Greenland snowfall

At ... there is a fascinating piece of research from Greenland that will warm the cockles of somebody's heart. A history of snowfall is preserved in the remains of aquatic plants that lived long ago, accumulating at the bottom of lakes in horizontal layers. They are able to tell us how Arctic precipitation fluctuated during the Holocene at large and how this might have influenced the size of the Greenland ice sheet as the Earth warmed and cooled.

wild and wilder horses

At ... science has been having a look at wild horses and how they survived the last Ice Age into the Holocene and the modern world. In the open landscape of the Late Pleistocene the wild horse was common. In the post glacial wooded environment horses were confined to a few refugia, it is thought. Mostly they were confined to the steppe zone and central Asia which is where they were eventually domesticated. Did wild horses survive into the 19th and 20th centuries. It is thought most of these were feral - domesticated horses gone wild.

females that get around

At ... women during the Corded Ware cultural period in central Europe may have been highly mobile it is being proposed - or swapped around. The study was published at online journal PLoS ONE (May 2016).

More on Neanderthals ...


At ... the broken stalagmite pieces (see yesterday) were assembled into two oval rings 176,000 years ago, we are told. Together with them were pieces of burnt bone and evidence of fire - some kind of ritual activity perhaps.

Phoenician DNA

At ... the mtDNA of a Phoenician (possibly a Cathaginian) living 2500 years ago has been sequenced. He had the genes of a rare European haplogroup suggesting he had ancestors from somewhere on the opposite side of the Mediterranean from Carthage (such as Iberia or southern France). The findings appear in the May issue of PLOS ONE (see also


At ... the Topper archaeological site has revealed evidence of fire going back 50,000 years agao - long before humans are thought to have arrived in the Americas. Al Goodyear says the human occupation at Topper goes back well before 15,000 years ago (the mainstream preferred date) but evidence of fire somewhat earlier raises the possibility they were in the Americas before the Late Glacial Maximum.

Petrified Forest

At ... we have another tract of ancient forest revealed off the eastern coast of Britain - once joined to the continent (in this instance woodland stretched from NE England to Denmark). It seems it dates back 7000 years ago when it was covered in sand (a major storm event perhaps). It has been revealed as the tides have apparently washed away the sand that had covered it for so long. Again, another storm event perhaps.

Space Weather

At ... are mystery Mars plumes caused by space weather? Back in 2012 a cloud like plume was spotted high above the surface of Mars. The orbiting spacecraft was not in a position to analyse what had happened but the Mars Express did make measurements of plasma and solar wind activity. It seems a huge CME event struck Mars.


Climate updates

At ... refers to a paper in Nature by CERN scientists and the subject is secondary particles. These were thought to be almost totally derived from human activity but the climate scientists had it altogether wrong it would seem as the new paper seems to show that secondary particles have been with us all the time - long before the scare was a pipedream in a politico's navel. Secondary particles bombard our atmosphere on a daily basis and are also produced by vapour released by trees.


The image below comes from an excellent web site currently also doing noctilucent clouds with some nice images too.