Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto.
NASA says the Martian South Pole's ice cap has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter's caught the same cold, because it's warming up too, like Pluto.
This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non-signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle.
Silly, I know, but I wonder what all those planets, dwarf planets and moons in our SOLAR system have in common. Hmmmm. SOLAR system. Hmmmm. Solar? I wonder. Nah, I guess we shouldn't even be talking about this. The science is absolutely decided. There's a consensus.
That's right, the guy from Die Hard believes that thousands of scientists who spend their lives studying the Earth's climate simply forgot that the Sun is the driving force heating the planet. Unfortunately, he's hardly the only conservative digging in his heels against global warming science and making absurd arguments against it.
Of course, scientists do measure the variations of the Sun and its effects on our climate. Left out of all the commentaries about Mars' ice cap and the Solar connection is that fact that Solar activity has not increased in decades and that the actual measurements of air temperature significantly exceed the predictions based on solar forcing.
Couple that with the fact that, on average, half of the planets in the solar system will be warming and half cooling at any time, that Pluto has just passed the point closest to the sun in it's 248 year orbit, that there is no evidence that Jupiter is warming globally and that 3 years of pictures of a shrinking polar cap is a short term local measurement, not a long term global one -- well you start to wonder where all the evidence against man-made global warming went.
As stated at RealClimate:
There is a slight irony in people rushing to claim that the glacier changes on Mars are a sure sign of global warming, while not being swayed by the much more persuasive analogous phenomena here on Earth…