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In the aftermath of a cataclysmic collision of an immense asteroid with the Earth, amid a decimated environment pummeled by the ravages of worldwide tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and impenetrable ash clouds, most forms of life succumbed. Yet out of the rubble of the scorched, scarred, frozen planet, a few groups of human stragglers managed to survive by seeking and improvising shelter. One such group that took refuge on the Central Coast of California gradually, agonizingly, tenaciously discovered and nurtured remnants of mammal, marine, avian and plant life that they found. As they salvaged equipment and fuel at sites that had been buried under snow and debris, they developed capabilities to generate electricity, restore vehicles, communicate by radio, build sailing ships and salvage and fly aircraft. As their technological capabilities evolved, these California "colonists" set out on increasingly wide-sweeping expeditions through which they discovered other pockets of survivors who also had carved out a rugged existence in the few places on the shattered, still-smoldering landscape that were capable of sustaining existence. The Californians discovered more about what had happened to the Earth – how the rupture in the crust of the Earth had unleashed a toxic acidic volcanic soup that had made the oceans inhospitable to sea life, destroyed much of the Amazon rain forest, and triggered a new ice age that had been slowly transforming much of the planet into a frozen wasteland. Yet a decade after the asteroid impact, a decline in volcanic activity loomed as a bright spot on the horizon. As volcanic eruptions decreased in intensity and frequency, recovery began as sunlight began to penetrate the thinning ash clouds. And although conflicts and power struggles still beset some groups of people, most humans remained united in their common quest to create civilization anew. But their best intentions appeared threatened when the world's largest super volcano began smoldering with increasing ferocity, signaling an eruption that this time could annihilate the human race.
About the Author
Thomas A. Cahill, Ph.D., is a professor of physics at the University of California, Davis. His early work at UCLA, in France, and in Davis, California, was in nuclear physics and astrophysics, but he soon began applying physical techniques to applied problems, especially air pollution. His data in 1973 on the impacts of airborne lead was instrumental in the final establishment of the catalytic converter in California in 1976. He proposed and supported the law to lower sulfur in gasoline in 1977. He spent the following 20 years designing, building, and running the aerosol network to protect visibility at U.S. national parks and monuments – now the national IMPROVE program. In 1994, he founded the UC Davis DELTA Group to work in two areas – aerosols and global climate change – for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Additionally his group analyzed aerosols and human health impacts for the California Air Resources Board, American Lung Association, and the Health Effects Task Force for Breathe California of Sacramento Emigrant Trails. Because of this health-related work, a U.S. Department of Energy colleague asked Cahill and his team to evaluate air at the excavation project following the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in the autumn of 2001. Cahill was one of the first to warn that workers at the site were at risk of serious health threats from the toxic metals in the air they were breathing at the site. Cahill’s first book, Annals of the Omega Project – A Trilogy, was published in summer of 2012. Ark: Astroid Impact, published in 2012, is the first in his Ark Asteroid trilogy. Ark: Diaspora, published in 2013, is the second in his Ark Asteroid Trilogy, and he published Greenhouse Redemption of the Planet Kraal in 2014.