Monday, March 05, 2007

Global Warming on Mars?

National Geographic News has an interesting article on a recent study of conditions on Mars that suggests that the current phenomenon of global warming may not be limited to just our globe. Carbon dioxide ice caps on Mars are also shrinking.

In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.

I'm sure that the findings of this study will be highly controversial and will be questioned by many other scientists but they do suggest an interesting idea. Why don't we use Mars as a basis for proving or disproving the suns roll in global warming? After all why should we bother going into space if we don't use our presence there to tackle issues of global interest instead of just poking a few rocks and sending pictures of red sand home.

Personally I don't know what I would prefer. The idea that the planets ecosystem is so delicate that we can cause it serious and life threatening damage or that it is not our fault at all and we are entirely at the mercy of the Sun. I do, however, suspect that if there really was proof that Mars was warming in a similar manner to Earth then George W. Bush would be waving the report in every press conference he holds.

[via Slashdot]

1 comment:

Colm said...

"An Inconvenient Truth” comes out and points out that the scientific community is pretty mush united in its support for the concept of global warming being man made. Within a year the concept of “cosmic waves” gets bumped up the profile list and suddenly a few vocally hyperactive scientists have the money to publish books and travel the world preaching their theories of global warming being influenced by Solar cycles. I wonder where the money came from….