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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19 Feb 2012
An Alaska 'big wave' event at the end of the Pleistocene?

Over at there is the claim of a huge tsunami wave at the YD boundary - or thereabouts, with some nice Native American artwork to kick it off. Deposits of sea shell and other oceanic detritus found in the Juneau area stratigraphy seems to have been washed ashore from a wave rather being laid down over time. The consensus opinion seems to be that the area was once beneath the sea - a common geological definition whenever sea creatures are found in what are now land-bound locations.

19 Feb 2012
Climate Change over thousands of years

This post is informative ... see 'Sudden Climate transitions during the Quaternary' ... and is about a whole series of rapid climate transitions over the time span of the last few million years. The most detailed information concerns the YD to Holocene temperature change at 9500BC - which happened very quickly. However, the speed of this change is representative of similar but less well documented climate transitions prior to that date.

18 Feb 2012
Stone Age people under the water

At ... there is a video of the stone age boatyard found on the bottom of the Solent - since flooded by rising sea levels.

18 Feb 2012
Windy Energy

At ... we learn that a paper in Nature claims the extraordinarily high energy emissions at the heart of the Crab Nebula come not from a pulsar at its core but from wind. The pulsar is what is left from after a large supernovae event, theorised as being a neutron star that spins 30 times a second - and appears to pulse in the process. Until now scientists have assumed the energy comes from the pulsar - as it arrives in bursts.

18 Feb 2012
Language and Out of Africa

At .. anthropologists have said the cradle of language could, or it that 'should', be traced back to Africa. A recent paper that received lots of press attention claimed language could be traced back to specifically, SW Africa, but a new paper has provided a dash of cold water to the fanfare - see Science 335 (no 6069), 2012.

16 Feb 2012
Wikipedia and the Maunder Minimum

It seems too recent but it was only in 1976 that JA Eddy had an article published in Science 192 (no 4245) that established the Maunder Minimum as a fact (see and ) and see also and .

15 Feb 2012
The Earth ... spinning faster?

At ... tells us that a NASA JPL research team in league with French scientists have written a paper for the Geophysical Review Letters that claim that for a couple of weeks in 2009 the Earth was spinning faster, and days were shorter - by a fraction of time. This was all because the ocean current that encircles the Antarctic changed rate in response to a down step in wind speed. The change in speed of rotation was a self correcting motion in order to conserve angular momentum.

13 Feb 2012
Solar Cycle

At the Wikipedia entry on the solar cycle is interesting - it looks at the history of the subject and notes that as long ago as 1908 sunspots were shown to  be strongly magnetised, and a bit later, the magnetic polarity of sunspot pairs was recogised - and the 22/11 years sunspot cycle. Now, as science doesn't proceed as agreeably as it is suggested at Wikipedia we can imagine there was some scepticism of this new finding.

13 Feb 2012
Clams and African iron smelting

At ... clams have been found at hydro-thermal vents in the deep ocean - in the Mariana Trench. This is located in the western Pacific, east of the Mariana Islands and the trench is around 1580 miles in length - a sort of underwater Rift Valley and created, it is thought, by one plate moving beneath another (paper published in PNAS, Feb 9th 2012).

13 Feb 2012
How contrary views are suppressed

At there is an article by a scientists who has worked at the US Geological Survey for over 40 years and is the author of 100 refereed articles from 1950 to the present etc. He accepts Plate Tectonics as a working hypothesis but he now realises one component of the theory, mantle plumes, is quite wrong (in his opinion, I should add). He was surprised at the antagonism his scepticism produced - and clearly it is not just climate science that generates bad feeling or brickbats instead of honest evaluation of new ideas.