Approximately 75,000 years ago, an event occurred that almost wiped out human life. According to a stunning new theory, this singular event may also have completely altered the genetic evolution of humankind. It was an event that released 3,000 times the energy of Mt. St. Helens.
The new book, Supervolcano, explores this eruption of the Toba supervolcano in Sumatra, Indonesia, its far-reaching impact, and the strong possibility of another supervolcano eruption in our lifetime.
Supervolcanoes are considered one of the five biggest threats to humankind, along with asteroids, nuclear war, disease, and global warming. But of those, supervolcanoes are the only threat that cannot be prevented.
And their effects are catastrophic. So devastating was the Toba eruption and the sheer amount of ash it released into the atmosphere, it altered the global climate for years, creating a mini Ice Age that obliterated massive amounts of plant, animal, and human life. A new theory claims this earth-shattering event also caused a severe “population bottleneck” in humans, leading to the eventual extinction of all other branches of our species with the exception of one…the branch that survived Toba and became modern humans.
Supervolcano will explore:
- What supervolcanos are, where they are found, and why they are so deadly to life on earth.
- Toba, the largest of the known supervolcanoes in the past 27 million years, and how its catastrophic environmental aftermath brought humanity to the brink of extinction.
- How genetic, geological, and computer studies show that each human today is related to a survivor of Toba.
- How we can prepare for the next supervolcano, which many earth scientists believe could be right here in our own backyard – Yellowstone National Park. And why they believe an eruption at Yellowstone could be as catastrophic for humanity as Toba.
Dr. John Savino, Ph.D. is a geophysicist with a background in earthquakes and volcanoes. He has assisted the Department of Energy (DOE) in reviewing research conducted by earth scientists at several national laboratories and universities. Dr. Savino has also participated in the DOE’s Public Outreach Program, delivering presentations on earthquakes and volcanoes. He has presented papers at numerous scientific conferences and published articles in refereed journals, technical reports, and abstracts in conference and meeting programs. He lives in Big Bear Lake, California.
Quotes and Reviews
“When a supervolcano goes off…it produces energy equivalent to an impact with a comet or asteroid. You can try diverting an asteroid, but there is nothing at all you can do about a supervolcano.”
– Dr. Ted Nield, Geological Society of London