Thursday 8 March 2007 - Filed under Astronomy
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 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.
“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.
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.
* * * * * The Bad Astronomer * * * *
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.
2007-03-08 » lolife