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Still unexplained
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 30, 2007

It is always fun to begin the week with an environmental post.
Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.
"Could be"? How, in the name of science, could it be anything but a natural phenomena considering it is taking place on Mars?

Of course the article goes on to say that the mechanisms on Mars are different than those here on earth (strong winds, dark areas absorbing light, etc), but the fact remains something other than AGW has caused the initiation of this "different mechanism" on Mars. But somehow not mentioned in of all of this is old Sol. While we worry about our lightbulbs here, the biggest lightbulb in the solar system is essentially ignored or waved away when talking about an increase in temperature on Mars. What "could be" a more natural phenomenon than that?
 
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Damned SUV’s. Is there any limit to what they can do?
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
Interesting point in the article was that the rate of change was the same as earth, but the researcher said it was due to a different mechanism that was yet unidentified. A wee bit of bias I think.
The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds.
"my emphasis" on belief
 
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
When I read this in the Times yesterday I started counting down to when you would post about it :-)
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
BTW, when did they repeal the law of parsimony? The 60’s are all a blur to me…
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
When I read this in the Times yesterday I started counting down to when you would post about it :-)
That predictable, huh Kav? ;)

Heh ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
BUT SCIENTISTS SAY...oh wait...never mind the scientists here, listen to Al Gore! Al Gore!
 
Written By: Erbfan
URL: http://
How depressing. Ponder, guys: where is Power or VGA [vote-getting ability] if the Sun is responsible for Global Warming? We need to step up backing the Goreman on this one.
So, "Big Chart", move "Sun" over directly under "Rightwingnoisemachine". And add a treatment to "Narrative Notes" for this month that it is extremely amusing, say an eye-roll and an audible chuckle - perhaps a one-shoulder shrug too - for any mention of the Sun in GW at all. On second thought, these articles are getting pretty disturbing; take out the shrug and add pointing a finger at one’s head and circling it. Too much? No? Good.
This is a crucial time in the campaign. We want the message to be clear. Pull the copies to the ’Times’, CBS and the AP for a personal note. I want a strong MSM lead on this.
Last thing, send a memo to "Product Placement" to get Stewart to do the finger spin when GW is next treated. The MonkeySee - MonkeyDo tests are showing strong market penetration for visual seeds on that format. What’s Seinfeld doing now? No... go with Stewart; he’s hot and this is important.
Let’s go troops, we have a President and Congress to elect!

I want to meet with "Academics" as soon as I draft the MSM notes, so you guys stick around. We have some problems; Erb is having trouble establishing cred
at QandO; we need to get him some help. There have been some catcalls. His stuff seems outstanding...top scores from "Content and Consistency". I dunno, maybe he’s getting too detailed on the Iraq stuff. We’re probably too close to this and need to get an opinion from "Machine" on it. They’ve been good in the past when the dogs wouldn’t eat it.

sarcasm/humor alert
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Of course there is no correlation between warming on Mars and Earth. It’s plain that the Sun must be shining selectively more on Mars than on Earth....lol.

I always chuckle about these fear mongers who shrilly warn about how man made global warming is causing polar ice to melt which will cause flooding to our coastal areas. I live about 300 miles from the coast and the limestone cliffs about a half-mile from my house is full of fossil sea shells. Clearly global warming and flooding was happening long before man came on the scene. I’m all for taking good care of our environment because I don’t believe in fouling my den but this global warming hysteria is ridiculous.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
global warming hysteria
You just have to keep in mind the control over people’s life that we can exert because of it.

Saving the actual environment is really secondary, almost a happy coincidence on the road to telling other people how to live.

Sure, there are some people who really believe, but my bet is on the people who really see this as a way to power, both monetary and governmental.

New religion, same old song and dance.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
What I don’t see commented upon very much about the GW thing is the (to me, at least) obvious fact that it can be boiled down to two alternatives:

1) Global Warming is a natural occurrence about which we can do little;

2) Global Warming is the result of something that we can do something about;

and that there are some very practical differences between the two that are probably determining which way the ball bounces for anyone making the call.

Professor Erb maintains that "scientists" can be trusted to determine which view is correct, after all, they are not, presumably, driven by crass political motives and can make an unbiased judgement based on unbiased evidence.

True as far as it goes. However, what if the total amount of money [prestige, jobs, perks, ego] that will be allocated by society to "scientists" under option 2) above is many times the multiple of option 1)? Would that make any difference?

What does a given "scientist" get for successfully maintaining option 1) versus option 2)?

For example: Our distinguished Democratic liberal Governor here in Oregon has been moved to fire the Climatologist at the University of Oregon for not maintaining a "consistent" policy on Global Warming with the rest of the Democratic establishment. Does that add to or take away from the reliability of that Climatologist’s views on GW?

Another example: The list of "scientists" [of both parties, arguably] provided by Professor Erb. Any of them stand to get grant money, promotions, larger departments, speaking engagements, etc. as a result of their views? What if Global Warming went away, would that reduce these important factors? How should I take that into account in comparing their views with Climatologists such as in my first example?

Note that no knowledge of science or the political views of the "scientists" whatever is required for this comparison.

Does a beekeeper profit from going with the toxic substance view of the drop in bee population? Not really. He either has bees or not and it is the population total that determines his price rather than any theory. So one can bestow credibility on beekeepers as a whole on this issue.
Contrast those "scientists" who are given grant money to make studies and determine issues concerning bees. I think we need a little higher bar here before opening the floodgates. The bee issue is following the GW path almost exactly and for the same reasons.
One difference. The Democrats have not figured out how to get votes using it. Too bad President Bush doesn’t have a beehive in the rose garden. Damn!
Unfortunately, the bee issue can be considered a subset of the GW issue and to the degree that it is, it too will be subverted by the axe-grinders.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Creating hysteria, using fear for political gain?
Like the hysteria over Iraq, justifying the invasion?
 
Written By: Kevin Barbieux
URL: thehomelessguy.wordpress.com
Oh, and lest the reader believe that I am just being cynical, a "scientist" can be in favor or more grant money and attention for science without having any personal issues at stake. If left on their own to allocate the funds used for science, would the percentage of our expenditure for science and scientific study increase or decrease?
Would a "scientist" belive that money expended to study GW was wasted if it turned out that we could do nothing about GW with the results? Would we not know much more about "very interesting" scientific issues as a result? Things that don’t grab the imagination of ordinary folks and which are therefore "seriously underfunded" currently?
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
I am amussed, but I have the most rational explination as to why there would be non-natural reasons for Mars to warm...

Foul Dark Magics...

It’s the only explanation...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Hey, Kevin Barbupyour*ss. You wanna troll? Do it on some other turf.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"Like the hysteria over Iraq, justifying the invasion?
Mr. Barbieux; averring that "hysteria" caused so many members of both poltitcal parties to vote in favor of the Iraq war demeans, I believe unnecessarily, our elected representatives.

Of course, we know that sheeple who are captivated by the LN have no memory of any Democrat (other than Joe Lieberman) who voted conscientiously for the war. If you are one of those unfortunates, we understand.

 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
the biggest lightbulb in the solar system is essentially ignored or waved away when talking about an increase in temperature on Mars. What "could be" a more natural phenomenon than that?
Cyclic changes of solar activity are accounted for in the global warming scenarios. There also is quite a number of planets and moons with athmospheres of their own in the solar system, so it is only to be expected that some of them are cooling or warming up at any given time.

 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
Like the hysteria over Iraq, justifying the invasion?
Yeah, Kev, let’s suppose it’s EXACTLY like that.

Now there’s no further reason to bring the actual ’Iraq’ subject into it if they’re just both examples of being lied to by people who can claim higher knowldege than the rest of us, right?

Still wanna participate?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Cyclic changes of solar activity are accounted for in the global warming scenarios.
(on snark)
Oh, so, the whole Mars and Earth warming at the same time thing is just a coincidence, and it’s SUV’s and greedy Americans causing it here on Earth, and it’s just a natural cyclic variation causing it on Mars.

Yeah, I can see how that would work that way and still be plausible.
(off snark)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Nice catch, looker.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Oh, so, the whole Mars and Earth warming at the same time thing is just a coincidence, and it’s SUV’s and greedy Americans causing it here on Earth, and it’s just a natural cyclic variation causing it on Mars.
Like I said before, there are ten planets and moons weith an athmosphere of their own, and some of them are bound to experience a change in their climates at any given time.

A change in Martian albedo also han’t anything to do with a chnage in Earth’s climate, anyhow.


 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
Damn. I tried for months on end to get Mars to heat up in SimEarth, and now it goes and does it all on its own.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.
Ya know, if I had a block of ice, and a soda filled with ice, both perched in front of my fireplace with a fire in it, and the ice block 2 feet away appeared to be melting and the ice in my drink 3 feet away was melting, I don’t think I’d try real hard to find different reasons for them experiencing melting, would you?

Unless I had a reason to prove there was a difference. You know, like I get international recognition and acclaim if I can prove the ice block was melting because of the fire, while proving the melting drink ice was, at the same time, really being caused by emanations of radiation from the TV in the other room?
And I get to tell my neighbors to turn off their TV from whenever I choose to from now on....

Are you seriously considering the idea that what is causing the warming of Mars is not likely to be the same thing that’s causing the warming of Earth?

How hard does one have to work to look for the non-obvious when confronted with a problem?

Could it be because everyone knows if it’s just the sun we’re going to have to grin and bear it, whereas, if it’s evil Americans, well, this is a great opportunity to demand the average beef eating. SUV driving American live according to some fantasy life style dreamed up by the organic wine and goat cheese set in Hyannisport and San Francisco?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Like I said before, there are ten planets and moons weith an athmosphere of their own, and some of them are bound to experience a change in their climates at any given time.

A change in Martian albedo also han’t anything to do with a chnage in Earth’s climate, anyhow.
Two words: "Occam’s razor".

But do feel free to tell us why we should consider a much more complex theory as to why two worlds warmed by the same source are warming at the same rate over the same period of time ... we’re all ears.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Science says that fire can’t melt steel. Are you anti-science?
 
Written By: Wrong Thread?
URL: http://
Two words: "Occam’s razor".
Nozthink personal, but in this particular case it is pretty blunt and rusty.

The Times also misrepresented the issue:

Global warming and climate forcing by recent albedo changes on Mars

(From the comment thread at Outside the Beltway

 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
’Nothing personal’, of course.
 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
Could it be because everyone knows if it’s just the sun we’re going to have to grin and bear it, whereas, if it’s evil Americans, well, this is a great opportunity to demand the average beef eating. SUV driving American live according to some fantasy life style dreamed up by the organic wine and goat cheese set in Hyannisport and San Francisco?
It’s the evil, rice-munching Chinese, too.

Hmm, Hyannisport is a good keyword. If you don’t behave I’ll throw you over the wall of a certain compound there. The Kennedys’ll eat you alive.
 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
It’s the evil, rice-munching Chinese, too.
Well, as much as it is us.

Difference is they’re going to tell everyone to take a flying leap, and we’re going to hand-wring and convince ourselves we have to do twice as much to compensate for them not going along with it.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Selling the Chinese technology for more efficient energy will help a lot more than hand-wringing or arguing if there is man-made global warming or not.
 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
That should "more efficient energy *generation*"

I’ll call it a day, I’m tired.
 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
There goes that scientific consensus again.
 
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
"Proof Positive" that NASA has screwed up Mars.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Proof Positive" that NASA has screwed up Mars.

Yep, it was that Martian life we killed with the lander sample collector.

When we killed it, we released the ’straw’ amount of CO2 that broke the Martian
global climate camel’s back and plunged them into a global warming period.

Couldn’t be the sun, that’s just too danged obvious. I mean, let’s not be silly.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Get a clue about Mars

and about the sun

I know, I know, it’s words and ideas and stuff, and even a few numbers, but Im sure if y’all pay attention, you can get the gist of it.
 
Written By: Will
URL: http://
Ah ... the "Real Climate" stuff.

Of course.

Spontaneous warming brought on by dust storms. Ummm.

And such a current cite:
Thus inferring global warming from a 3 Martian year regional trend is unwarranted.
How does that track with what was quoted above?
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s.
"3 year regional trend?" Seems more like a 40 year trend that NASA’s citing.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Spontaneous warming brought on by dust storms. Ummm.
And fire doesn’t melt steel either. or so I hear, anyway.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Ralf says

Cyclic changes of solar activity are accounted for in the global warming scenarios. There also is quite a number of planets and moons with athmospheres of their own in the solar system, so it is only to be expected that some of them are cooling or warming up at any given time.

And,

Like I said before, there are ten planets and moons weith an athmosphere of their own, and some of them are bound to experience a change in their climates at any given time.

A change in Martian albedo also han’t anything to do with a chnage in Earth’s climate, anyhow.


I have one question Ralf. Which planets in our solar system are currently experiencing cooling? If this is provable that Mars and Earth are warming, while other bodies with ’atmospheres of their own’ are cooling, that would ruin the sun as main factor theorys. However, if the data show that all are warming, and at very similar %’s, then what? Is it still down to AGW?

Notherbob2,

I’ll make it more than just a simple dichotomy.

1) Global Warming is a natural occurrence about which we can do little;

2) Global Warming is the result of something that we can do something about;


Rather than just those two views:

1: Global warming is not happening, and we can do nothing.
2: Global warming is happening/natural, and we can do nothing.
3: Global warming is happening/natural, and we can change it.
4: Global warming is happening/artificial, and we can change it.

For myself, I understand that climate is naturally variable, with a possibility that mankind might be able to affect it one way or another. This should mean we would be able to engineer the climate of the planet to our liking. The key difference between myself and the luddite crowd is that I would like our species to be able to control the planet one way or another, to stop a possible global meltdown and runaway heat affect, or to put a stop to an oncoming iceage.

I want us to develop the technological capabilities to manage our planet to the greatest benefit regardless of which postion anyone would pick from above. Unfortunately I think that many of the AGW crowd wishes exactly the opposite.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
Barsoomian Air Cars!
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
did you people even graduate from high school? your interpolation that the earth and mars have the same reasons for warming are preposterous. the analogy about a block of ice melting in front of you is so inapt that i don’t even know where to begin. I give you a D-.

why is it that the overwhelming global scientific consensus is that global warming has a human element, but for only conservative republican americans, it is somehow because of the sun? oh right, because you all are always right about everything. hahahahahahahahahahaaaaa!!!!!!
 
Written By: captain caveman
URL: http://
it is somehow because of the sun
err, you do know that the Sun is involved in the earth’s weather and climate systems, don’t you?
 
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
However, if the data show that all are warming, and at very similar %’s, then what? Is it still down to AGW?
There is no warming on Mars proportionally to that on Earth, that is just a misrepresentaion by The Times

 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
There is no warming on Mars proportionally to that on Earth, that is just a misrepresentaion by The Times
You mean like the misrepresentation which constantly tells us there’s an "average global temp" on Earth?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Hey, captain Caveman!

What "science" did YOU learn in High School?

"..scientific consensus" is an oxymoron.

And you a just a plain m*o*r*o*n.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
You mean like the misrepresentation which constantly tells us there’s an "average global temp" on Earth?
McQ,

try ’averaged’ as opposed to ’average’.







 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
Tell me, why is "averaged" acceptable when talking about warming on Earth but not acceptable when talking about Mars?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
the analogy about a block of ice melting in front of you is so inapt that i don’t even know where to begin. I give you a D-.
Well, cavedude, it wasn’t meant to simulate the earth and mars, it was meant to indicate if I can see a pattern in two like objects undergoing similar changes and there seems to be a common environmental factor in play, I don’t work real hard to surmise there MUST be other reasons for the similarity in effect on the objects.

but since some people seem to think that solar things that affect Mars magically don’t have a similar effect on Earth.
it is somehow because of the sun?
Yeah, what were we thinking? Visible light, solar radiation, solar flares...shoot, we ought to know by now that none of that sh*t has any effect on the Earth. Any educated person knows Winter is caused by Persephone being taken underground by Hades for 4 months of the year and Demeter refusing to keep the earth fertile during that period.

Thanks for the D- though, that’s a passing grade.
You think I was totally wrong so give me the F I so richly deserve.
Are you a Democratic Congressman by any chance?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Tell me, why is "averaged" acceptable when talking about warming on Earth but not acceptable when talking about Mars?
Changes in the albedo of Mars aren’t comparable to the increase of the amount of greenhouse gases in Earth’s athmosphere.

Small fluctuations in Martian temperatures will lead to stronger winds there, exposing more dark rock, etc, etc - a self-reinforcing process.
 
Written By: Ralf Goergens
URL: www.Chicagoboyz.net
Damn science, why does it hate Al Gore.

:)
 
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
What we’re being asked to accept is that changes in Mars’s temperature are because of albedo, and concurrent changes in the earth’s temperature are because of an increase in CO2. But neither of these changes are caused by the sun.

It’s a lot to swallow in one meal...
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
From Astronomy.com

But what does this mean? OK, I thought, maybe anti-global warming bloggers can’t just e-mail a scientist and have any hope of getting an answer. So I did. I contacted Bruce Jakosky, a professor of geological science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Among many other things, Jakosky studies the evolution of the martian atmosphere and climate. Here is what he said in his e-mail:

"I’ve heard the argument and it is not a valid one. The ‘global warming’ on Mars is an observed transient effect that manifests itself as a decrease in one location of the covering of CO2 frost (as I understand the argument). The key issue is that it is a transient, not that it represents a monotonic warming ...

"Using the Mars data as an argument for a changing solar constant is absurd. We don’t understand Mars well enough to make that case. And, more importantly, we have direct measurements of the solar input to the Earth over a couple of decades now that show no such increase."
We don’t know for a fact that the warming occuring on Mars is global, rather than a local warming at the sourthern pole. And even if there is global warming on Mars, there is another way to account for it: Milankovich cycles.

See Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy Blog for a more detailed explanation.
 
Written By: Adam Lassek
URL: http://
There is no warming on Mars proportionally to that on Earth, that is just a misrepresentaion by The Times

Nice question dodge there Ralf, I’ll ask again even doubting that’ll you’ll bother to answer what is asked.

Which planets are warming in the solar system, and which are cooling?
 
Written By: John
URL: http://

 
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