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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26 Jun 2011
A trillion bolts of lightning

Yes, a trillion bolts of lightning are being emitted from what is said to be an enormous black hole in a distant galaxy (see ). Philipp Kraberg of the University of Toronto and some colleages say they have measured the alignment of radio waves around Galaxy 3C303 where a giant jet is shooting out of the centre. A sudden change in the alignment of waves coinciding with the jet was 'an unambigous signature of an electric current' he said.

26 Jun 2011
Dr Strangelove ... and scary AGW solutions

At .... ideas to combat the rise in levels of co2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans are beginning to feature some Dr Strangelove kind of ideas - and one of them is adding iron filings to the oceans. The threat of global warming, they think, is good reason to tinker with ecological systems - in the air we breathe and the water that feeds us with its bounty. Luckily, a few other scientists are getting worried something crazy will be set in motion, and a bit of research into the oceans is in order.

26 Jun 2011
Tiljander lake sediment data

Proxy data known as the Tiljander series, named after the original researcher on lake varves in a Scandinavian body of water, pops up in the new sea level hockey stick model in spite of the controversy that exists, as pointed out by the original research and by Steve McIntyre and others in a series of searing demolitions of its use in Mann hockey sticks - upside down. Now, the myth is that this particular series of data is used bottom up for a reason - to produce a desired result (eliminating the Medieval Warm Period).

25 Jun 2011
Under the sea volcanic activity

An interesting post at is a bit of typical sleuthing by EM Smith, wondering just how much co2 might be produced by under the sea tectonics and volcanic activity. He takes it a stage further by speculating that it might influence the transfer of heat by the ocean circulation system that runs around the globe, an area of research that is poor in comparison with other palaeo-climatic endeavours.

25 Jun 2011
More info on Mercury

At (see earlier post a few days ago). This blog post is derived from information from the Carnegie Institute and it expands a little on what the Messenger spacecraft has found out about the magnetosphere of Mercury. The Mariner 10 fly by in 1974 witnessed a burst of highly energetic particles in the magnetosphere but nothing as powerful as that has been seen by the Messenger during its 3 fly bys so far. However, bursts of energetic electrons have been seen - which were not as energetic.

24 Jun 2011
Palaeo-climate change

A story at ... scientists are taking samples of soil that formed up to 20,000 years ago to find out what was growing in the Hackensack Basin from then until now. The basin was formed by a glacier in the last Ice Age and when it shrank back a lake formed there. It seems that the 20,000 years figure might be somewhat loaded as the lake itself did not drain away or dry up until some point between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, possibly at the onset of the Mid Holocene Warm Period - 8,000 years ago.

24 Jun 2011
Atlas of Empires

Atlas of Empires by Peter Davidson tells a tale of how and why the great empires of history flourished but inevitably fell and explains what this might mean to our current globalised world. The driving forces that gave impetus to the empires are examined in detail - belief systems, culture, trade networks, warfare in their time etc.

24 Jun 2011
When scientists and the powers that be get miffed by the little people

An interesting story at where scientists working on genetic modification and improved seed research associated with the 'green revolution' in the hope of inventing the Mark 2 version have pubicly criticised a spot of down to earth on the ground and get your hands dirty bit of homespun improvised rice growing improvements that began life in Madagascar under the auspices of a priest.

24 Jun 2011
Upstairs ...

It seems that elliptical galaxies are not spherical as once thought but disc shaped and resemble spiral galaxies. This result came from Atlas 3D and was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (in June) (see

24 Jun 2011
Steam rising as the sea level hockey stick is published, in pronto timescales

Over at ... Steve McIntyre is critical not just at the ease at which the Team paper went through peer review at PNAS, in stark contrast to their treatment of Lindzen (see post a week ago) but the contents itself - which he thinks are misleading. For example, the proxy data has been smoothed by Bayesian methodology - in a way statisticians would not encourage. It seems they also exclude sea level data before AD1000 yet claims it is a seal level record over the last 2000+ years.