More on Neanderthals ...


At ... the broken stalagmite pieces (see yesterday) were assembled into two oval rings 176,000 years ago, we are told. Together with them were pieces of burnt bone and evidence of fire - some kind of ritual activity perhaps.

Phoenician DNA

At ... the mtDNA of a Phoenician (possibly a Cathaginian) living 2500 years ago has been sequenced. He had the genes of a rare European haplogroup suggesting he had ancestors from somewhere on the opposite side of the Mediterranean from Carthage (such as Iberia or southern France). The findings appear in the May issue of PLOS ONE (see also


At ... the Topper archaeological site has revealed evidence of fire going back 50,000 years agao - long before humans are thought to have arrived in the Americas. Al Goodyear says the human occupation at Topper goes back well before 15,000 years ago (the mainstream preferred date) but evidence of fire somewhat earlier raises the possibility they were in the Americas before the Late Glacial Maximum.

Petrified Forest

At ... we have another tract of ancient forest revealed off the eastern coast of Britain - once joined to the continent (in this instance woodland stretched from NE England to Denmark). It seems it dates back 7000 years ago when it was covered in sand (a major storm event perhaps). It has been revealed as the tides have apparently washed away the sand that had covered it for so long. Again, another storm event perhaps.

Space Weather

At ... are mystery Mars plumes caused by space weather? Back in 2012 a cloud like plume was spotted high above the surface of Mars. The orbiting spacecraft was not in a position to analyse what had happened but the Mars Express did make measurements of plasma and solar wind activity. It seems a huge CME event struck Mars.


Climate updates

At ... refers to a paper in Nature by CERN scientists and the subject is secondary particles. These were thought to be almost totally derived from human activity but the climate scientists had it altogether wrong it would seem as the new paper seems to show that secondary particles have been with us all the time - long before the scare was a pipedream in a politico's navel. Secondary particles bombard our atmosphere on a daily basis and are also produced by vapour released by trees.


The image below comes from an excellent web site currently also doing noctilucent clouds with some nice images too.

Climate dodgems

One example was forwarded by Bill Thompson - go to ... but at ... wherein the title says it all. The first piece shows climate scientists have the ability to contradict press stories if they become too outlandish but at the same time they are altering the data themselves to make the story more grisly.

Neanderthal disappearance

At .... Neanderthals had bigger brains than we have and a similar tool repertoire to early modern humans so why did they die out? This obviously intrigues a lot of people and some odd theories have been touted to account for their sudden disappearance and the equally sudden appearance of modern humans in their place. The latest and also odd explanation being put forward is that they died out as a result of their diet - assumed to be high in meat (but lacking enough fat).

Ian Plimer

Tim Cullen is at his very best at ... and they are most unlikely to look at the link which has two videos of Ian Plimer talking to an audience and raising a laugh. He is an Australian geologist of note, a professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne and a professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide. His book, 'Not for the Greens' (2014) sets out to use humour to confront the CAGW crowd.