Category Archives: Ancient Atmosphere & Climate

Reports about the uncertain efforts to guess at past atmospheric and climate conditions.

Giant snake made into magic thermometer

Here’s a beautiful example of “Science” over-reaching. To be specific, a team of researchers jumped from the fossil remains of a really large snake to pronouncing the average temperature when the snake lived must have been a few degrees higher than it is today. Of course, this was based on the longest officially recorded snake, never mind reports suggesting there are or may have more recently been much larger ones. And of course, they also use the usual dating scheme and place it at about 59 million years in the past.
Continue reading Giant snake made into magic thermometer

An ancient mystery — or two or three?

Here’s a little mystery from 2011. Apparently, the fighting in Syria has prevented any newsworthy new discoveries. It’s an archaeologic site called Tell Qarqur, the buried remains of a city that was thriving “about 4,200 years ago.” The mystery is that archeaeologists believe it was during that period that “ancient civilizations across the Middle East collapsed, possibly in response to a global drought.” Supposedly this drought was so bad, “Along with the Mesopotamian and eastern Mediterranean societies that met their demise, Old Kingdom Egypt, a civilization that built the Great Pyramids, collapsed. ‘A different weather system reduced the flow of the Nile River at the same period so the Nile was affected.'”(quoting Harvey Weiss of Yale University) So how did this city keep thriving?

“The Orontes River is fed by a huge underground chamber of water, which is called a Karst,” Weiss said. “That huge underground source of water continued to flow and to feed the Orontes River during this period when rainfall was diminished.”

Continue reading An ancient mystery — or two or three?