Science advance in archaeology points to massive economic risk in future

Summary: A Japanese scientist, Fusa Miyake, discovered that cosmic ray storms (caused by solar flares or other celestial events) lead to a sudden spike in Carbon-14 which can be found in tree rings. These tree rings can be very precisely dated by what is now called “Miyake events.” That’s a great benefit to archaeology because ancient structures are often built with wood which can now be dated. Very cool.

How is this related to Macroeconomics?

The largest solar storm to hit our planet in recorded history was the Carrington Event from 1–2 September 1859. Telegraph stations caught fire as transmission wires sizzled under a barrage of electrons. A Carrington Event today would fry satellites (including GPS) and the electric power grid.

BUT… Carbon-14 records in tree rings from 1859 show virtually no upticks — nothing approaching the massive spike caused by Miyake events.

“The grave consequences have scientists trying to discern whether past Miyake events follow a pattern or cycle, or whether a future event would blindside us. “The goal is to try and understand the frequency and severity of these events with a view to actually do some kind of risk assessment,” says physicist Andrew Smith of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. That includes working out how to better shield people and equipment on Earth and in space. “Obviously, a big [Miyake] event today would be a disaster,” Smith says. “All of our tech would be in a smoking heap overnight.””

Short of a massive asteroid strike, this would be the ultimate Black Swan for our modern economy.



Very interesting. But not something to put any investing thought into. As you say, the economy would be ruined. As would modern life. Unless you plan to buy a few acres in the middle of nowhere with an underground water source and learn the grow your own food.


Wendy there are a lot of these catastrophes that can happen…but the odds are well over 10k years out for any of them. The core of the earth can also change its rotational direction. In fact the core has been slowing.

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Examinations of the volcano’s distant past do provide something of a clue. Geologic evidence suggests that Yellowstone has produced three colossal eruptions within the past 2.1 million years. Volcanologists say the eruptions occurred at gaps of about 600,000 to 800,000 years. Evidence from the last big event, estimated to have to been about 640,000 years ago, is sprawled throughout the park and across thousands of kilometers of the surrounding landscape.

When a Sleeping Giant Awakes.

Uh oh, on average, we’re overdue.

Maybe all that money we spend on exploring outer space isn’t such a waste.

Me, I plan to hitch a ride on the next UAP I come across. That’s why I always carry a towel with me.


Not to worry, Yellowstone will propel you into outer space. :wink:

The Captain

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No. It created lots of jobs and consumable (if not particularly palatable) range powder.