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.
So, will signing the Kyoto Treaty fix the Red Planet’s global warming problems? Or will Martian global warming be fixed as soon as the Martians give up their love of SUVs? If you think either of these solutions will fix the warming of Mars, you need to go back to school and pay attention in science class this time. It has already been reported that the sun has been more active in the past few decades than in any previous time human beings have documented, and this is not the first report of Mars heating up. So could it be the sun causing the warming trend? The Times Online article doesn’t think so:
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.
It’s not the sun that’s doing it, researcher Lori Fenton says, it’s variations in radiation and temperature. Well, other than volcanic activity, where else would “variations in radiation and temperature” come from? Martian surface temperatures ultimately come from solar energy, and radiation is the Martian surface giving back the heat it’s absorbed from the sun. But Fenton says it’s not the sun, and she’s a researcher, so you can believe her. It’s not the sun. Nope, not the sun. Can’t be the sun.
Think about this: you are happily playing on your Xbox 360 when the power goes out. You look out the window and see the power is out all down the street. Is it more likely that there is a single cause behind the loss of power, such as a blown transformer, or is it the result of a multitude of different causes, like shutting off the main breakers in the house, cutting into the power line with a backhoe, or failing to pay the electric bill? I’ll leave the answer as an exercise to the reader.
It’s a shame this report didn’t come out on Earth Day, but as ironic as that timing would have been, I believe that no amount of contradictory evidence will make die-hard environmentalists change their stand on anthropogenic global warming. It’s become far too lucrative to give up.