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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6 May 2016
Outrageous Waves

'Outrageous Waves: Global Warming and Coastal Change in Britain through 2000 years' by Basil Cracknell (Philimore and Co., Chichester:2005) was produced at a time when everything being published had to have a slant towards CAGW as the publishing houses seemed to think that otherwise they would not sell. Problem was that this just as likely caused as many people not to buy the book as buy it - so it was a negative policy. I purchased the book as I had an interest in coastal change - already possessing a couple of other books on the same subject.

5 May 2016
Planet Nine

Planet Nine is in the news again - a new paper in the Astrophysical Journal by Kenyon and Bradley (see http://phys.org/print381496454.html) that uses computer simulation to winkle out plausible scenarios. The presence of Planet Nine is yet to be determined but it does not stop people playing around on their computers. The most likely explanation, it seems, is that it formed a great distance away but was nudged by a 'passing star' and captured by the solar system, albeit on the outer side of the solar system (if it exists that is).

5 May 2016
Neanderthal inheritance

At http://phys.org/print381383366.html ... Palaeolithic humans and genetics. At the end of the piece we are told there was admixture with Neanderthals around 45,000 years ago. The prehistoric human population had around 3 to 6 per cent of Neanderthal DNA. Today, this has declined as Neanderthal DNA is slightly toxic to modern humans (or some of us it seems). Natural selection is removing Neanderthal ancestry - which makes you wonder why it has taken so long to diminish to 2 per cent. Is it possible Neanderthal or Homo erectus DNA was once much more plentiful in prehistoric humans.

5 May 2016
The Fable of a Stable Climate

At http://notrickszone.com/2016/05/04/dutch-geologist-calls-climate-science... .... I suppose this is the usual geologist take on climate. They are used to dealing with blocks of hundreds of thousands of years and the last 150 years is just a pin prick in time. The link is to a book review by Dr Hans Labohn. The book in question is 'The Fable of a Stable Climate' by Gerrit van der Lingen.

4 May 2016
new nasca figure

At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-2000-year-old-geoglyph-spotted-per... ... confirms that Greenpeace did 'irreparable' damage to the Nazca lines looking to make a point about CAGW alarmism.

A Japanese team has observed a mythical beast with its tongue hanging out - an otherwise unknown geoglyph. This follows on from a discovery in 2011 of a geoglyph characterised as 'as scenario of decapitation' (a universal theme it would seem).

4 May 2016
AD revision

At https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296060902 .... European oak tree chronologies archaeologically anchored in Roman times are all separated from early medieval chronologies by a severe timber depletion in late antiquity. Late antiquity here signifies the immediate post-Roman period. It embraces the 6th century low growth tree ring events in 536 and 540AD. Was something going on around this time that caused oak trees to cease reproduction? One other way to look at lack of timbers across the period is to think there is a hole in chronology.

4 May 2016
Space Weather

At www.spaceweather.com (May 2nd 2016) - mysterious magnetic fields spark aurorae. For three days Earth has been moving through a region of space filled with negative polarity magnetic fields. This has caused geomagnetic storms

We also have sprites over the Caribbean (as seen from Texas) at the same web site. This is upper atmosphere lightning - going upwards (or connecting the ionosphere with the surface)

4 May 2016
water and Mars

At http://phys.org/print381420139.html ... dark lines on slopes on Mars are created by water, it is claimed (very hot water).

At http://phys.org/print381396983.html ... NASA research (via observation and simulation) has been looking at swirling patterns of dark and light on the lunar surface. It seems they may be due to the magnetic field as a result of interaction with the solar wind.

At http://phys.org/print381400898.html ... oxygen and the universe. It is an important constituent of star making clouds of dust but it seems there is less of it than expected

4 May 2016
sand dunes

Louis Hissink on sand dunes - provoked by Gary Gilligan's recent guest post. At https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/louis-hissink-sand-dunes/ .... we learn he was a geologist working in the deserts of western and central Australia. He was tasked with counting sand dunes in order to navigate (prior to GPS) so he got to learn a lot about them - and to realise the dunes were extraordinarily stationary. Unshifting. Just as well I suppose if you are going to count the sand dunes in order to know where in the desert you might be.

30 Apr 2016
a rocky comet

At http://phys.org/print381157131.html ... a paper due out in May's Science Advances (2016) is set to claim C/2014 S3 PANSTARRS is an ancient rocky body - much like an asteroid. Comets are supposed to be icy conglomerates so is this really a comet or is it an asteroid behaving like a comet?