Global Climate Change and Mars

I’m assuming Phil “The Bad Astronomer” Plait won’t mind me posting this here. Hell, I’ll even ask him. After the fact, of course.

I said:

I have a guy on my site claiming that the polar caps on Mars are melting for the same reason that we see global warming on Earth.

He said:

“I don’t think anyone has yet to explain to me the simultaneous melting of the Martian polar icecaps. Seems like a pretty weird coincidence. If the ice caps on Mars are melting because the Martian climate is getting warmer, doesn’t it make sense that the Earth would be warming too as a result of the same root cause?”

I.E. NOT human causes.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
M.

Phil’s reply:

Hi Michael-

I just heard about this myself. The claim is that warming is seen on Mars, Jupiter, a moon of Neptune, and Pluto. GW deniers are saying it’s due to the Sun warming up.

The thing is, the warming on Jupiter is local, not global (as far as I can tell); the warming on Triton is seasonal, and expected; Pluto is too far away to see a warming like this due to increased sunlight; and — oh yeah– there has been no measured increase in solar flux. 🙂

I’m not sure what’s going on with Mars. If real, it may be that it is simply coming out of an “ice age”. What I find interesting is that these people talk about four objects out of 100 in the solar system. What’s happening on the other planets, the other moons? I don’t know, but it’s clear we can’t start making claims until we have a real statsitical sample.

-P

* * * * * The Bad Astronomer * * * *

Phil Plait
The Bad Astronomy Web Page: http://www.badastronomy.com

The key point, which I had mentioned in the past, is that we are not seeing increased solar luminosity (that I’m aware of). We have the SOHO satellite sitting out there watching it 24 hours per day. We also have solar observatories, like Kitt Peak, that have been operating for decades.

Good question, but I don’t think it is related to the global climate change debate.

Global Climate Change and Mars

4 thoughts on “Global Climate Change and Mars

  1. micadelic says:

    I know you guys tend to ignore any opinions that don’t agree with your views but here’s another one.

    Debunking global warming myths

    And before you accuse me of the same, I read every link someone recommends (and I usually find them hysterical and shrill) and you cannot avoid the indoctrination being perpetrated by Al Gore, and the MSM.

    Like

  2. micadelic says:

    Like I said, I think a lot of this is hype and now even many of the scientists that support Gore are coming out saying he is over-hyping his claims. Things like the worse-case ocean level rise is 20 inches, not 20 feet by the end of the century, and even that is highly debatable.

    Below is an excerpt from a new article from that crazy right-wing rag, the New York Times:

    Geologists have documented age upon age of climate swings, and some charge Mr. Gore with ignoring such rhythms.

    “Nowhere does Mr. Gore tell his audience that all of the phenomena that he describes fall within the natural range of environmental change on our planet,” Robert M. Carter, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Australia, said in a September blog. “Nor does he present any evidence that climate during the 20th century departed discernibly from its historical pattern of constant change.”

    In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change.

    Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

    Getting personal, he mocked Mr. Gore’s assertion that scientists agreed on global warming except those industry had corrupted. “I’ve never been paid a nickel by an oil company,” Dr. Easterbrook told the group. “And I’m not a Republican.”

    Click here for the full article.

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  3. Well, I think the “denier” tag comes from the fact that people ignore the science that disagrees with them and yet love to point out the science that agrees with them, even though both are not available in equal quantities. A vast majority of scientists who study the climate think that there are human causes of global climate change and further they think the rate of that influence is increasing. The trends over the industrial era are much faster than the trends we infer from the historical record. Natural causes is no longer the most simple explanation for what we are seeing.

    Yet a whole bunch of people, all coincidently on the Right, deny this. Many of them claim these scientists have an agenda of “socialism” and wealth-redistribution, which, coincidentally, you mention above!

    So you made your bed, bud!

    😉

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  4. micadelic says:

    I think the “GW Denier” is unfortunate. I also thing the Global Warming term is unfortunate. Isn’t climate change more accurate? It even bugs me when people point to a blizzard here or a deep-freeze there as evidence that global warming does not exist.

    A measurable fact is a measurable fact, it’s either warmer or it isn’t.

    I have read a lot on both sides of this issue and I am not 100% swayed either way although I don’t believe man has as much of an impact as some people say. I also believe that the reason people say it is political, another way to redistribute wealth or an attempt to weaken the USA.

    I also have trouble believing that we are comparing apples to apples when we talk about temperature fluctuations. Where was the temperature measured in 1800 and what instrument was used? Where was it measured in 1940 and what instrument was used? Especially when we are talking about fractions of degrees. This makes me skeptical and I don’t think it unreasonable to be skeptical. It also appears to me that their is a political agenda behind the loudest GW promoters. Through history there seems to have been one doomsday prediction after another and over time, it starts to seem like the boy who cried wolf. You know, repent now for the end is near!!! I’ve been seeing those signs all over the country since I was a little boy. The global cooling scare I mentioned in another post, bird flu, Y2K, etc. I’m still waiting for even one of those doomsday scenarios to come true.It seems to me the case for skepticism is pretty strong.

    So am I a denier? Don’t think so, I actually do have an open mind, even more so than some that argue against me because they are so convinced of their correctness. I’ve tried to explain why I lean one way and not the other and I do not think I am unreasonable, uneducated, or denying it out of some desire to “ruin the planet,” as I have been accused of.

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