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Mediterranean Might Have Filled In Months

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the white-water-to-die-for dept.

Earth 224

An anonymous reader writes "A new model suggests that the Mediterranean Sea was filled in a gigantic flood some 5.3 million years ago. According to Daniel Garcia-Castellanos' paper in Nature, the sill at the Straight of Gibraltar gave way rather suddenly, with 40 cm of rock eroding and the water level rising by 10 m per day at its peak. They imagine a shallow, fast-moving stream of water (around 100 km/hr) several kilometers wide pouring into the basin with a flow greater than a thousand Amazon rivers — that's about 100,000,000 cubic meters per second." The flood would have dropped worldwide sea levels by 9.5 meters, probably triggering climate changes. In this model the Mediterranean filled in anywhere from a few months to two years at the outside.

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Roland Emmerich (5, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421544)

just had an orgasm.

Re:Roland Emmerich (2, Insightful)

Whatshisface (1203604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421708)

Wait, how can the first post be redundant? And its actually on-topic, and reasonably funny. Mods, why do you hate poor assemblerex ?

Re:Roland Emmerich (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421858)

And that filled the Mediterrean? Might explain the water quality...

Climate change!!?? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422172)

"The flood would have dropped worldwide sea levels by 9.5 meters, probably triggering climate changes."

OMG, something MUST be done to revert the planet to it's pre-Mediterranean-Sea-filling pristine state, or you will all rot in Al Gore's climate Purgatory!

Re:Climate change!!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422470)

How about you go cut carbon emissions by stopping breathing already?

5 million? (4, Funny)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421564)

Are you sure that flood didn't happen 5 thousand years ago?

Re:5 million? (1, Redundant)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421590)

As in the floods of noah and his lovely ark?

Re:5 million? (4, Interesting)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421652)

That could have been the Black Sea flooding. It would have been just as impressive. And a bit later than the Mediterranean.

Re:5 million? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421602)

Are you sure that flood didn't happen 5 thousand years ago?

This man is right. Read all about it right here: http://conservapedia.com/Great_Flood

Re:5 million? (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422970)

For a much better story, read the Saga of Pliocene Exile [wikipedia.org] by Julian May.

Re:5 million? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422978)

Oh my god! That wiki proves it! I wonder what other words of "wisdom" it has to say.....

Re:5 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421604)

Yes. Quite sure.

Yet another great /. science discussion kicks off. (-1, Troll)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421620)

Yeah, great. Thanks for leading off another science article with:
- Post #1 - A crass joke.
- Post #2 - Trolling creationists.

There goes all hope anything intelligent being discussed like the Messianian salinity crisis [wikipedia.org] that the article refers to. (i.e. Why something as deep as the Mediterranean was dry instead of a lake in the first place.

Re:Yet another great /. science discussion kicks o (4, Funny)

oGMo (379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421682)

Why something as deep as the Mediterranean was dry instead of a lake in the first place.

Well, before that, it was a lake. Where do you think the aliens stole all the water from?! It was freshwater then, of course. Sadly the Sahara Forest never recovered.

;-)

Re:Yet another great /. science discussion kicks o (1, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421746)

Dude get a sense of humor. I'm not a creationist.

Re:Yet another great /. science discussion kicks o (2, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422266)

If Valdrax thought you were a creationist he would hardly have accused you of trolling creationists, would he?

Re:5 million? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421666)

Are you sure that flood didn't happen 5 thousand years ago?

The whole point is there were multiple flood events at different points in history. It's one of the reasons the stories are universal is that most areas had some form of great flood at some point in history. Look at it this way. At the end of the last ice age most of the population of Europe as well as much of the rest of the world would have lived along the coast much as they do now. Most of that land is now under water. The coast flooded through both gradual sea level rise and a series of flood events. When you are dealing with oral histories 2,000 years and 6,000 years can be hard to tell apart. Also the much quoted Biblical age of the Earth was calculated in 1650.

"In 1650, Archbishop Ussher published the Ussher chronology, a chronology dating the creation to the night preceding October 23 4004 BC."

There's no real dates in the old testament that can be referenced to modern dates. He came by that date by adding up ages of biblical figures some of whom are claimed to have lived 500 to 900 years. Coming up with an exact month is impressive given the fact few of the births were referenced to the actual age of the parents. Translated it was all guess work based on wild suppositions and had little to do with the Bible itself. Most of the Christian that quote the real age of the Earth have no idea how fabricated the date was. Personally I'll take facts over faith any day of the week.

Re:5 million? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421952)

Me personally, I would have *loved* to have been born BC. That way, we count down our age, and your friends would greet you with, 'You're looking younger; how *do* you manage it' with each birthday!

Re:5 million? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421992)

wrong ! that only occurs when we approach the Gnab Gib ! Red dwarf had a great documentary about that.

Re:5 million? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422646)

"You sure you don't mean The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?". That was the remark I was about to make. Then I did some googling and found references to the Red Dwarf episode "Backwards". Man, I wish the local science fiction channel would get off its duff and air some actual science fiction.

Re:5 million? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422696)

I see a lot of themes/stories occurring in many different series, so it's probably not surprising references to a particular series is sometimes misinterpreted to be a reference to another series.

Re:5 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422016)

Err, except that at the time there was a different calender in effect, and you'd have had regular upward counting years.

Not to mention that age has nothing to do with the calendar. You'd still be progressing from age 1->2->3 even if there was a backwards running calendar in effect.

But apart from all that, jolly good show.

Re:5 million? (4, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422434)

You must be a hit at parties.

Re:5 million? (1)

ColonelPanic (138077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422548)

A wonderful deleted scene in "The Life of Brian" has shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem wondering "is it AD yet?"

Re:5 million? (2, Informative)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422724)

There's no real dates in the old testament that can be referenced to modern dates.

To be nit-picky, this isn't true. There are plenty of Old Testament references to contemporary events. For example, Isaiah 45 refers to the conquest of the Babylonian Empire by Cyrus the Great, which was ca. 540 B.C.. Solomon can maybe be dated from references in non-Biblical king lists. There are other examples. However (and this is what you're really talking about), through Exodus the references to external events are so fuzzy as to be meaningless.

Re:5 million? (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421724)

From TFA:

“As a hypothesis it makes sense, though it’s still in early stages," says Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College London. "There’s lots more to be done to explore this idea. It’s quite exciting, and I think it will get people interested in this topic.”

They have a hypothesis, it appears to make sense for the time being given the evidence they found. What evidence do you have for your 5 thousand years ago hypothesis, other than a loose interpretation of a two thousand years old work of fiction?

That's how science works.

The bible doesn't say... (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422344)

That the earth is 5000 years old, or 6000 years old. In fact, the bible doesn't give a date for any of its events at all. It's really only certain protestant faiths that have the bible as being completely inerrant and the earth as 6000 years old. The rest of us Christians are in it for some good food on Dec 25th and maybe to bomb some muzzies when they get out of line.

Re:The bible doesn't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422888)

http://www.albatrus.org/english/theology/creation/biblical_age_earth.htm [albatrus.org]

Yes, the bible DOES say.

Nobody ever said the bible gave specific dates on the calendar we use today, as it didnt exist back then, its based on the math presented throughout passages of the old testament from one event to the next. The time periods are in there. They covered this in my sunday school the first time like thirty years ago and it was non denominational.

If you do all the 'logic' behind it, this is god telling you these time periods, through his inspired authors. You either take it as complete fact first before you crunch them christmas jesus cookies, or you quit your lying and walk away. Before you call yourself a christian, you should probably spend some time studying the book that is the singular foundation for christianitys existence, and learn some of the really bizarre things it says and implies.

Re:5 million? (2, Interesting)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422384)

depends if you are interpreting the bible literally.

do you think the world was made in 6 literal days? especially before the sun and moon were created?

its hard to find evidence for everything up until joseph (were there is evidence that he was something like the prime minister of egypt)

Re:5 million? (1)

cntThnkofAname (1572875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422562)

oh god, tomorrow you'll see a post on how thousands of Christian Zealots flock to the Mediterranean to continue their search for the ark ... in other news they will soon find out it is much easier to build some turrets and save up from some Christian Carriers (with the fighter up grade of course). FOR ADUN!

Re:5 million? (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422832)

How ever did this post not get modded funny /endsarcasm

Don't quit your day job.

Undo It! (5, Interesting)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421624)

It has been done, it can be undone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantropa [wikipedia.org]
Whatever the arguments against it, I suppose it is within reason that it could be done. But should it be done?

Re:Undo It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421844)

no lol

Re:Undo It! (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422108)

Gosh, yes, a few meters added to the current sea levels sounds like brilliant idea. Count me in (a few meters of sea water).

Geo-engineering (3, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421642)

This research has inspired me to save the planet.

Consider, what are the 3 big problems with AGW?

1. The climate gets warmer than we'd like.

2. The sea levels rise.

3. Mass famine as the farmland goes dry.

4. The extra CO2 acidifies the oceans screwing with the fishies and shellfish.

So now I give you the perfect geo-engineering solution to all these problems!

Step 1: Set off a bunch of Nukes in a desert somewhere, excavating giant holes in the ground.

Step 2: Dig a little path to the ocean and have it fill in the holes.

Benefits: First the ocean levels go down to their regular levels, yay! Second the resulting Nuclear winter offsets global warming, another yay!
Third the desert is now ocean front property and not as deserty, maybe more farm land (do this in Africa for bonus famine offsetting points).

And lastly to handle the acidy oceans... the fallout from the Nukes mutates the fishies and shellfish to adapt to the carbonic acid oceans!

Now can I have my Nobel Peace now? Other than some minor side-effects [imdb.com] this should be a pretty effective solution.

Re:Geo-engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421784)

I have always wondered if that would be a good way to go about reclaiming deserts. Less violently though, I'm not sure nukes would be all that effective at moving sand where you want it to go. Then again, that's a lot of digging.

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421806)

I have always wondered if that would be a good way to go about reclaiming deserts. Less violently though, I'm not sure nukes would be all that effective at moving sand where you want it to go. Then again, that's a lot of digging.

True, but my method is also a type of Nuclear disarmament.

In fact it even allows Iran to acquire, and use Nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes. Iran's nuclear program could save the world!

Re:Geo-engineering (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421870)

Be honest, you just wanna see a huge kaboom, like everyone else here!

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421890)

Be honest, you just wanna see a huge kaboom, like everyone else here!

Not just any kaboom, it's supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

But... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422126)

Be honest, you just wanna see a huge kaboom, like everyone else here!

Not just any kaboom, it's supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

But- "That creature has stolen the Illudium 236 Explosive Space Modulator!" -Marvin the Martian in "Hare-Way to the Stars".

Strat

Re:But... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422174)

Oops. Brain-fart. That's Q- 36.

Strat

Re:Geo-engineering (3, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421794)

I will help you. The dead sea is already such a big hole in the earth. So just let it stream in there. As it also will flood the most troublesome part of the middle east, that is yet another problem solved.

Re:Geo-engineering (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421868)

The dead sea is already such a big hole in the earth. So just let it stream in there

There are other alternatives. One is in the Death valley [wikipedia.org] in California. Another is the Qattara depression [wikipedia.org] in Egypt, where there have been proposals to generate electricity by letting the Mediterranean sea water flow in through turbines.

Re:Geo-engineering (2, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421926)

Flood the Grand Canyon?

Re:Geo-engineering (3, Informative)

maeka (518272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422040)

Unlike the other options mentioned, the Grand Canyon is significantly above sea level. It is quite a ways up a river which eventually could make it to the ocean, no?

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

iwaybandit (1632765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422716)

New Orleans, perhaps? Also, the Death Valley area would benefit enough to make it a worthwhile project.

Re:Geo-engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421930)

It's good answer [dincercam.com]

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

bmxeroh (1694004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422912)

^ was modded as funny, but definitely should have been interesting. The water level of the dead sea has dropped considerably in recent years, mostly because the Jordan river is the only source of replenishment, and that has been reduced to a trickle from industrialization. In fact, the country of Jordan is building a pipeline of some sort to transport water from the red sea, desalinate some of it for drinking water, and then send the brine refuse to the dead sea to replenish it. Maybe not the most efficient or best way to do it, but they basically got sick of the rest of the international community doing nothing but talking about it, so they said screw it, they will do it themselves.

Re:Geo-engineering (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421950)

I am intrigued and invite you to join our Evil Overlords World Domination Club.

Our plan is evil. Man, it is so evil!
It is a bad, bad plan, that will hurt many people that are good!
I think it’s great, because it’s so bad!

Prerequisites to enter:
- An evil lair (preferably under a volcano).
- At least 100 minions (get the starter pack today!) or 10 lifeforms with super-powers.
- Super-secret secret super-weapon.
- Read the club rules [globalguardians.com] .
- And most importantly: An evilness of at least 10,000 on the trough-the-roof Schwarzschild scale!

We also have a dress code [google.com] . But as long as you look really evil, you’re welcome. :)

Re:Geo-engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422042)

over 9000?!

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422310)

Too bad the material that gets removed to make a crater has to go somewhere.

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422328)

Too bad the material that gets removed to make a crater has to go somewhere.

It does go somewhere, it goes to the side of the crater and vaporized into the atmosphere.

Terrraform the Eyre Basin - bigger than God (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422350)

Huge salt desert in Australia which used to be an inland sea. It's about 15m below sea level

Dig 2 canals. boom. you have an inland sea again. Australia stops being a huge desert.

You'd need 2 canals at opposite ends to pump the salt out.

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422400)

People who've been modding this Insightful instead of Funny:

The material has to go somewhere. Specifically, it gets blown to a fine dust, which settles over probably most of the rest of the world. Said dust will be radioactive (there will be far more than just the radioactivity from the remains of the weapon, since much of that soil will have been exposed to extreme neutron flux and transmuted into unstable isotopes).

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422744)

In the 50s we did use nukes for some big earth moving jobs and they worked well. We have since developed bombs that are much less radioactive. Anyways... at worst we could use the russian non-nuclear bombs which are almost as big.

Re:Geo-engineering (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422878)

(there will be far more than just the radioactivity from the remains of the weapon, since much of that soil will have been exposed to extreme neutron flux and transmuted into unstable isotopes).

Well, if by "much of that soil" you really meant "a minute fraction of that soil", then you're pretty much right.

Do note, for the record, that most of those "unstable isotopes" fall into either:

(A)long lived, and thus not very radioactive, or

(B)short lived, and thus not radioactive very long.

nuke don't dig holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422416)

I am pretty sure nuke are mostly heat, with maybe a wave of compression of the heated air. Even if you heat the desert material, it may fly up a bit, and fall down radioactive (or not) around. That would be an extremly inneficient way of digging.

Noah and the Pope. (-1, Flamebait)

ScottySniper (1699386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421648)

And in other news, the Pope says "Noah was real, a huge flood millions of years ago proves it".

No news (5, Informative)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421650)

Julian May already wrote about it in The Golden Torc back in the '80s and her story is way more interesting than this one :-)

Ugh... I know where this is going... (1, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421664)

Somehow I feel that this hypothesis will mangled beyond recognition so creationists can make it somehow seem as if it supports their idea of young earth and Noah's ark.

How do you think stories got started? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421758)

This one happened almost 5 million years before modern man first arrived. There are several better floods, if you want to explain the presence of so many flood stories in ancient cultures. Really, there are several candidates that could explain all of those stories about the entire (known) world getting flooded, and Noah isn't the only ancient story about the world being flooded. Frankly, such things being passed down in oral history is only reasonable. If anyone had seen this flood, you can bet that every generation for a very long time would have heard the story!

It's like all those myths about dragons, which are spread through many different cultures. Of course they never really existed, but they have a basis in reality: people probably found dinosaur fossils and the legends grew. Just because things have been legendized doesn't mean they have no basis in fact.

Re:How do you think stories got started? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422276)

This one happened almost 5 thousand years before modern man first arrived.

Fixed.

Re:How do you think stories got started? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422326)

Lies don't fix anything.

Re:How do you think stories got started? (2, Funny)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422738)

The Easter Bunny, for example.

Video please? (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421668)

This story would be much cooler with a video clip.

Re:Video please? (1, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421874)

Pix or didn't happen.

huh. (1)

dikdik (1696426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421674)

There is geological evidence that the Mediterranean and Black Seas were once cut off from the rest of the worlds oceans in (relatively recent) times. Its possible that the Arctic ocean was also cut off during the ice age, but then it was more an ice shelf than an ocean/sea.Anyway in a million years we may have managed to melt all the (land supported) ice and most of africa would be underwater before the rift opens wide. On the other hand if we cause enough of a greenhouse effect, all the water could be boiled off, and the planet resembles venus.

Chaos theory (1, Informative)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421678)

hm, It's fun to think about, but any single advent 5 million years ago as such as this is sufficiency complex enough to render any proof impossible. They are basing this speed of months on mountain stream modals. Even if the Math was prefect, the result is fundamentally flawed.

Re:Chaos theory (2, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421766)

... the result is fundamentally flawed.

... just like the rest of the science: it is all based on observations made by rather imperfect human eyes and generalizations delivered by our rather interpretive brains.

The crucial difference is whether scientists do understand the shaky foundation or they foolishly insist on objectivity of their research.

Re:Chaos theory (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422006)

True. However predicting current events is much more accurate, if still imprecise, then inferring the result of single event from 5 million years go. Especially when we can see if our predictions come true.

Re:Chaos theory (2, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422038)

99% of me agrees with you wholeheartedly. It's rather useless.

Yet there is 1% of me which also knows that it is an integral part of science to make up some silly theories and models about stuff which we would never know for sure. After all, pretty much everything in the today's science started some long time ago from a silly theory. It was silly and unknowable in the past - while now it is treated as an fact.

Re:Chaos theory (1, Troll)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422418)

it is all based on observations made by rather imperfect human eyes

Don't confuse this with actual observation. It's far from it.

This "research" is little more than a computer game where the programmer puts in the physics of a closed environment, and plays with some numbers with a big incentive to get an impressive result in order to get published.



Computer models are the spam messages of complex science.

  • Some kind of attention grabbing headline
  • A number of people believe what they say and propagate it all over
  • Even knowledgeable people often take second to realize what it is before discarding it

Re:Chaos theory (3, Interesting)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422074)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like the science is even shakier than that.

The Mediterranean could easily have formed over tens of thousands of years (it says so in the article), but they're puzzled that there's a U-shaped sediment deposit instead of a the V-shape made by slow water erosion.

Glacial valleys [wikipedia.org] are also U-shaped. Glaciers have covered that area many times over the last 5 million years.

Tectonic movement could also smooth out the normal V-shape of slower water erosion. All patches of earth are constantly rising, sinking, and/or moving horizontally. The middle of the V rising could explain the U. The sides of the V sinking or moving away from the center could also explain the U. Notice the mountainous areas around Spain and NW Africa [wikipedia.org] . There is a tectonic plate boundary next it [wikipedia.org] . There's been plenty of movement in that area over the last 5 million years.

Multiple rivers could also have broken into the Mediterranean and eventually carried off the bits of land in between, also explaining a U-shape, but over a longer period of time than the "2-year max" their simulation shows.



Here are 3 less exciting, but (as far as I can tell) plausible explanations. It could also be a mixture of these and/or other factors we haven't considered.

It looks like they simply chose one hypothesis that sounded impressive and made a computer simulation of it.

You understand neither chaos nor computer models (4, Insightful)

localroger (258128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422782)

Chaos theory only applies to certain kinds of systems, which for well defined reasons might demonstrate sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Turbulence is chaotic. However, bulk hydrodynamic flow is not; it can be showed at a large range of scales that simple equations and models map pretty closely to reality. The low-level turbulence averages out and doesn't affect the final result much.

Computer models of chaotic systems may not reflect the exact performance of what they are modeling, but they can demonstrate the range of possible and likely results.

And the model is not just based on mountain streams; it is also based on some much larger and more recent events, such as the creation of the Snake River Gorge (300 meters deep in a matter of weeks) and the flooding of the English Channel. Water has enormous power to carve up rock, and the conclusion of the study is not in any way extraordinary; it's what anyone who has ever stood at the bottom of the Snake River Gorge would even find rather obvious.

The problem is that throughout the colonial era it was widely assumed by learned men that the Earth is a stable place where a comfortable equilibrium reigns. What we have found in the last 40 years or so is that the Earth is actually an extraordinarily violent and often inhospitable place, and the relative stability of the last few centuries is an exception, not the rule. If we hang around here long enough we will have to deal with violent changes, and efforts to engineer such a complex and sensitive system might make things worse. The problem is that we are engineering it by pumping carbon into the atmosphere, and a sensible person might conclude knowing what the system is capable of that kicking it might not be such a good idea.

Oral history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421704)

It does make one wonder about the origin of some flood stories, among others... how long can legends live for?

Perhaps more interestingly, I wonder how many species this event wiped out? Unicorns on the Mediterranean plains perhaps? ;-)

Those poor Atlanteans ... (1)

gafisher (865473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421730)

... never saw it coming.

Imagine the Netherlands... (2, Interesting)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421736)

Normally I consider news like this "well nice to know, but it doesn't really affect me".
This case is different, living in a country which is already mostly under sealevel, these 9.5 meters would have made a huge difference.

For example see the map at http://www.rivm.nl/vtv/object_map/o1213n39037.html [www.rivm.nl] . If it hadn't happened, we would now have had the island "De Veluwe" :-)

Surf's up (1)

joib (70841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421754)

Oh man, wave of a lifetime.

Re:Surf's up (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421878)

Well, there might not be so great waves, but according to TFA "It would be an exciting rafting place" Garcia-Castellanos says.

Climate Control Mass Engineering (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421756)

For the audacious, pump the water back out and refill when a new climate is desired ...

Explain this then, you floodgatetards! (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421842)

Now *this* is the hard evidence that destroys the very foundation of the "floodgate" criers AND Theogenic Global Deluge deniers!!!11!

I don't get it... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421884)

In this model the Mediterranean filled in anywhere from a few months to two years at the outside.

What I don't get is why the outside of the sea would fill up that much slower than anywhere else? Is there some kind of advanced quantumified physics explanation? Perhaps related to aliens?

Re:I don't get it... (5, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421940)

Ok, just once, giving you the benefit of doubt concerning trolling:

The mediterrean doesnt have that many rivers flowing into it, but is in a relatively hot climate.
This means that much more water evaporates than it recieves.

Several times in history, the connection of the mediterrean with the other oceans (i.e. the atlantic) was closed by the way of plate tectonics,ice age, etc (plate of africa going north and forming the alps...)).
During these times, the entire sea evaporated away. IIRC, it was once MUCH deeper, but at the ground there are a few km of salt and sediments from those times.

But such things cannot last. Thousands (if an ice age) or millions of years later there was a breach somewhere to let water enter (be it by way of an earthquake, rising water level of the outside oceans, etc). And after that, erosion had its way.

It must have been an unimagineable awesome display ...

In MONTHS? (3, Funny)

Huzzah! (1548443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421966)

Noah shit??

wake up & smell the carbon monoxide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422032)

the head in the sand approach to consideration for others/the future is definitely going to be costly/fatal for many.

water will be the next 'commodity' used to control our behaviours, as we suffocate ourselves.

meanwhile, go jump into your CO factory & go for a spin. you may be right in that it may not matter anymore. we've heard though, that where there's life, there's hope.

the lights are coming up all over now. get ready to join the creators' wwwildly popular newclear powered planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's way user friendly (foolproof), & there's never any liesense fees.

this post was deleted from earlier storIEs.

Video of the flooding (5, Interesting)

photonic (584757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422072)

Probably the best small-scale example of how violent this event would have been is given by the flooding of an open-air mine [wikipedia.org] in Malaysia. The rocks separating the mine from the sea became unstable and collapsed, filling the whole thing in minute or so: video! [youtube.com]

Re:Video of the flooding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422406)

I love it when humans get bitch slapped by nature.

Global Climate change is going to be a spanking.

The flood hypothesis is not new (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422110)

The Mediterranean flood hypothesis is not new [wiley.com] - these authors have just done more work on the geology. They lean against the giant waterfall idea ("We do not envisage a waterfall..."), which is a shame - I always liked the idea of a supersonic waterfall.

My pimple's bigger than that (1)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422136)

" ...with 40 cm of rock eroding and the water level rising by 10 m per day at its peak..."

40 centimeters ain't much of anything. I doubt it would allow much of the Atlantic Ocean to get in.

Unless, of course, the blurb author meant 40 cubic miles in which case we're talking about one big hole.

But, if that's the case, using the same terminology the water lever was rising by 10 miles per day.

Help, I'm surrounded by ignoramuses.

Re:My pimple's bigger than that (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422490)

it struck me that the author intent was "40cm of rock eroded per day, while waterleved rose bay as much as 10meters per day at its peak..." that being the case 40cm or rock erosion per day is pretty huge

Re:My pimple's bigger than that (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422558)

it struck me that the author intent was

      _Intent_ belongs to such fields as soothsaying, and sadly nowadays, law.

        It has no business in a "scientific" article. If a "scientist" can't even check his work before posting them, he just failed peer review...

      However if you note TFA it says "centimeters of rock". The error is on the part of the submitter/editors. Surprised? Of course the person who actually wrote TFA forgot that we don't live in a 1-D world, and an expression such as 40 cm of rock is useless. A volume, or even an area plus the 40cm data, so that we could calculate a volume, would be far more practical.

Plate Tectonics (1)

john940 (1032752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422140)

And I thought that the Mad is the last remnant of the Tethys ocean caused by plate tectonics as Africa moved north towards Europe. This theory is as old as the hills and was replaced when plate tectonics came of age.

Mediterranean Basin floods? (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422256)

Dam' Anthropgenic Global Warming! Al Gore, you're too late to save us!

Documentation (3, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422402)

They imagine a shallow, fast-moving stream of water (around 100 km/hr)

And you just know there are cave drawings somewhere showing jackasses trying to body surf in it.

Yeah, right (1)

kylben (1008989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422482)

Video, or it didn't happen.

Panama Canal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422630)

So what would happen if the Panama Canal were simply opened up?

Was it really 5 million years ago? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422644)

I've heard it said before that the only reason so many scientists get those dates is that they base them on assumptions. Assuming the earth is so many billion years old will get you a date that confirms your theories. Like, if you assume that a variable in an equation is a certain number, and depending on the number you assume you'll get a totally different answer than if you assumed a much larger or smaller number. Could someone confirm or deny (with evidence if possible) whether or not this is true for me? I'm very curious about this.

Cowabunga d00d!!! (1)

Old Sparky (675061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422786)

Or, in the immortal words of Billy Gibbons; "Surf's Up!!!"

I'm not usually a Grammar Nazi, but... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422814)

...let's at least get the name of the place right. It's Strait of Gibraltar, not "straight".

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