousands of species on the brink of extinction.
This raises the question: Aren’t we going through the 6th mass extinction? And aren’t we the cause of it?
There are other hundreds of TEOTWAWKI scenarios including a zombie apocalypse, an overpopulated Earth, a new powerful weapon, a negative energy cloud, a mass genetic mutation, robots taking control, etc. But I tried to stick only to the scenarios that had happened and to the ones that are probable to mark TEOTWAWKI.