In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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4 Dec 2010
Fossils of the Soom Shale deposit

At www.geology.com/press-release/soom-shale/ ... a site near Table Mountain in South Africa has a rock layer a few metres thick that contains the petrified remains of bizarre early life-forms complete with eyes, guts, and muscles. It is a mystery how they were preserved in such a pristine condition but a paper in the December issue of Geology claims it was all down to the wind. A bitter wind blowing off an ice sheet.

4 Dec 2010
Evidence of biomass burning in ice cores

At www.physorg.com/print210529446.html there is a press release on a paper from the December 2nd issue of Science and it seems that Antarctic ice cores have found some striking evidence of biomass burning in the southern hemisphere over the last 650 years - with a series of peaks and troughs. They go back to 1350AD and therefore embrace the period of the Black Death epidemic (see Mike Baillie, New Light on the Black Death).

3 Dec 2010
O'Donnell, Lewis, Condon and McIntyre

The big news on sceptic blogs is the acceptance in Journal of Climate of a paper by O'Donnell, Lewis, Condon and McIntyre that refutes a 2009 paper in Nature that claimed that not just the peninsular but western Antarctica itself was warming. There are good grounds for the warming of the peninsular that juts out into the Southern Ocean in the direction of the tip of South America and that is tectonic activity and a propensity for warm water from the central Pacific to flow in that direction on its way into the South Atlantic.

3 Dec 2010
Deep in the Jungle

This story keeps popping up from different sources and it looks like there are a number of archaeological explorations of the Brazilian rainforest going on concurrently. At www.archnews.co.uk/world-archaeology/american-archaeology/3860 on November 21st, or go to the web site and look at the news archive, some 90 settlements in the Brazilian jungle have been found by a joint Swedish-Brazilian team - and nowhere near a river. They appear to have constructed their own reservoirs.

3 Dec 2010
Ice Age Sea Levels

At www.physorg.com/print210426748.html we learn that research at Southampton University is looking at the rate of sea level rise at the end of the Ice Age. Presumably computer simulation is being used which is programmed by the idea that sea levels rose as a result of a melting ice sheet rather than through a catastrophic redistribution of ocean waters.

3 Dec 2010
Indus Valley Lakes

At www.dnaindia.com/print710.php?cid=1474879 .... we learn that the Indus Valley civilisation covered a region that included Baluchistan in the west to the Upper Ganga-Yamuna Daub in the east, a quite extensive area. The town of Dholavira in the Great Rann of Kachchh in Gujarat province was located on an island surrounded by water - a city of lakes. Nowadays it is arid. What happened?

3 Dec 2010
Comet Hartley2

The NASA web site had a collection of images as Deep Impact approached Comet Hartley2 and locked its cameras onto the comet nuclei. At www.physorg.com/print208086038.html there is a short piece written in the lead up to the encounter between spacecraft and comet. When it was some 12 million miles from earth Comet Hartley2 NASA meteorite experts claimed debris interacted with the atmosphere of the earth as there was a shower of fireballs on November 2nd and 3rd.

2 Dec 2010
Comets

At http://cosmictusk.com there is a report, published by the Royal Society, that says that some 4 years ago green fireballs streaked across the sky over Australia which led to a succession of UFO reports. However, it is now thought they might have been meteors or ball lightning caused by electrically charged shockwaves in a similar fashion to the way aurorae is created.

2 Dec 2010
Venus - new discovery

The European Space Agency (see www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM8270WXGG_index_2.html and see also www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130122-35.htm ) has discovered a high altitude layer of sulphur dioxide via the Venus Express spacecraft. Venus is blanketed in sulphuric acid clouds that block a view of the surface and this is because of volcanic activity there.

2 Dec 2010
Komodo Dragons

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118093418.htm researchers have been studying a fossil that appears to be a direct link between an ancient lizard populating Africa and the famous Komodo Dragon of Indonesia - and various other lizards. It seems to have been a fresh water lizard so how did it swim across the Indian Ocean, it is being asked, as geology claims Africa was isolated between 100 and 12 million years ago, completely surrounded by oceans. It had yet to crash into Eurasia.