Ozone

It seems that when the Sun is more active than normal, with lots of flares, some of which are directly aimed at the Eaarth, the ozone hole over the poles appears (as ozone is dispersed to temperate and tropical areas of the Earth (the atmosphere overlying these regions). The zone hole was particularly a focus of interest in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was back to a degree in the middle of the current solar cycle (or solar maximum as it is known).

Formation of Clays

At https://phys.org/print437125828.html ... in this instance, clay formation on the planet Mars. Temperature on Mars is well below freezing but it must once have been warmer if liquid water carved out features on the surface. Not only that but the water had to be warm enough for surface clays to form. The researchers opt for a series of short term warming episodes leading to temporary wet climates. All speculation of course.

HINODE images

At https://phys.org/print437129335.html ... HINODE captures record breaking solar magnetic field. A sun spot observed by the HINODE spacecraft. Astronomers in Japan discovered the largest magnetic field ever directly measured on the surface of the Sun. It seems to have been generated as a result of gas outflow form one sun spot pushing up against another sun spot .... (see below)

Global Warming

It's been pretty cold in the US - especially in the NE. Over in the UK we have had some cold spells - nothing out of the ordinary (just normal winter weather). Elsewhere it has been very cold in Russia )again, not unusual), cold in Japan (in comparison with recent years) and monsier president appears to have got a dose of gloabl warming after weeks of saying he is going to combat it - and dip into his wallet (well, the wallet of the French people, that is). However, the creme egg is the Sahara. It had not snowed for 37 years when it snowed in 2016.

Virus from Space

Gary sent in this link www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5359111/Billions-viruses-bacteri... ... courtesy of British Columbia. Not exactly the same as Hoyle and Wickramasinghe and 'Diseases from Space' as the new findings are talking about viruses swept into the air in sea spray and soil dust, which then travel upwards into the atmosphere. They are deposited back on to the surface of the Earth somewhat later - in a never ending cycle. Obviously, humans have evolved and survived while all of this was going on - by the mechanism of the immune system.

Greeks in Canada

Robert also sent in this link at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5345049/Did-ancient-Greeks-sail-... ... did ancient Greeks sail to Canada. The idea if is based on something mentioned by the Greek author Plutarch. Did they reach Canada in around AD56? A character in a text of Plutarch is said to have claimed he had recently returned from 'a great continent' - and that is about all the evidence is. What was a great continent in the eyes of the sailor. The newly conquered Britain (by the Romans) is bigger than your average Mediterranean island.

Maya and LIDAR imaging

Robert sent in the link www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5343567/Thousands-Mayapyramids-p... ... which concerns the use of LIDAR technology to peer through the tree canopy and image the ground surface below. We have seen it in action in the UK producing stunning results by looking at the woodland floor. Now the technology has been applied to the tropical forest zone of central America. In this instance, Guatemala - where an astonishing amount of Mayan archaeology has been revealed. All they have to do now is beat a path through the jungle.

Fireballs and Ice Age

Sent in by Gary - at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5346517/Ancient-humans-witnessed... ... here we are back at the Younger Dryas boundary event. If nothing else these guys are persistent. Every time mainstream gives them a kicking up they pop with another major paper. This times it is a barrage of fireballs as a comet fragmented and disintegrated in the atmosphere, creating a series of rapidly descending meteors that they claim torched a considerable part of the landscape. Geochemcal and isotopic markers have left behind a lot of evidence of their passing.

Stone Tools India

Javan sent in two links to this story - http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/deadthings/2018/01/31/stone-tools-from... ... and www.scientificamerican.com/article/stone-tools-from-india-fan-debate-ove... ... a cache of stone tools from SE India, not far from Chennai, has thrown up a change in tool use at the 200,000 years ago mark. Acheulian hand axes have a long time longevity, it is thought (see belwo) ...

More on Dinosaurs

William has picked up on another dinosaur story at https://phys.org/print436616782.html ... a slab of sandstone found at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland contains at least 70 mammal and dinosaur tracks - showing they coexisted. The sandstone was a rock outcrop spotted by a guy that had dropped his wife off at work. He is described as an expert on dinosaur tracks - and what caught his eye was a 12 inch wide dinosaur footprint.