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Catastrophe or catastrophic comes from the Greek κατά (kata) = down; στροφή (strophē) = turning. It may refer to:

A general or specific event[edit]

  • Disaster
  • Aral Sea catastrophe or Aral Sea crisis, the environmental, economic, health, social, and other disruptions caused by Soviet diversion of rivers into the Aral Sea
  • The (Asia Minor) Catastrophe, a Greek name for the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey
  • Blue sky catastrophe, a type of bifurcation of a periodic orbit, where the orbit vanishes into the blue sky
  • Catastrophic failure, complete failure of a system from which recovery is impossible (e.g. a bridge collapses)
  • Climatic catastrophe, forced transition of climate system to a new climate state at a rate which is more rapid than the rate of change of the external forcing
  • Cosmic catastrophe, thought experiment about what would happen if the sun were to suddenly disappear
  • Ecological catastrophe, a disaster to the natural environment due to human activity
  • Error catastrophe, extinction of an organism as a result of excessive mutations
  • Garbage catastrophe, a theory that the process of aging may derive from imperfect clearance of oxidatively damaged, relatively indigestible material
  • Impending climatic catastrophe, conjectured runaway climate change resulting from a rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system
  • Infrared catastrophe or infrared divergence is a situation in particle physics in which a particular integral diverges
  • Iron catastrophe, runaway melting of early earth's interior as a result of potential energy release from sinking iron and nickel melted by heat of radioactive decay
  • Late Bronze Age collapse
  • Malthusian catastrophe, prediction of a forced return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth has outpaced agricultural production
  • Mitotic catastrophe, an event in which a cell is destroyed during mitosis
  • The Nakba, the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians from their homes
  • Nedelin catastrophe or Nedelin disaster, launch pad accident at Baikonur test range of Baikonur Cosmodrome
  • Oxygen catastrophe, the biologically induced appearance of dioxygen (O2) in Earth's atmosphere
  • Runaway climate change or Climatic catastrophe, hypothesized runaway global warming when a tipping point is exceeded
  • Toba catastrophe hypothesis, hypothesis that the Toba supervolcanic eruption caused a global volcanic winter and 1,000-year-long cooling episode
  • Ultraviolet catastrophe, the prediction by classical physics that a black body will emit radiation at infinite power
  • Vacuum catastrophe, the discrepancy between theoretical and measured vacuum energy density in cosmology
  • Volcanic catastrophe, the predicted global climatic disruptions caused by a supervolcanic eruption

Art, entertainment, and media[edit]

Fictional entities[edit]





  • Catastrophe theory, a theory by the French mathematician René Thom and the object of its study

See also[edit]