Discovery sparks debate: does the sun have more of an impact on the Earth’s rising temperatures than green-house gases?
The earth’s tilt has recorded variations known as Milankovitch cycles. These are also present on Mars, but to a degree that leads to greater variance in climate.
The Washington times has NASA’s explanation of how this difference affects Mars:
“On Earth, ice ages take hold when the polar regions and high latitudes become cooler than average for thousands of years, causing glaciers to grow toward the mid-latitudes,” said NASA. “In contrast, the Martian variety occurs when — as a result of the planet’s increased tilt — its poles become warmer than lower latitudes.”
Water vapor moves toward the planet’s equator and forms ice and glaciers at mid-latitudes, said NASA.
The discovery of global warming on an unpopulated planet has sparked debate in the scientific community as to whether or not the sun has a greater effect on global temperatures than green-house gas emission.
In 2007, Russian physicist Habibullo Abdussamatov reported the Martian ice caps had been in decline for 3 years. He attributed this to the decline of solar irradiance.
While many scientists consider it to be a simple coincidence that Earth and Mars have shared a period between ice ages, Abdussamatov disagrees:
“Man-made greenhouse warming has made a small contribution to the warming seen on Earth in recent years, but it cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance,” he told LiveScience in 2007.
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