Venus and runaway global warming

It seems that the consensus and much quoted hypothesis that the high temperatures on Venus are the result of runaway global warming caused by lots of co2 in its atmosphere might have taken a bit of a nose dive this week. The story can be viewed in a variety of places - see for instance

The ESA mission to Venus spotted hot spots on IR images after earlier noting large changes in sulphur levels (see also ...

moon dust

At ... apparently, the moon is engulfed in a permanent, but lopsided, cloud of dust that increases in density when annual meteor showers such as the Gemenids, occur.

balls of string

Are black holes the ruthless killers we've made them out to be, a professor of physics at Ohio State University asks. The paper has been published on the pre-publication site arXiv  where the professor sets out to prove, mathematically, that black holes are not necessarily arbiters of doom.

Red Lady of El Miron

At ... this is a story about El Miron cave in northern Spain (in the Cantabrian Mountains) which is currently being explored and excavated. It is located above a river valley in a picturesque setting and as late as 1903 was being used to stable goats. It has had a long history of human occupation - from the Neanderthals and early Upper Palaeolithic to the Solutrean and Magdalenian, the Azilian and Mesolithic - into the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, and into modern times.


Alaska's glaciers are favoured by the CAGW hype industry, in particular the Juneau ice field which contains 32 of them. A claim was made recently that the melting of these glaciers would add a catastrophic amount of water to the oceans - and we were in danger of drowning (or something like that). However, not all of them have been melting - one at least is actually growing, the Taku glacier. However, the Mendenhall glacier has shrunk and trees have been revealed that have been frozen under ice for some 2000 years (roughly).

liquid sulphur

At .... a story sent in by member Gary (and can also be found at PhysOrg). The earth's core has large quantities of sulphur - ten times the amount in the rest of the planet.


Qiaomei Fu, a palaeo-genomicist (the study of ancient genomes) at a meeting in New York (see said that her research team had found evidence of modern humans interbreeting with Neanderthals 40,000 years ago, in Romania. Evidence of genetic DNA from both human types in a single specimen is interesting. Is it due to co-mingling - or was something else going on? See

See also


At ... a petrified subtropical forest has been discovered on the Aegean island of Lesvos. There was also evidence of ancient volcanism which appears to have buried and preserved the remains.


A lot of archaeology has been going on in what is modern Bulgaria. Most of the finds concern the Roman era but now and again some very old prehistory is dug up. At

Aborigine stories

At (19th May 2015) the Luritja people of central Australia once told stories of a fire devil coming down from the Sun, crashing into the Earth, and killing everything in the vicinity. The legend is describing a meteor  tha struck Australia's central desert region 4700 years ago according to astrophysicist Duane Hamacher.