at the cusp of the Ice Age

At ... people were hunting horses and camels 13,300 years ago (in N America) - prior to the Younger Dryas event. For some reason the news release chooses to say they were living in the Ice Age - which isn't true. They were living in a warm period between the end of the Ice Age and the Younger Dryas. However, they were living in the very late Pleistocene - which I suppose is all part of the Ice Age, depending how accurate you might want to be. The horse and camel remains were  found near Calgary in Canada, on the rolling priaires.

deep in the depths

At ... the story is initially about the discovery of a new virus on the ocean floor. Research now brings into the open various questions about the evolution and interaction of microbes inside the Earth - where the key word is inside. It is now thought, said one of the authors, Sarah Bagby, there is more biomass inside the Earth than anywhere else, living at a very slow pace in a dark and energy deficient environment.

plastic in sedimentary rocks

Somebody told me about this, as she had been to a geological meeting with her son where they were showing off a sample of plastic in rock. I later put it into my search engine and up popped a number of stories from last year that I had failed to appreciate or the implications involved. I'm still not sure as sedimentary rocks are usually assigned long periods of time in order to accumulate - and we are talking about what sounds like instantaneous accretion (or so it would seem).

black holes blowing out a storm

A study published in the journal Nature shows observational evidence that a supermassive black hole at the heart of a huge galaxy can power huge molecular outflows. They are actually emitting, they claim, massive quantities of star making gases - see

Jupiter's aurorae differs

At ... flows of electrically charged ions and electrons accelerate along Jupiter's magnetic field lines (fountain like blue curves) ... see below

  ... which trigger aurorae. The accelerated particles come from clouds of material spewed out of volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io. As such, there is a continuous auroral glow on Jupiter thousands of times brighter than anything caused by the solar wind on Earth.

Gobekli Tepe

George Howard has uploaded an interesting video at ... which is worth watching. When did civilisation really begin?

Cappadocian safe bolt hole

This is the underground safe house created in Cappadocia. Was it designed in fear of cosmic catastrophism - or was it designed as a safe place for the locals when predatory armies were rampaging through the region. Go to .... where it is inferred local Christians hid there from various Islamic intrusions into the region, from the Seljuk Turks to the Ottomans.

ancient asteroid clout

At ... a cosmic object created a 400km wide impact zone in Australia's Warburton Basin. Apparently, the crater had disappeared - but geophysicists have rediscovered it. Dr Andrew Glikson, a well known contributor to the Benny Peiser CcNET email thread some years ago (now preserved at Bob Kobres web site), said the impact zoane was found during drilling operations as part of geothermal research. It was a double whammy, an asteroid that had split into two pieces prior to impact.

tree rings

At ... Fongliang He and a research team have been looking at what causes trees to flourish and prosper - or struggle to reach the light. They conclude, from 1680 samples, that competition between trees in forest landscapes is the major cause, rather than climate change. Competition can constrict growth. This was obvious, of course, but climate scientists used tree rings to wish away the medieval warm period and the little ice age. This might be considered something of payback.


At ... molecular nitrogen has been detected on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko by instruments onboard the Rosetta spacecraft

Molecular nitrogen is thought to have been the most common type of nitrogen in the early solar system. It also dominates the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan and is present elsewhere.

At ... apparently the probe which landed on the comet has been inactive now for four months.