Sunday, March 11, 2007

Martian Civilisation: Proof at last

Mars is warming up says NASA, and the climate change denial lobby is having a field day, claiming that this proves that a warmer Earth is simply part of a solar system wide process caused by increased radiation levels from the sun. Well I think they are dangerously, disastrously wrong, and we should all be really very worried indeed. We all know of course that the Martian civilisation retreated underground centuries ago, and clearly their War Machine is now cranking up production. Secret underground factories are even now at full capacity, cranking out thousands of Cylinders and Tripods. All that waste heat has to go somewhere, so I would implore NASA to turn their resources to seeking out the thermal vents used by the Martians to dissipate the waste heat. Then we can launch a pre-emptive strike on these hidden factories, before they can deploy their Weapons Of Mass Destruction against us.

Well, if you’ll believe that, you’ll believe anything, but climate change deniers are asking people to swallow an equally outrageous whopper. It is absolutely true that NASA have said “"for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress” but this does not imply that Earth and Mars are suffering the same shared effect.

There are far more differences than similarities between Earth and Mars to start making grand comparisons like this. To begin with, the changes have been observed around the South Polar Cap, and not the entire planet, so this is hardly conclusive evidence of a planet wide effect. We must also consider the impact of the eccentricity of the Martian orbit combined with its obliquity (the angle of its spin axis to the orbital plane), which means that it not only periodically swings closer to the Sun (perihelion), but also wobbles in its orbit. As a result the climate is prone too much greater seasonal swings than we experience on Earth. This effect is also exacerbated by the lack of a large moon to dampen down the wobble. Then there are also things like seasonal dust storms to consider, which are large and long lasting enough to swing temperatures through several degrees of variation.

So there are plenty of alternative reasons for the observed warming on Mars, but please do what I did to write this posting. Go out and research the facts and make up your own mind. The information is out there and pretty easy to find. Here’s a good start at which does a much better job of summarising the flaws in the Mars climate change argument than I can.