By Nick

It is indeed a diatom. But is it from space?
It is indeed a diatom. But is it from space?

One of my more frequent procrastination methods is reading various popular science articles. I find them interesting and informative and feel they would be great for the readership of OnCirculation. But then I realise I have little original content or perspective to add to the topic.  Copying and pasting, would of course, be illegal; with acknowledgements is still a grey area. So here’s my round-up of some recent Earth Sciences news, complete with some links so you can read the full story for yourself.

Diatoms from space:

Diatoms have been found in a meteorite that fell in Sri Lanka! Thereby adding evidence to the idea that life originates from outer-space. You can read the paper here at the Journal of Cosmology.

Except the diatoms are from earth, and it may not even be a meteorite. Phil Plait debunks the story here at slate.com

I would add, that any science that can get from space, to the lab, to a journal, to the public, and into this blog, in under three weeks, probably isn’t meticulous. Neither is a paper which has nearly 50% of the citations coming from the authors involved.

Why bushfires aren’t causing global warming:

“Indeed I guess there’ll be more CO2 emissions from these fires than there will be from coal-fired power stations for decades.” – acting Opposition leader, Warren Truss, January 9, 2013

Really, Warren, really? How can someone as high up as Warren Truss say such things without checking facts? This is one of the most irritating aspects of climate change denial, that people can lie without being held accountable. Imagine if a politician said something just as untrue about  hospital conditions, or standards of education or Israel.

Anyway, Philip Gibbons from the ANU did the maths and you can see his response here at the conversation.edu. The bushfires have accounted for about a week’s worth of emissions from Australian coal power plants. And all carbon that will be reabsorbed as the trees regrow.