posted on Sep, 3 2003 @ 10:37 PM
Granted, 1 in a million is not odds to get too excited about, however, keep 2 things in mind.
1, this is the US government telling you this... do you really trust them? They have already admitted that they would NOT inform the public in the
event of a global killer impact if imminent...
2, IF it was to hit, please refer to the following as a guide to exactly what might happen...
(posted from the Comet thread)
I have already mentioned the likelihood of an impact taking place in the southern hemisphere, as that is the direction NEAT is approaching from, and
if it takes place, would likely be in the Pacific. Since we donít know the exact size, velocity, or composition of the object, the best that I can do
is use the Dino-Killer asteroid as an example, as that is the only event we have any hard evidence from. (I would like to make one statement however
THAT NASA IS NOT HELPING THE SITUATION BY REFUSING TO SHARE SPECIFIC ACCURATE INFORMATION!!!!!!!!!!!)
Assuming that Dino-Killer impacted the south Pacific ocean (remember, Dino-Killer was about 6 miles in diameter, and the average comet nucleus is
between 10 and 150 miles in diameter, however, something as small as 1 mile in diameter could still wipe out most of a hemisphere). From time of
impact, there would be a double tidal wave generated, as well as tens of millions of cubic feet of water vaporized, and at least an equal volume of
rock thrown into the stratosphere. The initial tidal wave would likely cause 100% fatalities in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii, the
Phillipines, most of the coastal/island nations of the Pacific Rim, and would take out the US west coast, likely all the way to the Rockies (Las Vegas
really could be ocean front property!) Most of central South America may well be spared, due to the high elevation of the Andes Mountains along the
west coast of Chile and Peru. However, the Panama Canal Zone would be totally inundated, along with many areas of Central America. India and much of
south Asia would share a similar fate. This would all happen within 0-3 hours or so of impact for the first tidal wave (estimated to be about 2-3
miles in height), with the second following less than an hour later (I doubt the 2nd would make any difference as there will likely be no survivors to
notice). At this point we are talking at least 1 billion fatalities inside of 3 hours.
At the same time, from impact to 4 hours, expect large amounts of seismic activity, although not confined to the area directly opposite the impact
zone. If you live near a known seismic zone, you will be affected. In the US, the San Andreas will be a non-issue due to the tidal wave, but I would
expect severe activity associated with the New Madrid Fault Zone around Tennesee/Kentucky area.
Following these events, within 6-18 hours, the second round of tidal waves will arrive in the opposite side of the globe, in the Atlantic. Because a
great deal of the energy will be depleted around the Pacific Rim, this one wonít be as high or devestating, although I would still expect a wall of
water in excess of 1000 feet high to hit along most of the eastern seaboard, the gulf coast area, and along Europe/Africa. In the US, all of Florida
will be gone, as well as large portions of the gulf coast region, and all along the eastern seaboard, likely as far inland for at least 10-30 miles,
depending on topography. I would expect severe loss of life, as this is where a large % of the American population is concentrated, as well as in
Portugal, France, Italy, Spain, the British Isles, and other exposed areas. At this point, I believe we may realistically be expecting 1/3 to of the
human population to have been wiped out.
Within 24-72 hours of impact, I would expect extreme downpours to begin around the world. This is due to the fact that the large volume of water
vaporized on impact would begin to condense out of the atmosphere. Areas that survived the flood intact would still be at risk of localized flooding,
as this is likely to be rainfall rates of feet/hour, and likely be global in extent. Also, this rain will likely bring down large amounts of rock and
solid debris thrown into the atmosphere, so large numbers of mudslides are also likely.
Within 72-96 hours of impact, and lasting for at least weeks or longer, we will then have to deal with the mateial fall out of the impact. Large
clouds of dust and debris will descend locally, depending on weather conditions. The density of these dustfalls could easily be great enough to cause
suffocation/asphyxiation of anyone caught in the open. (Paleontologists have found evidence that large herds of animals were caught in the open in
dustfalls, and hundreds dropped dead in thier tracks from dust suffocation.) This factor will likely be exacerbated by a spate of volcanism that will
be induced and associated with the seismic activity immediately after impact.
One hazard that I just thought of also will be associated with these dust falls: Irridium. Irridium is a low grade radioactive material, that is rare
in nature by relatively common in nickle/iron asteroids, and possibly in comets. This is the material that helped nail down the Dino-Killer Asteroid
that ended the Cretacious by depositing an even layer of irridium across the globe after impact. Irridium is a very low level radioactive, so it will
likely not cause radiation sickness in and of itself (although I suppose if you were coated in irridium dust for long periods, you could get surface
radiation burns), however, it will likely be in the atmosphere in large amounts of dust.... if it were in sufficient density, and you were to inhale
sufficient quantities, it would stay in your lungs in constant contact, and potentially cause lung cancers and other very unpleasant side effects.
(Ironically, this and the dust falls may be the one job that the military MOPP gear is perfectly suited for).
Starting within a week or less, expect dramatic global climate changes, for the colder. There is no solid evidence of how long the nuclear winter
could last, although it has been speculated that the Dino-Killer nuclear winter lasted anywhere from 50 to 200 years. Of course this doesnt mean the
entire planet will end up as antarctica, but whatever climate you currently live in, expect it to be equivalent to moving 500-1000 feet higher in
altitude at a minimum. Food production and the ecosystem in general will be very severely affected.
At this point, for the human survivors, cooperation on a scale never thought of before, combined with the best of technology and resourcefulness will
be needed in order to make it through.