Out of Africa Going Backwards

At https://phys.org/print436100309.html ... various people sent in links to the same story. William fowarded the link https://www.yahoo.com/news/oldest-modern-human-found-ever-190004346.html ... an international team led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University have discovered the earliest 'modern human' fossil ever found outside of Afriica. It mentions modern humans must have left Africa much earlier than previously thought.

Scottish Submerged Forest

This story is again interesting as far as changing sea levels and ocean configuration is concerned. At https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/archaeologists-survey-scotland-s-fore... ... archaeologists are surveying Scotland's submerged forests (rather, wooded regions under the waves). This seems to revolve around the Bay of Ireland in the Orkneys and Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides.

Vitiaz Arc

A study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (January 2018) have been looking at lizards in Australasia, Melanesia and Polynesia. We are told that when you scroll back the distribution of geckos, and their variants, they have a common ancestor that may go back to the Vitiaz Arc, a near continuous chain of islands that stretched across the Western Pacific 30 to 40 million years ago (during the Oligocene). Nowadays, the arc is represented by landforms such as the Philippines and a string of islands as far as Fiji.

Halley's Comet

One from William. Why Halley's Comet may be linked to famine 1500 years ago. Sounds almost like Patrick McCafferty and Mike Baillie in their book, 'The Celtic Gods' - but it comes from Dallas Abbott. Did a piece of the comet slam into the Earth in AD536? This is already attributed to two volcanoes - now conceded by Baillie. However, Abbott approaches it slightly differently - and combines volcanoes with impact (did one spark the other?) The theory evolved after Abbott was looking at Greenland ice cores laid down between 533 and 540.

Geothermal Greenland

Pierre Gosselin provides a guest post by Kenneth Richards which has some interesting information - especially if you've visited hot springs in Canada, a very cold part of the world. Well, Greenland is a lot colder than most of Canada and it too has geothermal hot springs - right under the glaciated region. Go to http://notrickszone.com/2018/01/24/groundbreaking-agw-undermining-study-... ... and well I never.

Revising solar system history

Sent in by Robert - go to https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01074-6 ... which questions the idea of the Late Heavy Bombardment, a theory which has had a somewhat extended life. The bombardment is thought to have occurred half a billion years after our planet was formed. In the process all hell was let loose as a barrage of asteroids remodeled the surface of the Earth. Only after this stream of space debris had quietened down was Life able to evolve. However, it seems mounting evidence has caused a body of researchers to question the hypothesis.

More on Keros 2

At https://phys.org/print436032776.html ... sent in by William. Dhaskalios, a nearby island but once a promontory of Keros, was at one time almost completely covered in monumental structures of gleaming white marble. Another slant on the same story as in an earlier post.

Windy Black Holes

This story is at https://phys.org/print435824324.html ... new research shows evidence of strong winds around black holes - throughout the bright outburst events. This is the point where black holes are thought to be feeding - rapidly gorging on material that has been dragged into their vicinity. This, in turn, is said to show how mass transfers to black holes and how black holes can affect the environment around themselves. The winds are hypothesized to blow away matter the black hole cannot consume.

Dust Storms Mars

At https://phys.org/print435918054.html ... it seems like all the juicy research turns up months after space missions - and so it is with Mars. A study published in Nature Astronomy used data from NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and suggests dust storms on Mars have a direct link with gases escaping from the top of the atmosphere. The inference is that a wetter warmer ancient Mars lost its liquid volatiles by the same route - launched out of the atmosphere.

Velikovsky Comet

Velikovsky perceived his Exodus comet as raining hydrocarbons on the Earth - among other things less salubrious. We now know meteorites contain hydrocarbons - and so do comets. Planet sized comets are not necessary - just your run of the mill comet such as Comet Churiyumov Gerasimenko (visited by the Rosetta Mission). At https://phys.org/print435919207.html ... we learn that instruments aboard the space probe Rosetta analysed dust particles ejected from the comet's nucleus. This research was published by the Royal Astronomical Society in December of 2017.