Talk:Impact winter

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Rewrite, notes[edit]

In rewriting the article, I've tried to have the article not take a stand as to whether impact winters are possible or not, or whether they've occurred in the past. That seems to reflect the uncertainty in the geological/astronomical community.

Before I started, the article (rather contradictorilly read):

  • "It is widely believed that the dinosaurs perished during an impact winter which occurred 65 million years ago.", and later
  • "So far in recorded history, an impact winter has never occurred"

Yes, technically Chicxulub isn't "recorded history", but rather "prehistory", but to many people "never in recorded history" is going to read like "never ever".

That first line also rather oversimplifies the KT extinction debate, and there are plenty of folks who either don't believe the impact winter scenario at all, or who have plenty of doubts ([1]).

Also the article later says "Such an impact would cause an impact winter", which I think is an overly bold statement. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:36, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Since impact winter isn't a proven happening, why not just state that it is theoretical? This may help to qualm any issues about whether it is universally held as true. Tnek46 04:16, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Recent moves by Malamockq[edit]

Stop moving this article and read what I am about to type. Michaelbusch 00:37, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I am a student of planetary science. We refer to this effect as impact winter or nuclear winter. I admit that the latter term is something of a mis-nomer. Until the page was moved, I had never heard the term 'cosmic winter'. A Google search shows that the term has indeed been used, but there are only ~800 hits, as compared to ~32000 for 'impact winter'. Given the professional usage, and the 40:1 ratio in internet usage, this article should stay where it is. It certainly should not be moved without consensus. Michaelbusch 00:39, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Note: I have also attempted to clean up the article somewhat. I know something of 99942 Apophis and 1950 DA, and the treatment in this article was largely irrelevant and somewhat mis-leading. Michaelbusch 00:40, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Malamockq has obtained ~1.3 million hits on Google, by removing the quotation marks from 'cosmic winter'. This naturally gives a great many more hits, but is not relevant to this discussion because most of them are invalid. Putting in 'impact winter' with no quotes gives just shy of 50 million hits. This merely shows that Google is not the best source when it comes to terminology. Checking scholarly papers, 'Impact winter' has been used almost exclusively for the last two decades. Michaelbusch 00:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

It's never called nuclear winter. It has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. Your credibility is dubious at best. Malamockq 01:03, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Use of the term nuclear winter in this context is colloquial in the planetary science community. As I said, it is a misnomer, but the effect and physics are the same even though the cause is different. Please avoid personal attacks. Michaelbusch 01:10, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Cosmic/Impact Winter does not have the effects of radioactive fallout. It isn't correct to exchange the terms. Personally I think Cosmic winter is a better name because it describes the event better. "Cosmic" implies something to do with space, which is where asteroids and meteors originate from. "Impact" seems more ambiguous. 19:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of what it should be called, "Impact winter" is the most common term, both in the popular literature and the scientific community. That said: Nuclear winter also has nothing to do with fallout: it is simply aerosols reflecting light. "Impact" is preferred to "Cosmic" because it describes what happens: something hits the ground and kicks up dust, regardless of what the impactor. "Cosmic" refers to the entire universe (e.g. cosmology), not to space, and if we were being consistent, 'cosmic winter' would be something on cosmological scales. Michaelbusch 20:38, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
We aren't here to discuss if this article should be called Nuclear winter so stop bringing that up. That's not the point. What's popular isn't necessarily what's appropriate either. Both are legitimate terms, so what we choose should be based more on what term describes the event best. Cosmic winter is a better name as it describes the event with less ambiguity. Your rationale to keep "impact" and not "cosmic" is bad logic. Cosmic winter should be something on the cosmological scale? That's absurd. Asteroids, meteors, and comets are all cosmic phenomena. Nukes aren't. But nukes ARE an impact phenomena, which is why Cosmic winter is better at differentiating between the two. That's the point. To differentiate between a winter caused by nukes, and a winter caused by some kind of cosmic object. Malamockq 17:58, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Malamockq, stop now. Remember that this is Wikipedia: no original research and not a soapbox. It is called impact winter by a margin of 40:1. We will therefore call it such. Your personal views on the subject are not relevant, nor are mine. That said, haven't you read the definition of 'cosmic'? Michaelbusch 19:01, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
No I don't need to stop now because this is a talk page where we are allowed to discuss ways to improve the articles. You are arguing a Red Herring. A logical fallacy. Nothing you said is relevant, nor is it true anyway. I'm not trying to contribute any information to the actual article therefore there is no possibility for original research. Cosmic winter is a legitimate term. The soapbox retort is another red herring. I'm getting no where in this debate. He's taking it personally, and is trying to throw out the entire debate. Malamockq 01:45, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

While I agree that "impact winter" is a good description, "cosmic winter", while less common, is also probably just as correct in laymen's terms, as it's more descriptive of how catastrophic such an event would be. Just because a term is more or less common doesn't make it more or less "correct", IMO - perhaps merge the titles into something like "Cosmic Impact Winter" or "Cosmic/Impact Winter"? --Dark Pulse 02:07, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Move protected[edit]

I've protected this against moves. Please discuss here William M. Connolley 11:53, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Um. Suddenly, no-one cares? William M. Connolley 22:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I have said all I have to say. Michaelbusch 01:26, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
William, it seems obvious Michael won't be convinced to change the name despite good rationale behind it. How will we decide this? Malamockq 18:00, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
There is no rationale. I have explained this three times. Michaelbusch 19:11, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I also observe that Malamockq's proported rationale for the moves has changed. Initially, he said it was the most common term. When I demonstrated that it was not, he changed his tactic to saying that 'Cosmic winter' is somehow a better description of the phenonema. I have explained that it is not, based both on a description of the process and the meaning of the words. He then states that he has a good rationale for the moves. I am confused. Michaelbusch 19:25, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm offering many different views on this subject for the purpose of improving the article. This isn't a game, there are no tactics. Neither you nor I have anything to gain or lose from the name of this article being changed so why are you taking this so personally? Malamockq 01:47, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
I am not taking this personally. However, I have an interest that Wikipedia be accurate and reliable where science is concerned. This includes Wikipedia using standard scientific terminology. The article should be called 'Impact winter', because of accuracy and usage. If you want to put in a note that it has been occasionally referred to as 'Cosmic winter', that is fine, but doing anything more is a mis-nomer. Michaelbusch 04:31, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Mb is not being as helpful as he could be; but his argument - an 40:1 favour of impact over cosmic winter - is so far unaddressed. OTOH Ml appers to base his argument at least in part on the incorrect assertion that Cosmic winter gets 1.2M google hits [2]. It would be nice to see him explicitly withdraw this claim William M. Connolley 18:54, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I withdraw that claim, a mistake on my part. Regardless though, I believe my other points have merit. I'm not sure if google hits alone should be what decides the name of this article. I think there are many factors. Impact winter is a legitimate term, but a little ambiguous. Cosmic winter is also a legitimate term, but more descriptive in describing the topic. Malamockq 19:27, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
A good start. Google doesn't decide alone, but is a fair starting point, and 40:1 is a large disparity (the disparity only seems to be 4:1, though thats also large, at google scholar). Outside google, we have your preference for CW vs Mb preference for IW. CW is more colloquial; I can't see why IW is ambiguous William M. Connolley 20:00, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
The point of this article is to differentiate it from Nuclear winter which is caused by nuclear weapons, while IW, or CW is caused by some kind of cosmic object like asteroids. While IW is a legitimate term, it doesn't differentiate itself from Nuclear winter as much as CW does. That's because a nuclear missile striking the ground can still be described as an "impact", but it can never be described as "cosmic". That's why I think CW is a better term for this article. Malamockq 17:18, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I would generally refer to a nuke going off as an explosion: the impact is not what does the damage. Michaelbusch 18:11, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Indeed yes. And of course nukes don't hit the ground, that would be inefficient, they are designed to air-burst (the big ones: not the tactical bunker-buster types, if those actually exist) William M. Connolley 22:22, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know the warhead doesn't literally strike the ground unless it's a bunker buster, but the explosion does impact the ground. There are also issues regarding orbital bombardment, and kinetic bombardment which do involve impacts. My point is "cosmic" describes the event better than "impact", because it's less ambiguous. Malamockq 18:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I still disagree with you: 'cosmic' is more confusing and doesn't say anything about what actually happens. That is probably why the term has never achieved widespread use. Michaelbusch 19:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Well I already explained why cosmic is a more descriptive term a few posts ago. Malamockq 00:58, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Malamockq - I think you have to face the fact that you and Mb have different preferences for the page title, and are unlikely to convince each other. That leaves the overwhelming google advantage with Mb. Unless you can come up with something new, the current name will stay William M. Connolley 09:13, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Size to reach ground[edit]

The sections "size" and "impact" contradict each other, and state that objects have to be above either 50m or 3km to impact the ground, both of which are obviously nonsense as meteorites regularly hit the ground with every possible size from marbles to cars. Fig (talk) 12:14, 29 October 2013 (UTC)