BPSDBIf Climate change Deniers actually were from Mars they would know better than to claim that warming on Mars or any other planets was evidence that solar variability had anything to do with climate change on Earth. Given that warming has been detected on only 6 out of the over 100 bodies in the solar system, they’d have been smarter not to mention it at all.
Naturally the claim that “the other planets are warming” is just another Denier fable that contradicts the facts, but what makes the Mars fable interesting is the number of ways in which it contradicts many other Denier claims. It really serves to underscore the incoherence of many Deniers, and the extent to which they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
It’s a fable, of course
This particular post has been ‘in the queue for a while, but has been brought forward because Peter Sinclair has done a remix of his Mars Attack video
Apparently Sinclair will be reworking a number of his videos, and it is worth noting that he is now going to include references and resources with each video. Here are the resources he includes with the Mars Attack remix:
Mars “global warming”:
Pluto “global warming”:
supposed warming on other planets:
related vid, solar activity:
Sinclair gets the main elements of the Mars fable, and the resources at bottom more than adequately cover all there is to say about it, so this summary will be very brief, then the fun stuff 🙂 .
The belief that Mars may be experiencing warming is based on observed changes in albedo as published by Fenton et al Global warming and climate forcing by recent albedo changes on Mars. It was a hypothesis based on observed changes in albedo, not even on changes in temperature data over time. Fair enough, it’s what was known at the time and a not unreasonable hypothesis given that.
With more information we now know that Mar probably isn’t even warming at all. If it is (unlikely), then it is due to changes in albedo caused by dust storms coupled with other climate drivers such as orbital peculiarities. All factors particular to Mars and which have absolutely nothing to do with Earth. For the other bodies in the solar system that are warming Skeptical Science does a good summary.
So the Mars Fable tells us almost nothing about the other planets, and absolutely nothing about climate change on Earth. What does it tell us about climate change Deniers?
It’s not just reality that the Deniers contradict, they often contradict themselves and each other. The Mars myth is particularly rich in examples of these contradictions, so let’s look at some of them.
Deniers contradict themselves
Denier Fable: The temperature record is inadequate
In the video Sinclair points out this contradiction. This fable has a number of variations such as: the temperature record of 130 years is not long enough, the equipment is unreliable, proxies are not valid, and so on.
In fact the temperature record for Mars is much, much shorter than what we have for Earth, involves far fewer measurements, kinds of measurements, types of equipment, etc. Nonetheless the Deniers consider this comparatively miniscule data as indisputable.
Further, the Mars record is far too short to allow for determining actual climate trends (see here and here). As Andrew Dessler stated (emphasis added “There are no actual long-term measurements of Mars’ surface temperature. Thus, we have no idea if Mars is actually warming.”
Of course the records for the other objects in the solar system are even more inadequate. eg for Pluto:
“…a cursory glance at Pluto’s orbit and atmosphere reveals how ridiculous it is to draw any conclusions about climate, much less climate change, from two occultation observations 14 years apart way out there in the ice cold and lonely Kuiper Belt!
Denier logic: many decades of data from tens of thousands of monitoring stations globally is hopelessly inadequate. Two observations within a single season for a planet is definitely accurate.
Denier Fable: Computer models are unreliable/useless
Andrew Dessler points out that the belief that Mars must be warming is from a study that is entirely based on a computer model. This is a recurring contradiction/hypocrisy by Deniers ie chosing to accept as gospel the results from computer models that they believe support their claims while simultaneously dismissing all computer modeling as junk science.
Denier Fable: It’s all just the Sun (which is warming all the other planets too).
The Deniers cite Mars and Pluto as evidence that all of the planets are warming and this therefore proves that Earth’s warming is solar driven. As noted above, they neglect to mention that warming has been detected on only 6 out of the over 100 bodies in the solar system, and as far as we know Uranus is cooling (and Pluto almost certainly soon will be).
If the state of the other planets is the indicator of what Earth should be experiencing, why not pick the 94% rather than the 6 that suit the Deniers political agenda seem to suggest the Sun? Surely the Deniers are not such craven liars that they would deliberately cherry pick data that seem to support their predetermined conclusion?
Regardless, as I recently posted, the evidence that it is not the Sun is overwhelming.
Youtube user MTGandP pointed this one out. In a nutshell the logic is: Earth is cooling therefore Earth’s climate is driven by the Sun which is in a cool phase. Mars is warming which is caused by the (cooling) Sun, therefore climate on both planets is driven by the Sun; quod erat ignoratum as they say.
Denier Fable: Correlation is not causation
The statement is true enough, it’s the claim that anthropogenic climate change science is based on correlation is not.
So what is the basis of the Denier claim that warming on other planets explains warming on Earth? They are allegedly correlated, and therefor have the same causation. That’s their logic. According to them, in this instance correlation is causation.
Denier Fable: Global Warming is just a theory
Denier logic: Tens of thousands of studies and an unbelievable mountain of evidence across many disciplines is “just a theory.” A supposition from two data points and a computer model is God’s own truth.
Deniers are not from Mars
Now this Denier fable is so mind bogglingly lame that the average person would be forgiven for thinking that surely it is only the most extreme nutbars who pass this one around. Surely the more mainstream Deniers are more sensible than to actually try and pass off this nonsense.
Not so. Solomon, Gunter, Heartland, Science and Public Policy Institute, Inhofe, just tour the Denialosphere and you will find that the Mars myth is one of the main pillars of the Denier Canon. Central, and every bit as scientifically robust as all of the rest of the Denier claims.
The fact is that the Mars myth really just underscores how fraudulent and incoherent the Denier Canon is, hence the Deniers would have done better not to mention it at all. But Deniers are from a magic place where the laws of physics, reason and logic do not apply, or at least are not considered relevant. It is a sweet and filling, happy place; however it does contain nuts.
Resources debunking the Mars fable
- Extraterrestrial Global Warming?
- Global warming on Mars?
- Global warming on Mars, ice caps melting
- Is global warming solar induced?
- Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Crackpot Scientist Says…
- Mars and Pluto are warming too
- ‘Mars and Pluto are warming too’—No they aren’t—and what if they were?
- Mars is warming
- Save the Martians!
- Solar Forcing and Global Warming: Here We Go Again
- There’s Global Warming on Mars Too
- What about Mars
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