Mars is warming

The planet Mars is undergoing significant global warming which supports many climatologists' claims that the Earth's modest warming during the past century is due to a recent upsurge in solar energy, says James M. Taylor, of the Heartland Institute.

For three Mars summers, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near the planet's south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress, says Taylor. Furthermore, documented changes from 1999 to 2005 show that Mars' climate is presently warmer, and perhaps getting warmer still, than it was several decades or centuries ago.

But there are not a lot of anthropogenic gas emissions on Mars, so what internal dynamic is warming the planet and what does it mean for Earth? According to researchers:

  • At least 10 to 30 per cent of global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxide gas released by various human activities.

  • The problem is that Earth's atmosphere is not in thermodynamic equilibrium with the sun; the longer the time period that the Earth is not in thermodynamic equilibrium, the stronger the effect will be on the atmosphere.

  • Therefore, greenhouse gases would still contribute to warming, but not as strongly as once thought.

    Furthermore, the warming of Mars adds another level of uncertainty to claims that the Earth's modest recent warming is a result of human activity, says Taylor.

    Source: James M. Taylor, Mars Is Warming, NASA Scientists Report, Environment and Climate News: Heartland Institute, November 2005.

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    For more on Global Warming:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 17 January 2006
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