Friday, July 06, 2007

Toba mega-eruption 70,000 years ago, not so catastrophic: study
The Toba eruption, in northern Sumatra, was the strongest felt by the planet in the last two million years, said an international team of scientists.

However, the hypothesis that it may have drastically cooled the Earth, killing off most of the human population living at the time, has only been supported by flimsy evidence, they said in a study published Thursday in Science magazine,

A series of stone artifacts unearthed in southern India now suggest that local human populations remained in the region after the Toba eruption, the scientists said.

I suppose that the effects would be different depending on the subsistence pattern. Agricultural societies could be heavily influenced were even a single season of crops to fail, while lower-density hunter-gatherers might not see much of any decline, depending on their resource base.