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 Jun 2016
Plankton and Vents

At http://phys.org/print383921447.html ... the subject is hydrothermal vents and methane seeps on the sea floor in various regions of the world. These have variously been treated as something of a geological and biological oddity - under the waves and out of sight. It is now emerging they are something special, an important force in the ecology of the marine system. They are also said to affect global climate but we can take that with a pinch of salt as climate has a habit of creeping into all manner of studies, with little real relevance.

4 Jun 2016
Dinosaur Ants

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/new-cretaceous-fos... ... ants go back a long way - but they were not always social insects (although small groups of ants are known in fossilised settings). Modern forms of ants are successful as they all work for the common good - or that of the queen ant. In the early stages ants were often solitary predators and here we have another example (or seemingly so). Dr Wang Bo of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been looking at an ant preserved in amber from Burma going back 99 million years ago ...

4 Jun 2016
Indus Roots

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/indus-valley-civil... ... begins by telling us 'climate change' was probably not the sole reason for the collapse of the Harappan civilisation in the Indus-Chaggar-Hakra river valleys of India and Pakistan. The new study says the inhabitants did not give up and roll over as they appear to have adapted to cereal crops such as the millets which are more drought resistant.

3 Jun 2016
Arizona fireball

At www.spaceweather.com (June 2nd 2016) we learn that on the 4th and 5th of June the Earth will say hello to a stream of solar wind and auroras are expected. This is the same stream of material the Earth encountered in early May when aurora were visible over northern and middle Britain. Let's hope the clouds disperse. However, the big news is the Arizona fireball - and how big an object it might have been (various reports appear to exaggerate the size). All we can say is that it was a big meteor that exploded in a bright flash of light. The ground shook from the explosion.

3 Jun 2016
Earth's magnetic field

At http://phys.org/print384004404.html ... earth's magnetic field deflects solar radiation and allows life to thrive (or that is the theory). It is also supposed the core is made of iron and this generates the magnetic field. The argument in the past has been when in the history of the Earth the magnetic field began, the overriding mainstream view being that it was not terribly old (far from four billion years ago).

2 Jun 2016
Bumblebees

I love bumblebees, especialy in the spring, hovering around early flowers and blossoms. At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bumblebees-detect-flowers-electric-buz... ... it seems flowers generate a weak electric field and bumblebees sense the electric buzz. The secret is in their fuzz (tiny hairs that act like antennae).

2 Jun 2016
geopulsation

Geopulsation seems like a made up word with a made up hypothesis to boot. This concerns a book by RW Welch, 'The Roots of Cataclysm:Geopulsation and the Atlantis supervolcano in history' Algora Books:2009 ... that comes recommended by member John Kalber. In chapter 4 'The Ice Age and Rotational Variation' the author produces the idea that the Earth rotates faster, on occasion, and quickening and slowing has an affect at the poles - namely, how much water accumulates there.

30 May 2016
Saved by thaw

At http://phys.org/print383558171.html ... in 1242 the Mongol army was set to conquer central Europe when it mysteriously turned around and went back into Russia. A new study claims it was climate that persuaded the Mongols to put the conquest on hold, although the normal interpretation is that internal Mongolian politics were involved. They never attempted to subdue central and western Europe again. Now, climate change is blamed for a lot of things and at this point in time we are talking about temperatures getting much colder (rather than warmer).

30 May 2016
Antarctic and the whack

The K/T boundary event (asteroid or comet whack) had a definite impact on the Antarctic according to http://phys.org/print383473445.html. Research published in Nature Communications (May 2016) analysed 6000 marine fossils that lived between 69 and 65 million years ago (the end of the Cretaceous). These were examined by scientists from the University of Leeds and the British Antarctic Survey on Seymour Island in the West Antarctic peninsular. The collection included snails and clams as well as marine reptiles.

30 May 2016
glycine

At http://phys.org/print383580189.html ... the amino acid glycine was detected by the Rosetta Mission to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko according to a paper in Science Advances (May 2016). Another ingredient was phosphorus - two key elements of DNA and cell membranes, which suggests comets have the ability to deliver key molecules and set life in motion. More than 100 molecules have been detected in various comets and in their dust and gas clouds. These include many amino acids.