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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30 Jan 2012
More on plasma and the magnetosphere

For those interested the discovery of cold plasma in the upper atmosphere has sparked a debate on the internet - see for example and and

26 Jan 2012
Cold Plasma

'Low energy ions: a previously hidden solar system particle population' is the title of a paper in Geophysical Research Letters - see Cold plasma in the upper atmosphere are low energy ions that couldn't be seen, or could not be detected, until recently. These electrically charged, and yes, they did mention the word electric, affect how the earth's system interacts with the Sun - and there is an abundance of cold plasma up there.

26 Jan 2012
Met Office out on a limb ... again

At we learn that new research by the University of Reading and the Met Office admit that solar output is in decline - and will stay in decline over the next 90 years (how do they know that?) More guesswork on top of even more guesswork is added to the brew, using that super computer they have which gobbles up stuff like this like a hungry toddler devouring a banana yogurt. In saying that low activity on the Sun will not affect near-surface temperatures on Earth appears to be rather adventurous - or somewhat hopeful.

25 Jan 2012
Dogs and DNA

At ... various studies and attempts to trace the origin of the domestic dog by DNA have been aired over recent years, tending to home in on the Out of Africa hypothesis = sophisticated human behaviour began with modern humans. They have variously targeted Africa as a source of the domestic dog, or East Asia, and in general have ignored the far north.

25 Jan 2012
Them ol' flint knapping dumb brutes ain't arf done it this time

At (and also at the Daily Mail, online, but the comments are so bad, stay away) ... anthropologists at the University of Kent have published research on the stone tools used by our early human ancestors - and how they may have been engineered. In particular, they were interested in what is known as Levallois flaked stone tools that were common across Europe, Western Asia and North Africa as early as 300,000 years ago.

25 Jan 2012
A cooling lump of water

SIS member William Thompson suggested I look at this story - a huge pool of Arctic fresh water could cool Europe (see also The ocean circulation system brings warm water from the tropics into the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, as we have seen in the last few years. Warm ocean currents with an origin in the El Nino system have been on the ascendancy in the last few decades but the system seems to have switched into a situation whereby cooling La Nina events are more common.

25 Jan 2012
asteroid Vesta

NASAs Dawn spacecraft has produced a close up study of the asteroid, Vesta - see Vesta has a diameter of around 330 miles but surprisingly has a core, a mantle, and a crust - which seems more like a planet than an asteroid (see also )

23 Jan 2012
Boat burials, souterrains, and the Picts

The Oxford clay geological layer forms a bed that runs from Weymouth to East Anglia - usually well below the surface. It was found to be an excellent material for making bricks commercially as the clay included an oily element derived from fossils from the Jurassic era. Clay pits have proved to be a rich source of fossils for paleontologists over the years but a huge clay pit in Cambridgeshire, on the edge of Fenland, has proved to be a rich source of archaeology.

22 Jan 2012
A new tomb from Thebes

At news of the discovery of an 18th dynasty tomb not far from KV40. The entrance was blocked up but at a later stage came into re-use - and blocked up again. This is what is thought happened, at the present time, as large stones in front and over the entrance belong to the secondary occupation. It seems the dynasty 18 burial was infilled with debris so as to accomodate a secondary burial. This consists of a black wooden coffin dated to dynasty 22.

22 Jan 2012
Rotation of the Earth

At there is a report on research in Japan and a paper in Physical Review Letters on problems associated with rotation of the Earth, namely there is not a perfect rate of spin. This led to the view that because different kinds of material make up the core, mantle and the crust this created different rates of spin that causes inherent friction. In other words, the planet wobbles. Why does it wobble? Insome way the mantle responds to the magnetic tug of the core.