Did a million years of rain jump-start dinosaur evolution?
December 3, 2019 6:07 PM   Subscribe

 
So this is really cool! I,d never heard of the Carnian before and it sounds like a fascinating moment in the earth,s history that could unlock secrets about abrupt climate shifts and early dinosaur evolution.

But I gotta say Alastair Ruffell is a really great name. Not sure anything could be more British.

Great post. Dinosaurs! Climate drama!!
posted by supermedusa at 6:56 PM on December 3, 2019 [2 favorites]


Rain season has begun in the Bay Area and will likely persist until March in what always feels like millions of years of precipitation, so I'm going to pour one out for all those Triassic crinoids. Sucks, man.
posted by invitapriore at 7:12 PM on December 3, 2019 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I'm a happy inhabitant of the Pacific Northwest but the notion of a million years of rain rain everywhere made my soul shrivel and die just a bit.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:17 PM on December 3, 2019 [7 favorites]


Also, "Carnian Pluvial Episode" is the name of my new band.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:19 PM on December 3, 2019 [16 favorites]


If this were true, Vancouver would be overrun with dinosaurs.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:25 PM on December 3, 2019 [6 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I want to translate "Carnian pluvial episode" as "meat rain time", which...would not be a good band name.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:22 PM on December 3, 2019 [9 favorites]


No, but it's a great album name.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 PM on December 3, 2019 [5 favorites]


a great GWAR album name.
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:28 PM on December 3, 2019 [9 favorites]


Cover by Hipgnosis, something collage-y and surreal and memorable with that title. Meat•Rain•Time
posted by hippybear at 8:28 PM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


A million years of rain here on the Olympic Peninsula would wipe out everything but the cedars and the slugs

Slugs everywhere, twirling in the trees, dropping to earth

Meat Rain Time
posted by clew at 8:36 PM on December 3, 2019 [21 favorites]


For my band I'll take "A Million Years of Rain." At least as an album name.
posted by zardoz at 8:59 PM on December 3, 2019 [4 favorites]


Cover by Hipgnosis. All album covers should be by Hipgnosis.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]


And I end this derail here.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM on December 3, 2019


The more I think about it, the more I want to translate "Carnian pluvial episode" as "meat rain time", which...would not be a good band name.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:22 PM on December 3 [1 favorite +] [!]


No, but it's a great album name.
posted by hippybear at 10:26 PM on December 3 [1 favorite +] [!]


a great GWAR album name.
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:28 PM on December 3 [1 favorite +] [!]


Conceptually it is already a song by The Weather Girls.
posted by srboisvert at 9:14 PM on December 3, 2019 [22 favorites]


Hallelujah, it's Meat Rain Time! *disco beat*
posted by hippybear at 9:24 PM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


The warm and extremely wet Carnian is a lot like the conditions we used to almost take for granted we'd find on Venus (and possibly really would've a few billion years ago).

In 1962, for example, Worlds of If published Heinlein's "Podkayne of Mars" without a second thought, and which featured a warm, wet and very gray Venus, though they did make him change the ending.
posted by jamjam at 12:43 AM on December 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


and here i was, thinking Carnian Pluvial was my new drag name.fine, fine. you can have the Episode for your band.
posted by lapolla at 3:13 AM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


Is this that great flood I kept hearing about as a kid?
posted by TedW at 4:33 AM on December 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


You're gonna need a bigger ark.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:33 AM on December 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


Noahsaurus.
posted by jabah at 5:38 AM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


“One day it started raining, and it didn't quit for a million years. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain, and big ol' fat rain, rain that flew in sideways, and sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night.”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:24 AM on December 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I'm a little vague on how it can rain everywhere for a long time. When and where would the water vapor return to the atmosphere?
posted by hypnogogue at 8:28 AM on December 4, 2019


The evidence is for a wet period in otherwise-dry regions. But this event took place while Pangaea was intact, and there was still a lot of ocean, under which we presumably don't have evidence of terrestrial rain. The rain could have been a mechanism where water was transported from the ocean to (most or all of) the land.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:50 AM on December 4, 2019


The Long Rain (1950) by Ray Bradbury: text (PDF); sound-designed & narrated by Alexander Rogers (YT audio drama).
posted by cenoxo at 9:08 AM on December 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


For my band I'll take "A Million Years of Rain." At least as an album name.

Porcupine Tree beat you to it: "It Will Rain for a Million Years" from their debut album.
(I friggin' love this song)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 12:06 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I can’t find an online photo of banana slugs mating in midair. I should remember to take one next time I see it. Huge, yellow, mucous, intercoiled, quivering; it’s like an alien heart. So romantic!

hypnogogue, where it rains on land depends a lot on how topography intersects the global air currents (which are driven by how the sun hits the planet more directly in some parts than others). Tectonic movement rearranges the continents and mountains, which reroute the winds, and the winds carry water, which wears down the tectonic relief when it lands on land. I can’t think of a good single book on it, anyone have recommendations? The Third Pole and Milankovitch cycles are two cool things to search on, though.
posted by clew at 1:13 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


The change intrigued Ruffell when he first found the outcrops in the mid-1980s, but the young geologist had a PhD project to finish. So he put the Triassic puzzle to one side, until a chance encounter in 1987 with another young scientist, palaeontologist Michael Simms...

I read a lot of m/m romance, have written one, and am working on another, so now everything sounds to me like the blurb for a gay love story. Chance encounters are the romance novelists' bread and butter.
posted by Orlop at 3:39 PM on December 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I love that this science-y post led to 27 comments about music, art, and fiction.
posted by salvia at 11:38 PM on December 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


I can’t think of a good single book on it, anyone have recommendations?

clew, as it happens, I can and I do! E. C. Pielou published a magnificent book called Fresh Water that deals with this very thing in the very way you ask about!
posted by cgc373 at 11:43 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


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