Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Global Warming - by Brad

It's time for another one of Brad's rambling-ons. This time I am addressing a currently popular topic. Feel free to ignore this post or write me off as an opinionated idiot.

I stumbled upon an article about Mars and it made me think about the Earth's global warming. You probably already know that I am a die-hard environmentalist, and that I am sarcastic. I have to say, that I am all for trying to help our environment... within reason. I'll admit that humans are generally selfish by nature when it comes to environmental issues, but I am still far from calling Al Gore my buddy.

Anyway, the article about Mars said:

"By studying changes in light reflected from the surface of Mars -- a measure known as an object's albedo -- they predict the red planet has warmed by around 1 degree Fahrenheit from the 1970s to the 1990s, which may in part have caused the recent retreat of the southern polar ice cap."

They say the warming on Mars is due to solar radiation. This got me wondering what they say the average temperature increase on Earth has been. So I dug around further and found another article about Earth's global warming from last month that states:

"Over the past century, global surface temperatures have increased by about 0.11 degree F (0.06 degree C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976 -- around 0.32 degree F (0.18 degree C) per decade, with some of the biggest temperature rises in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere."

From the article about Mars, we see that it's temperature change has increased 1 degree in 3 decades. From the article about Earth, we see that it's temperature change has increased 0.96 degrees over the same time (0.32 degrees x 3 decades). As a professional accountant, you can believe me when I say that "1" and "0.96" are pretty darn close.

I am sure you have to take into consideration that the Earth has an atmosphere, and Mars pretty much does not. However, if the Sun's radiation is causing the temperature increase on Mars, don't you think it might be playing a small role in the Earth's climate change as well?


toby said...

I haven't formed an official position yet on global warming, but really enjoyed Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" book on the topic. Brad, why don't you go ahead and read that ;-)

I also really enjoyed a stat that Carol gave me about Al Gore's $30,000 energy bill at his home last year. I though my power bills were high! When I google'd it, I found a very very funny qoute on why that bill was so high:

Kreider says she's confident that the Gores' utility bills will decrease. "They bought an older home and they're in the process of upgrading the home," she said. "Unfortunately that means an increase in energy use in order to have an overall decrease in energy use down the road."

Man, I've got an older house too, but sheesh!

Brad said...

I haven't really formed an opinion this topic as well.

I also feel that I need to clarify my main point... that the warming trends may not be entirely due to human activity.

I would actually welcome global warming. I wouldn't mind it a few degrees warmer here. And when Western Washington floods, my property value will sky-rocket!

Janet said...

I loved reading what you discovered about the temperature increase on Mars as well as Earth!

It sounds like some of these relevant statistics may have been overlooked by those desiring political gain. Thanks for opening my mind to that possibility.

Hope you're having a fun time with Lindsey's family in Spokane.