Asteroid impacts cause wildfires, devastating tsunamis, immense economic loss, and end with death tolls in the millions
Bucknam and Gold in 08 [Mark and Robert, Mark Bucknam is the Deputy Director for Plans in the Policy Planning Office of the Office of the US Secretary of Defense. He is a Colonel in the US Air Force and holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College, University of London, as well as a BS in physics and an MS in materials science and engineering from Virginia Tech. Robert Gold is the Chief Technologist for the Space Department at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University. He was the Payload Manager for NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission. He earned his PhD in physics from the University of Denver. “Survival” (00396338); Oct/Nov2008, Vol. 50 Issue 5, p141-156, 16p PN]
An asteroid like Apophis would cause considerable damage if it collided with Earth. If it hit on land, it would make a crater about 6km across and the shock wave, ejecta and superheated air would level buildings and trees and ignite fires over a wide area.1 If it hit an ocean, it would cause a devastating cycle of gradually diminishing tsunamis. Scientists cannot yet predict the exact point Apophis might impact in 2036, but their current assessment predicts it would be somewhere along a long, lazy backward ‘S’ running from northeastern Kazakhstan through Siberia, north of Japan and across the Pacific Ocean before dipping south to converge with the west coast of North America; running eastward across Panama, Columbia and Venezuela, and finally terminating around the west coast of Africa near Senegal. The mid-point of this line lies several hundred kilometres west of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, about midway between Honolulu and Los Angeles. The tsunami from an ocean impact would likely inflict horrific human and economic losses – damage from Apophis could certainly surpass the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004, which claimed over 200,000 lives and inflicted damages on the order of $15 billion. The tsunamis would be huge
Wagner 03 (Cynthia Wagner is the senior editor of The Futurist. “Impact! Simulating an Asteroid Hit.” Futurist, Sep/Oct2003, Vol. 37, Issue 5. EBSCOhost TDA.
Knowing whether something will happen in the future may not be as important as knowing what else could happen if it did. So Ward and his team have developed a computer simulation of an asteroid impact and the tsunami it will cause when it lands in the Atlantic at an estimated 38,000 miles per hour. The scenario, in brief: Upon impact, the asteroid is vaporized in the 60,000-megaton blast, which blows an 11-mile-wide cavity in the ocean. The blast goes some three miles down, excavating part of the seafloor. Water rushes in to fill the cavity, then rings of waves spread out in all directions. Multiple tsunami waves of different frequencies and wavelengths pulsate from the blast site and spread out. The first waves to hit land are small, but the later waves, coming at intervals of three or four minutes, increase in height. Coastal areas are hit the hardest. Two hours after the impact, 400-foot waves swallow the northeastern U.S. coast, from Cape Code to, Cape Hatteras. In four hours, the entire East Coast has experienced waves at least 200 feet high. In eight hours, the waves reach Europe at heights of 30 to 50 feet.
Ocean asteroid impact leads to hundred-foot high waves across the world
Stephens 03 (Tim, Staff Writer @ UC Santa Cruz, “Massive tsunami sweeps Atlantic Coast in asteroid impact scenario for March 16, 2880” http://news.ucsc.edu/2003/05/355.html May 27, 2003) JM
The 60,000-megaton blast of the impact vaporizes the asteroid and blows a cavity in the ocean 11 miles across and all the way down to the seafloor, which is about 3 miles deep at that point. The blast even excavates some of the seafloor. Water then rushes back in to fill the cavity, and a ring of waves spreads out in all directions. The impact creates tsunami waves of all frequencies and wavelengths, with a peak wavelength about the same as the diameter of the cavity. Because lower-frequency waves travel faster than waves with higher frequencies, the initial impulse spreads out into a series of waves. "In the movies they show one big wave, but you actually end up with dozens of waves. The first ones to arrive are pretty small, and they gradually increase in height, arriving at intervals of 3 or 4 minutes," Ward said. The waves propagate all through the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. The waves decay as they travel, so coastal areas closest to the impact get hit by the largest waves. Two hours after impact, 400-foot waves reach beaches from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras, and by four hours after impact the entire East Coast has experienced waves at least 200 feet high, Ward said. It takes 8 hours for the waves to reach Europe, where they come ashore at heights of about 30 to 50 feet
Tsunamis ! - Economy
Tsunamis collapse the economy - coasts get screwed, the economy is screwed
Durrant 08 (Collin Durrant is the Director of Communications at the Conservative Law Foundation. “Experts Say U.S. Coasts and Estuaries Contribute Billions to Economy, but Much is at Risk: New report from Restore America’s Estuaries and The Ocean Foundation Shows High Economic Value of Coasts and Estuaries at Jeopardy Without Restoration and Protection”. May 21, 2008. http://www.clf.org/newsroom/experts-say-u-s-coasts-and-estuaries-contribute-billions-to-economy-but-much-is-at-risk-new-report-from-restore-america%E2%80%99s-estuaries-and-the-ocean-foundation-shows-high-economic-value-of-coa/, TDA”
A new report released today documents the economic value of the nation’s coastal areas in excess of hundreds of billions of dollars. According to the report, “The Economic and Market Value of Coasts and Estuaries: What’s At Stake?” beaches, coastal communities, ports, and fragile bays that are protected and managed in a sustainable way are economic engines that drive and support large sectors of the national economy. At the National Press Club, Jeff Benoit, President of Restore America Estuaries and Dr. Linwood Pendleton, of The Ocean Foundation’s Coastal Ocean Values Center, detailed their findings, including: Estuaries and coasts comprise only 13 percent of the land area of the United States, but are home to 43 percent of the population. 40 percent of the population works in coastal areas, and the coasts produce a staggering 49 percent of the economic output. In eight coastal states, the estuary regions comprise 80 percent or more of the state’s economy. The Gulf of Maine region (MA, NH, ME) is home to 7.3 million people with an economic value of over $354 billion. The full report can be downloaded at: www.estuaries.org. “The productivity of our coastlines is up there with the Fortune 500’s” said Benoit. “Yet historically, we have overlooked the critical role our coasts play in contributing to the national economy.”