Rising global sea levels and catastrophic continental glacier meltdowns submerge the coasts and rich inland valleys where much of prehistoric human civilization has been developing up to now, leaving little more behind than a handful of isolated higher altitude inland settlements exhibiting technologies and practices often significantly inferior to those drowned by the rising water and flooding.
-- "ANCIENT SEAFARERS"BY PETER BELLWOOD, SPECIAL REPORT, Volume 50 Number 2 March/April 1997, the Archaeological Institute of America, http://www.archaeology.org/9703/etc/specialreport.html
-- "Evidence For Earliest Maritime-Based Societies In The Americas Reported" In Science Magazine, 17 SEPTEMBER 1998, American Association for the Advancement of Science
-- Rise in Sea Levels To Double, Discovery News Brief , http://www.discovery.com/, found on or about 9-15-99
Vast regions of what had been dry and inviting land, riversides, and coastal areas around the planet gradually disappear beneath the rising oceans during this time, as the immense glaciers of the Ice Age retreat at last. Any and all settlements, villages, cities, harbors, trading centers, fortesses, roads, canals, and other traces of civilization built up in these areas during the past 33,000 years or so are now submerged and/or washed away.
Note that all this destruction, damage, and general flux must also be having catastrophic and traumatic effects on the cultures forced to give up their greatest monuments and works of many lifetimes, often faced with no choice but to move to higher ground with only what can be carried on their back.
The thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of people the world over forced to leave the comfort of well established communities to start again in less hospitable locales, often facing new competition from entrenched long term natives and the hazards of unfamiliar flora and fauna and climate, must surely have suffered a high rate of attrition among their numbers. Such a population would have suffered from increased vulnerability to disease, malnutrition, and predation. This period may well mark another significant die off worldwide, in a larger scale and longer spanned version of the post-Columbus European settlements of North America which will occur much, much later, participants of which left much more technologically advanced and often more socially sophistocated nations for an unfamiliar wilderness, and often suffered enormous mortality rates for their reward.
The histories of several early European settlements in North America after Columbus include accounts of very high death tolls due to starvation and other causes in the new land. And keep in mind these were peoples equipped with technology and tools significantly advanced over those commonly expected of the peoples of 15,000 BC to 3,000 BC.
There's scientific evidence for the possibility that this global rise in sea level is also interfering with the development of agriculture-- perhaps even spoiling/erasing entirely millennia of already established farming methods, and forcing the practice to virtually be re-invented again later on, after sea levels have more or less stabilized once more. Similar impacts may be occuring in other fields of technological innovation as well.
The vast expanse of super Australia is broken up into the several considerably smaller landmasses which will be known in 1999 AD as Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. Enormous chunks of previously dry Southeast Asia disappear beneath the waves, leaving only the remnants later to be known as Java, Indonesia, Borneo, India, Vietnam, China, and Korea to mark their passing.
The tundras spanning what someday will be known as the English Channel and Bering Strait are also inundated.
|-- page 446, "Traces of our Forebears", National Geographic, October 1988|
Around 10,500 BC (12,500 years ago) global temperatures suddenly rose about 20 degrees Fahrenheit in only 50 years.
This sudden warming-- as well as much of the other temperature increases before and after-- may have been spurred in part by explosive eruptions of green house gases from the icy methane hydrates which normally lie dormant on the sea bottom throughout the world.
Some speculate that the decrease in the weight of the oceans above the deposits (caused by all that water being tied up on land in glaciers) may have caused spontaneous collapses of the icy materials into its constituent gases, which then erupted out of the oceans to add to the warming of the Earth.
Substantial and highly flammable gas desposits line the ocean floor in many areas in a frozen, pressurized form, which might be on occasion released by meteor impacts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, warm gaseous or liquid emissions from still deeper in the sea floor, warming of the oceans, or a reduction in sea levels (lower sea levels reduce the confining pressure, while warming thaws the icy deposits). Releases of gas from these deposits can be either highly localized or global in nature. Wherever sufficient quantities of this gas are released, the atmosphere itself may catch fire, sparked by events like natural lightning strikes.
-- METHANE HYDRATE: PAST FRIEND OR FUTURE FOE? From Science Frontiers Digest of Scientific Anomalies ["http://www.knowledge.co.uk/frontiers/"] #77, SEP-OCT 1991 by William R. Corliss, citing "Did Methane Curb Ice Ages," New Scientist, p. 24, May 25, 1991, and Tim Appenzeller; "Fire and Ice under the Deep-Sea Floor," Science, 252:1790, 1991
Unexpected releases of this sea-bottom gas may explain many unexplained phenomena at or around the sea, such as ship sinkings, unusual light sightings, and even lost aircraft.
-- GAS HYDRATES AND THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE From Science Frontiers Digest of Scientific Anomalies ["http://www.knowledge.co.uk/frontiers/"] #25, JAN-FEB 1983 by William R. Corliss, citing Richard D. McIver; "Role of Naturally Occurring Gas Hydrates in Sediment Transport," American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Bulletin, 66:789, 1982
We're talking serious global climate change here folks. At this point the mostly slow and gradual loss of most of humanity's best works along sea and river coastlines worldwide suddenly accelerates enormously. And this time even many inland areas previously insulated from the catastrophic inundation of the coasts are drowned as well-- as this sudden thaw melts vast glacial ice sheets much faster than during the previous 5000 years, creating vast new inland seas and causing previously existing pools to overflow their banks in floods of such magnitude that they would be unimaginable 1999 AD humanity. We're talking destruction of inland cities and settlements here comparable to the worst tidal wave damage inflicted by the sea on coastal towns.
So to recap, here we have evidence of 5000 years of gradual creeping washing away of most all human works of civilization existing along coastlines and river ways. Then there comes a 50 year long period of surprise flash floods from the great inland ice sheets, that decimate inland areas which may previously have been protected from coastal flooding-- and as all this water washes into the ocean the sea level rises more too, accelerating the ongoing loss of coastal settlements there. People lose their cities, and rebuild them, only to lose them again and again. Such catastrophic repeated losses of wealth and organization would have sapped the strength and vitality of any civilization.
It seems likely that most historical records could have been repeatedly moved to higher ground during the slow rise of sea levels over the first 5000 years. But it also seems likely that the sudden catastrophic releases of glacial melt over the next 50 years would have caught many inland repositories unaware-- resulting in disasterous losses of recorded knowledge worldwide.
Be sure to take note of the likely sudden worldwide loss of historical and technological records and works here folks-- over a period of just 50 cataclysmic years.
After this though the inland and coastal floodings subside once more to the 'normal' long term rates of this era of global drowning (except for continued occasional catastrophic natural dam bursts of enormous inland seas and lakes created by bottled up glacier melt), and humanity faces once more the slow creeping watery end of ever more settlements as coastlines and river borders expand inland, pushed via the relentless rising seas.
Oh yes-- there's also significantly increased volcanic activity worldwide too. For it seems that as the weight of the melting glaciers is removed from the land masses, many dormant volcanoes re-awaken. We'll never be able to know how many prehistoric Pompeiis were created during this great eruptive event-- but these too help steal away large chunks of human history as they occur.
So here is strong evidence for the possibility of not only prehistoric human works like major cities and ports being wiped off the face of the Earth on a global scale, but also many important stores of knowledge and history that may have been held in such places. Any information stores which survived such inundation would likely have suffered a great dispersion/degradation of their contents, being broken up and moved to random locations of varying stability and safety in an attempt at preservation in the face of seemingly unpredictable changes in sea levels, inland flooding, volcanic eruptions, and climate during the period. And even where libraries somehow found a home safe from the ongoing disasters, the likely higher-than-normal death rates and relatively short generational spans among those aware of the prized locations could easily have caused the knowledge to be lost within only a century or two. It could be there are quite a few well hidden and preserved stores of knowledge from these days still in existence by the 20th century, hidden in places of high ground and possibly deserts; but they may only be found by random discovery. And, of course, the ravages of time will also have reduced all but the very sturdiest or well placed records to dust by 1999 AD.
-- "Antarctic Ice Core Hints Abrupt Warming Some 12,500 Years Ago May Have
Been Global", 1 OCTOBER 1998,
University of Colorado at Boulder
-- "Surprise: Geologists Find Glaciers Can Suppress Volcanic Eruptions", 12-8-98, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This steady encroachment of the sea affects most all the world's coastlines and low altitude inland waterways. But it especially decimates the communities of Australians built up over thousands of years along the western coastline of South America. The long term calamity severely weakens the culture, making it much more vulnerable to the invading Asians from the north after 11,000 BC or so.
Megafloods followed the end of the Ice Age in North America and Eurasia around 13,000 BC. Refuse from one such flood indicates a flood depth of 250 meters.
-- Damburst By Daniel Pendick, From New Scientist, 7 August 1999 (issue 2198)