The Science of Doom

At http://climateaudit.org May 3rd Steve McIntyre tells CA readers to look at the blog Science of Doom (see earlier posts on In the News for this interesting site) at http://scienceofdoom.com . It policy, as Steve notes, unlike that of Real Climate or Climate Progress and other sniffy pro AGW blogs, is not to criticise the heretics (or even pensioners) or use vacuous venom against sceptics, but it is committed to engaging with the general public.

Nigel

At http://calderup.wordpress.com ... another wrinkly has set up a blog, Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist and co-author with Henrik Svensmark of The Chilling Stars. He is too obviously a sceptic - and a welcome addition to a motley band of pensioners determined not to let the AGW frenzy run amok. He intends to embrace all kinds of science subjects so this is a site worth a regular visit. For example, he begins with a study on the way flocks of pigeons switch and change leaders - no single bird is dominant.

Ancient Aurorae

At www.thunderbolts.info April 28th, 'Picture of the Day', ... 'Amun - an Ancient Aurora filled sky' by Gary Gilligan. He claims the Egyptian god Amun wears a crown that is the aurora - sacred colours that have been eroded or flaked away from stone monuments over the millennia. The parallel is of course with the bright tail feathers of the quetzal bird, cognate within the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl. Such stone statues and monuments, even temples and buildings, were once colourful affairs.

Electric Earthquakes

At http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/earthquake-alarm there is an article by Tom Bleier and Friedemann Freund but dates back to December 2005. It refers to the October 2005 Kashmir/Pakistan earthquake in which 70,000 people died and 3 million were left temporarily homeless - and asks, what happened in the weeks and days leading up to the EQ?

Early Earth

At www.dailygalaxy.com April 30th it asks, 'Were Comets incubators of Life on Earth?'. The fact that life apeared soon after the termination of a long bombardment from space some 3.8 billion years ago suggests incoming comets and asteroids may have delivered the compounds necessary for life on earth to develop. However, the origin of life theory favoured by scientists depends on their field of speciality. Oceanographers like to think it began in a deep sea thermal vent, biochemists prefer a warm tidal pool, and astronomers looks towards comets.

Lizards on islands

At www.physorg.com/print191781096.html April 29th ... a genetic study of lizards isolated geographically on islands, sometimes for thousands of years, possibly even millions of years, do not appear to have evolved into separate species as demanded by conventional evolutional theory. They remained stubbornly like their predecessors. They were also capable of reproducing with similar species from elsewhere. However, the PLoS Genetics paper says that research was ongoing.

Rainforest regeneration

Will Gosling of the Open University (talk at Aylesbury Museum) says recent research into past climate change in the Amazon basin via ancient pollen preserved in lake sediments, has shown that climate differed in the Ice Ages - and the rainforest was not as extensive as it is now. Pollen analysis also showed the extent of human impact on the rainforest in the 1000 years preceding Columbus - and it was considerable. There are distinct layers of charcoal in lake sediments which appear to denote human activity - as well as evidence humans worked soils (agriculture).

Sutton Hoo and it's Landscape

In Sutton Hoo and it's Landscape: the context of monuments, Tom Williamson, Oxbow:2009, there is some interesting speculative ideas. The author is a landscape archaeologist based at the University of East Anglia and he looks at the barrows and where they are located as visible features on the horizon. They are situated on a terrace above the river Deben which at the time was well populated with farms and hamlets clustered around the lower river valley, and the estuary that opens into the North Sea.

Reachable Stars

In Reachable Stars: Patterns in Ethno-astronomy of Eastern North America, George Langford, University of Alabama Press: 2007. Ethno-astronomy is one of those amusing word constructs that is basically a woolly way of describing star based Native American myths and legends. Anyway, it is a compilation of stories that took many years to pull together.

Floods of Water at the end of the Ice Age

At www.physorg.com/print191683663.html April 28th ... a paper that can be accessed in full (or abstract) at http://bit.ly/9VKpln on research that shows part of Alaska was inundated by a massive flooding event - 17,000 years ago. I am assuming this coincides with the end of the Ice Age but the dating differs from other studies. It is being described as a mega-flood event which formed dunes in the ground over 110 feet high and spread half a mile apart