Title

Toba Eruption: Significance to Human Evolution and Global Climate Change

Date

5-29-2014 2:30 PM

End Time

29-5-2014 2:50 PM

Location

Health and Wellness Center (HWC) 105

Department

Earth Science

Session Chair

Jeffrey Templeton

Session Title

“Eruptions that Shook the World” – Examining the Influence of Volcanism on the Earth System

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Dr. Jeffrey Templeton

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Danau Toba (Lake Toba) is a water-filled caldera of an ancient super volcano approximately 86 by 30 km. Understanding Toba as a super volcano allows researchers to relate the size, scope, and magnitude of the destruction that occurred during Toba’s most recent eruption about 75,000 years ago. As the story of the human species was beginning to unfold, it almost ended before it ever began. Evidence suggests that the Toba eruption may have caused a bottleneck in human evolution, almost leading to the extinction of the human species. This same evidence points to a worldwide volcanic winter as a result of the Toba eruption, leading to drastic, long-term changes in the global climate. However, new evidence and research is emerging that calls into question this scenario and suggests that the Toba eruption may have not played as significant a role in human evolution. The effects of the Toba eruption may or may not have influenced the global climate to the extent previously thought, but it can shed light on the future of humans as another super volcano close to home begins to stir.

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May 29th, 2:30 PM May 29th, 2:50 PM

Toba Eruption: Significance to Human Evolution and Global Climate Change

Health and Wellness Center (HWC) 105

Danau Toba (Lake Toba) is a water-filled caldera of an ancient super volcano approximately 86 by 30 km. Understanding Toba as a super volcano allows researchers to relate the size, scope, and magnitude of the destruction that occurred during Toba’s most recent eruption about 75,000 years ago. As the story of the human species was beginning to unfold, it almost ended before it ever began. Evidence suggests that the Toba eruption may have caused a bottleneck in human evolution, almost leading to the extinction of the human species. This same evidence points to a worldwide volcanic winter as a result of the Toba eruption, leading to drastic, long-term changes in the global climate. However, new evidence and research is emerging that calls into question this scenario and suggests that the Toba eruption may have not played as significant a role in human evolution. The effects of the Toba eruption may or may not have influenced the global climate to the extent previously thought, but it can shed light on the future of humans as another super volcano close to home begins to stir.