super douper solar flares

At .... at what is called the Space Weather Workshop which took place in Boulder, Colorado, sponsored by NOAA and NASA, there was a presentation on the possibility of super solar flares - one thousand times more energetic than anything seen in the last 100 years.

Sittaford Tor

On a high point of Dartmoor an undiscovered, until now, stone circle has been found and is being excavated - see

the dark side of the Mississippi

Roughly where the city of St Louis is now situated, or not too far short, there was a major native American settlement with monumental architecture and the famous mounds. Is is now known as Cahokia - and was at its apogee between 1000 and 1200AD the biggest community in North America, with trade connections over a wide area.

sea levels Australia

At ... past tectonic movement in Western Australia is being blamed for coral platforms left high and dry. Apparently, the thinking is that uplift has caused this to happen rather than adjustments of global sea level. 

Ohio Circle

At .... the Moorehead Circle is situated at the head of a major ravine on the Little Miami River. It is a triple ring of large wooden posts surround a central pit filled with red earth. There was also a rectangular structure and other features. It is possible people were seated in the circle to watch cermonies taking place in the centre - something like a modern stadium. However, how much this is the imagination of the archaeologists rather than the facts on the ground is open to question.

Tibet 2300BC

At ... this is a story on Tibet and it seems there was a major change at the end of the third millennium BC - at the period when the Akkadian Empire dramatically collapsed. We learn that climate change may have been responsible - and the cooling period between 2300 and 2000BC appears to be what they are finger pointing (but I may be wrong). Later, at some stage, farmers in Tibet began growing wheat and barley - and it is suggested this was as a result of the cool weather.

Dinosaur Australia

At ... dinosaur footprints have turned up on an Australian beach - but they are only exposed during spring tides. This indicates the continental shelf around western Australia was dry land at the time.

One interesting aspect is the equipment used, a light-weight LiDAR laser scanner developed by CSIRO that apparently fires lasers into the atmosphere from a spinning mirror. Distance is measured when the laser bounce back.

Tree rings and History

At ... an analysis of European tree ring data suggests that a series of mild summers may have been the key to the rise of the Roman Empire - and prolonged droughts, cold snaps, and the like played a part in historical upheavals, from the barbarian incursions to the Black Death (plague). Ulf Buntgen, a palaeoclimatologist from Zurich had his paper published in the journal Science ( ... in January of 2011).

Circling the Wagons

At ... a classic case of circling the wagons and shutting down an upstart theory. This time, it is the idea that Solutrean Points (from Iberia) are similar to Clovis Points (common in SE N America) and the idea that the Americas might have been colonised by humans not just from across the Bering Straits but also people from Ice Age Europe may also have reached the Americas. The problem is that people from Siberia are assumed, in the mainstream straitjacket, to have colonised America after the Ice Age.