Tails of a Recent Comet

At http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.0416 there is a reference to an SIS article, 'Tails of a Recent Comet' by Milton Zysman and Frank Wallace, in which they describe eskers and drumlins that appear to swarm up hills and across streams and valleys in discontinuous strands sometimes for 100s of km. They say they have their parallel beneath the oceans - a reference I think to the material attributed to iceberg activity in the Heinrich event model.

Solar flares and climate

At www.physorg.com/print189845962.html a new study has debunked a previous hypothesis suggesting the existence of a link between solar flares and changes in the earth's global temperature. Between 2003 and 2008 Scafetta and West analysed data that seemed to show solar flares influence temperature (published in Physical Review Letters) but the new research, published in the same journal, re-examined the data and found shortcomings.

Glaciers

At http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/greenmelt.htm has a story on Greenland glaciers - and what lies beneath them. The research is of course AGW orientated, but useful - the role of water flowing beneath the glaciers. They have found that such water has little actual influence on ice loss around the coast - which is caused by inter-action with the ocean.

Aurorae

Aurorae (see www.thunderbolts.info March 29th) has an interesting article on the recognition that aurorae had electro-magnetic properties. In 1740 Anders Celsius, the inventor of the centigrade scale named after him, interpreted aurorae as an electro-magnetic anomaly after he noticed a large compass needle on his desk top changed orientation whenever an aurorae was visible in the sky above Uppsala in Sweden. In 1861 Benjamin Marsh theorised that an auroral streamer is a current of electricity that originates in the upper parts of the atmosphere.

Cows Milk

The Observer April 4th (see www.guardian.co.uk/) has a story about cows being the key to human success in Europe. A study of the remains of 20,000 people from the 8th century BC to the 18th century AD has found that during the Roman Empire period our level of nutrition declined - but increased again in the 'dark ages' and the reintroduction of traditional northern European farming with it's emphasis on dairying.

Green Axe

The New York Times (www.nytimes.com March 29th ) has a story taken from the BBC Radio 4 series, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'. It is striking, it notes, how many objects discussed by the series were symbolic rather than functional. For example, the famous 'gold cape' that was equisitely impractible, or an elaborate bronze bell from 5th century China that could hardly have been used in a practical way. An axe found near Canterbury and roughly 6000 years old was made of polished green jade (or jadeite).

Indus Valley

At www.telegraphindia.com?100406/jsp/others/print.html The Telegraph of India says a study of 100s of Indus Valley civilisation towns and cities have revealed factors previously unsuspected - growth and decline does not show a gradual eastward expansion (from Baluchistan outwards). The study instead showed three epicentres of the civilisation, i) Baluchistan ii) Gujarat, and iii) an ancient channel of the Indus that dried up, located in Haryana and the Punjab.

Lava, climate change, and amber

Science Daily April 7th (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100406142602.html ) new research suggests the Columbia Plateau in the NW of the US was formed by a series of lava flows - and these happened much more quickly than previously imagined. It may even have changed earth's climate and caused some fauna and flora to become extinct.

Bill Napier paper on the YD boundary event

The Bill Napier paper pops up at http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.0744 and is provided by the Royal Astronomical Society (see earlier post and link to pdf). Basically, Bill Napier is saying the YD event was not caused by a comet impact or airburst as such but by thousands of comet fragments and debris, a signifcant difference to the model developed by Firestone and West et al.

Mammoths on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean

At http://news.yahoo.com March 30th (science and archaeology section) ... reports on a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on what might have caused the extinction of wooly mammoths across Eurasia and North America - without firm conclusions. The paper instead addresses the survival of mammoths on Wrangel Island off the Siberian coast, and raises some very interesting points. However, it does not address the main one - why did mammoths live on an Arctic Ocean island during the Ice Age?