Second Wave

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Archive for June, 2009


Joanie June 17th, 2009

A 1,000 years older than Stonehenge and we were directed to it by a crop circle!!!!!!!!  Ya gotta love it!   Joanie

By James Owen in London
National Geographic News
June 15, 2009

Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge
prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken
archaeologists by surprise.

A thousand years older than nearby Stonehenge, the site includes the remains of wooden temples and two massive, 6,000-year-old tombs that are among “Britain’s first architecture,” according to archaeologist Helen Wickstead, leader of the Damerham Archaeology Project.

For such a site to have lain hidden for so long is “completely amazing,”
said Wickstead, of Kingston University in London.

Archaeologist Joshua Pollard, who was not involved in the find, agreed. The
discovery is “remarkable,” he said, given the decades of intense
archaeological attention to the greater Stonehenge region.

“I think everybody assumed such monument complexes were known about or had already been discovered,” added Pollard, a co-leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, which is funded in part by the National Geographic Society.

Six-Thousand-Year-Old Tombs

At the 500-acre (200-hectare) site, outlines of the structures were spotted
“etched” into farmland near the village of Damerham, some 15 miles (24
kilometers) from Stonehenge.

Discovered during a routine aerial survey by English Heritage, the U.K.
government’s historic-preservation agency, the “crop circles” are the
results of buried archaeological structures interfering with plant growth.
True crop circles are vast designs created by flattening crops.

The central features are two great tombs topped by massive mounds — made
shorter by centuries of plowing — called long barrows. The larger of the two tombs is 70 meters (230 feet) long.

Estimated at 6,000 years old, based on the dates of similar tombs around the United Kingdom, the long barrows are also the oldest elements of the

Such oblong burial mounds are very rare finds, and are the country’s
earliest known architectural form, Wickstead said. The last full-scale long
barrow excavation was in the 1950s, she added.

The Damerham tombs have yet to be excavated, but experts say the long
barrows likely contain chambers — probably carved into chalk bedrock and
reinforced with wood — filled with human bones associated with ancestor

During the late Stone Age, it’s believed, people in the region left their dead in the open to be picked clean by birds and other animals.

Skulls and other bones of people who were for some reason deemed significant were later placed inside the burial mounds, Wickstead explained.

“These are bone houses, in a way,” she said. “Instead of whole bodies, [the
tombs contain] parts of ancestors.”

Later Monuments, Long Occupation

Other finds suggest the site remained an important focus for prehistoric
farming communities well into the Bronze Age (roughly 2000 to 700 B.C. in

Near the tombs are two large, round, ditch-encircled structures — the
largest circular enclosure being about 190 feet (57 meters) wide.

Nonintrusive electromagnetic surveys show signs of postholes, suggesting
rings of upright timber once stood within the circles — further evidence of
the Damerham site’s ceremonial or sacred role.

Pollard, of the University of Bristol, likened the features to smaller
versions of Woodhenge, a timber-circle temple at the Stonehenge World
Heritage site.

Damerham also includes a highly unusual, and so far baffling, U-shaped
enclosure with postholes dated to the Bronze Age, project leader Wickstead

The circled outlines of 26 Bronze Age burial mounds also dot the site, which
is littered with stone flint tools and shattered examples of the earliest
known type of pottery in Britain.

Evidence of prehistoric agricultural fields suggest the area was at least
partly cultivated by the time the Romans invaded Britain in the first
century A.D., generally considered to be the end of the regions’ prehistoric

Riches Beneath Ravaged Surface?

The actual barrows and mounds near Damerham have been diminished by
centuries of plowing, but that, ironically, may make them much more valuable archaeologically, according to Pollard, of the University of Bristol.

The mounds would have been irresistible advertisements for tomb raiders, who in the 18th and 19th centuries targeted Bronze Age burials for their ornate grave goods.

And “even if the mounds are gone, you are still going to have primary
burials [as opposed to those later added on top] which will have been dug
into the chalk, so are going to survive,” Pollard added.

The contents of the Stone Age long barrows should likewise have survived, he said. “I think there’s good reason to assume you might have the main wooden mortuary chambers with burial deposits,” he said.

Redrawing the Map

An administrative oversight may also be partly responsible for the site
remaining hidden — and assumedly pristine, at least underground — project
leader Wickstead said.

When prehistoric sites in the area were being mapped and documented in the 1890s, a county-border change placed Damerham within Hampshire rather than Stonehenge’s Wiltshire, she said.

“Perhaps people in Hampshire thought [the monuments] were someone else’s problem.”

This lucky conjunction of plowing and politics obscured Damerham’s
prehistoric heritage until now.

The site shows that “a lot of the ceremonial activity isn’t necessarily
located in these big centers,” such as Stonehenge, Pollard said. “But there
are other locations where people are congregating and constructing
ceremonial monuments.”


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Joanie June 16th, 2009

Climate Progress
June 15, 2009

Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns
of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year — and that isn¹t the worst case, it¹s business as usual!

If humanity stays near our current greenhouse gas emissions path, then
Americans face hell — every state will be red.

The thermometer in this landmark U.S. government report puts warming at 9 to 11°F over the vast majority of the inland U.S. — and that is only the
average around 2090 (compared to 1961-1979 baseline). On this emissions
path, the IPCC¹s A2 scenario, most of the inland United States will be
warming about 1°F a decade by century¹s end.  Worse, we are on pace to
exceed the A2 scenario (which is ³only² about 850 ppm in 2100): See U.S.
media largely ignores latest warning from climate scientists: ³Recent
observations confirm S the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even
worse) are being realised² — 1000 ppm.

So this part of my not-so-well-funded analysis appears to hold up well:
³Yes, the science says on our current emissions path we are projected to
warm most of U.S. 10 - 15°F by 2100.²

But I¹m getting ahead of the story. On Tuesday at 1:30 PM, the US Global
Change Research Program is releasing its long-awaited analysis of Global
Climate Change Impacts in United States with NOAA as lead agency.

But impatient CP readers need look no further than here for the third draft
of the report, which has been online since April 27. That¹s where I got the
figure above from. [You can see the letters F and T from "DRAFT" stamped
across the figure. I'll update this post with the final figures when they
are online.]

How hot will it be?  Here¹s another stunning figure from the report:

“The average number of days per year when the maximum temperature exceeded 90°F from 1961-1979 (top) and the projected number of days per year above 90°F by the 2080s and 2090s for lower emissions (middle [550 ppm]) and higher emissions (bottom). Much of the southern United States is projected to have more than twice as many days per year above 90°F by the end of this century.”

Look at Kansas. By 2090, it¹ll be above 90°F some 120 days a year — more
than the entire summer. Much of Florida and Texas will be above 90°F for
half the year.  These won¹t be called heat waves anymore.  It¹ll just be the
³normal² climate.

Again, this isn¹t news to CP readers. Last July I summarized the very modest U.S. ³heat wave² literature as follows (see ³When can we expect extremely high surface temperatures?³):

“Bottom line: By century¹s end, extreme [i.e. peak] temperatures of up to
122°F would threaten most of the central, southern, and western U.S. Even
worse, Houston and Washington, DC could experience temperatures exceeding 98°F for some 60 days a year.

“So this is truly Hell — to match the High Water: Greenland ice sheet
melting faster than expected and could raise East Coast sea levels an extra
20 inches by 2100 — to more than 6 feet.”

The time to act is long past.

I will have much more to blog on this essential report this week.


Related Posts:

Hadley Center:
³Catastrophic² 5-7°C warming by 2100 on current emissions path

M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F

A (Hopefully) Clarifying Note on Temperature


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Published by David Sunfellow
NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
Phone: (928) 257-3200
Fax: (815) 642-0117

P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339