Wednesday, December 09, 2009

John Redwood speaks of Mars

John Redwood is thinks man made global warming is a "swindle".

I was interested to note his extensive knowledge of, and interest in, conditions on Mars. He has seen on the news that Mars is heating up, therefore AGW is false because it is happening on Mars too.

So off we go to Real Climate to find out what is going on.

Steinn Sigurdsson says:
Recently, there have been some suggestions that “global warming” has been observed on Mars (e.g. here). These are based on observations of regional change around the South Polar Cap, but seem to have been extended into a “global” change, and used by some to infer an external common mechanism for global warming on Earth and Mars (e.g. here and here). But this is incorrect reasoning and based on faulty understanding of the data.

It is late summer in Mars' southern pole. Mars years are twice as long as Earth years. Mars' orientation, and the pattern of its orbit give rise to long seasons of 1170,000 years.
Without the moderating effects of oceans, Mars' temperaures are more sensitive to input from Sun (which has been declining in output recently). Periodic Dust Storms have a cooling effect.

SS: to the extent it is sensible to speak of a mean temperature for Mars, the evidence is for significant cooling from the 1970’s, when Viking made measurements, compared to current temperatures. However, this is essentially due to large scale dust storms that were common back then, compared to a lower level of storminess now. The mean temperature on Mars, averaged over the Martian year can change by many degrees from year to year, depending on how active large scale dust storms are.

So Redwood starts off with a weak and wonky base to his case. He should have gone for the one about the Elephant in the Tundra - it has more human interest.

Next, he wants the models to be more perfect than they are, to be sure they are modelling everything. So do I. Trouble is, the search for perfection will take another 20years. We haven't got that much time, John.

But John is not a do-nothing man. Oh no.

...we are living in a period when things are warming up, so we should manage any unhelpful consequences of that and welcome the good effects it will have.

The fearless MP for Wokingham (in the South, between Bristol and London) has a Great Plan to meet the threat of climate change:

We do need to increase the water supply in the drier south of the UK and make sure we have enough water stored in case we have longer drier periods, and we do need to improve sea defences in case there is going to be a combination of small rises in sea level and higher storm and tidal surges.

Thanks for that John. The people of East Africa will be amazed at your wisdom, and may apply to stay in Wokingham when they are forced to leave their ancestral tribal lands.

We will benefit from the better weather for tourism, agriculture and outdoor sports.
Oh Yes. Such joy, those luscious green croquet lawns...the thwack of willow and leather.
Fewer people will die of the cold and from snow and ice in the winter.
Ever thoughtful for the condition of the CDs.
??It also makes sense to work away at cutting the amount of energy we burn, and at reducing the amount of waste gas that our systems push out. Oil and gas is getting scarcer and dearer, and comes mainly from troubled parts of the world. We should reduce our dependence on it. The UK should try to lead in green technology, showing how we can maintain a good lifestyle, whilst burning less hydrocarbon, and burning what we need more efficiently.

We should press him on the GND then.
Final word:

So let’s be greener and cleaner, but let’s stop pretending mankind is in control of the natural world, or understands everything that lies behind changes in average temperatures.
We never done it, and anyway, if we did do it, there's nothing we can do about it, so we might as well do nothing except pipe me some water to keep my croquet lawn green. Green! Ha, yes, there's a slogan there somewhere: let me see, vote Blue, get a Green, wait, that's it - vote Blue, get a Bowling Green. A bowling green in every parish! Yes, that's brilliant. I will phone David at once. Hope I can get past his blinking secretary.


Jean Vidler said...

The figure for Mars "season" lasting 1170,000 years looks wrong to me! Can you explain, please.

DocRichard said...

Thanks Jean, it was a typo. The Martian "season" is a mere 170,000 years, not 1170,000. At least, 170,000 is the Mars precessional period, which is the wobble of the rotating body, like the wobble you see on a gyroscope. Earth's precessional period is a mere 26,000 years.

Click on the links if you want more. Real Climate has a full explanation.

DocRichard said...

Hi Frugal Queen, I love your blog, it should be required reading for all home owners.

Yes, Europe has a lot of good points, and some bad points - like it still is a bit demmocracy-lite. I can live with things being a mixture of good & bad. UKIP see only the bad. In this they have much in common with neurotic people.