In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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1 Jun 2020
Mammal Evolution

At .... a fossil discovery reveals the earliest relative of modern mammals - going back 300 million years ago. That is a very long time ago and you will not be surprised to learn that it is a mammal like reptile, a synoside. The fossil came from Nova Scotia - from the remains of a vast fossil forest. At the time Nova Scotia was located near the equator, it is thought.

30 May 2020
solar flaring

At (May 29th 2020) we have news of a big solar flare on one of the flanks of the Sun. Flare activity appears to be intensifying. For the first time in over a year the sun if  flaring quite dramatically. However, it is not yet facing the earth and when it does, next week, the flare may have diminished somewhat.

30 May 2020
Lots of mammoths

William sent in this link ... mammoth skeletons dug up during construction of an airport at Mexico City. To date, 70 mammoths have been unearthed since late last year, suggesting that in the Late Pleistocene lots of mammoth roamed Mexico. Apparently, it was grassland in those days - praire. These were Columbian mammoths - which had little fur. They were bigger than the woolly mammoth, found further north, and weighed 20 tons.

30 May 2020
Migrations via genes

At ... genomic analysis shows a long  term genetic mixing across western Asia - going back deep into the Holocene. The region includes Anatolia (modern Turkey), the Levant, and the southern Transcaucasus (Armenia) ... and news of this mixing is bound up with a significant date - 6500BC (or 6200BC in old money, the event that coincided with a realignment of sea levels on a global basis).

28 May 2020
Induced Magnetosphere

At ... the induced magnetosphere of Mars. Five years after NASAs MAVEN spacecraft entered into orbit around Mars data from the  mission has led to the creation of a map of electric current systems in the Martian atmosphere. Scientists are looking at using the currents to determine the precise amount of energy that is derived from the solar wind in order to power atmospheric escape. The link comes with an interesting video by the scientists. One to watch.

28 May 2020
Comet Like Tails

Sent in by Robert. Astgeroids that sprout  comet like tails.  See for example .... an asteroid sporting a tail. ATLAS is designed to scan the sky for potential earth threatening cosmic threats such as asteroids (small and big). It also finds cosmic bodies that do NOT threaten the earth but are never the less interesting - such as asteroids with tails.

28 May 2020
Italian Diversity

At ... during the Laste Glacial Maximum, when an ice sheet covered a goodly portion of Britain and Swiss mountain glaciers were at maximum extent, southern Europe became a refugia from humans pushed south by the expanding ice sheet across NW Europe. Now, researchers are able to show the extraordinary diversity of Italy's genetic history with a full genome analysis of a sample of the population.

24 May 2020
erupting diamonds

At ... a Russian volcano erupts diamonds. Rather, very tiny diamonds created by crystallisation of volcanic gases. The volcano is actually situated in the Kamchatka peninsular just west of Alaska. Diamonds can get coughed up from deep in the earth - such as the kimberlite rock formations. Generally, diamonds are created by the immense pressure inside the earth's mantle and volcanoes can on occasion dredge them up. These diamonds are nothing like that, so small and hard to detect.

24 May 2020
Celtic Language

Chris Gatling's column in Current World Archaeology 101 June 2020 (see ) ... takes a brief look at a study carried out by geneticists back in 2009. It discovered that 30% of the 500 people who volunteered to provide a DNA sample on the island of Anglesey in NW Wales had a segment of a gene common to the eastern Mediterranean (the Levant). It is otherwise rare in other parts of Britain - just 1% have it. It was something of a surprise and naturally they have looked around  for why and how it came about.

23 May 2020
Carbon Dating 2020

Another re-calibration of C14 dating is underway. It could shift prehistoric dates by hundreds of years. Why? Well, just look at what it is going to be partnered with. Not just tree rings and lake varves but ocean sediment cores, stalagmites from caves, shells, corals etc. as well as comparisons between different dating systems. A hoge potch if you like. One might wonder if they have recruited some climate scientists to create fog. Go to ...