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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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 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 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 .... 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 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

At 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 and see also ) 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 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.

2 Dec 2010
Melanesians in the Americas and European genes among the Chinese

At ... this is a post going back to October 26th 1999 and is probably out of reach of a simple click. A skull of a human fossil found in Brazil appears to have an origin in Melanesian people on the other side of the Pacific. In fact, there seems to have been a cemetery of them but only one of them was sent to the University of Manchester to be analysed.

2 Dec 2010
Australian megafauna demise

At there is another story blaming humans for the demise of megafauna in Australia around 40,000 years ago. The paper was published in PNAS but was not entirely convinced by the human hunting argument and for once contained a lot of evidence indicating environmental changes occurred at this time that were pretty wide ranging. There was also evidence of huge landscape fires so this is perhaps a paper to be read to glean the small detail.