Sunday, March 18, 2007

Warming: Its not just for Earth anymore.

Global warming isn’t global. It seems to be taking place all over the solar system. NASA says: “Mars may be going through a period of climate change...” They think it possible that “Mars is just coming out of an ice age. In some low-latitude areas, the ice has already dissipated.” They never use the word “warming” in the entire press release. But if they say it is “coming out of an ice age” then it would mean that Mars is warming.

The press release does admit that Mars is experiencing “climate change” but “global warming” seems to be limited to climate change on Earth.

But that’s just Mars. It could be a coincidence. Here is the headline from the news office of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “MIT researcher finds evidence of global warming on Neptune’s largest moon.”

They report: “that Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, seems to have heated up significantly since the Voyager space probe visited it in 1989.” On a percentage basis it would be the equivalent of 22 degree (Fahrenheit) on Earth.

And apparently something similar is happening on Jupiter with “a global temperature change of about 10K. ABC News says: “Pluto thought to be warming up.” Strictly speaking what the scientists are saying is that Pluto was supposed to be getting colder as it’s orbit takes further from the Sun. But it hasn’t grown colder. In the sense they are having a “warmer” winter than normal.

It could be a coincidence of course. Each has different conditions. But all are warming. And what we know is that they aren’t warming due to human activity. Now does this necessarily mean anything regarding the Earth? Quite honestly, we don’t know. But natural conditions elsewhere in the solar system are leading to “global warming” there. It is entirely possible that natural conditions are leading to warming here.

Perhaps there is a common source. Or perhaps there are separate causes in each place or separate causes exacerbated by a common source. The “warming theory” that I tend to be partial to is the one saying that the prime mover of Earth’s warming is solar activity. And all these other warming bodies are under the same influence when it comes to solar activity.

It will be interesting to see how things actually play out over the next few years. Some scientists who argue that solar activity is the prime cause of warming say that in the next few years solar activity should decline and that Earth’s temperature will begin cooling when that happens. It won’t take long to find out.