No proof, but interesting evidence of a variety of changes in the weather on a few planets that looks like it is arriving more or less in sync with changes on Earth. Somehow I don’t think using your cars is causing it…
First off, the weakest change. A Dust Storm on Mars. Yeah, big deal. Mars and dust storms. The Usual comes to mind. But there are two things about this that caught my eye.
First off, it was NOT a U.S.A. or Russian report / satellite.
Mars Orbiter Sends Pictures of Dust Storm Activities on the Red Planet
India | Press Trust of India | Updated: September 29, 2014 20:27 IST
BANGALORE: India’s Mars orbiter has sent a picture of regional dust storm activities over the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet, ISRO said today.
“Regional dust storm activities over northern hemisphere of Mars – captured by Mars Color Camera on-board Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)”, Bangalore-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on its official Facebook page with a picture.
It said the image was taken from an altitude of 74,500 km from the surface of Mars.
MOM spacecraft had sent its first images of the planet on Thursday, a day after creating history by becoming the only such endeavour so far to have met with success on the maiden attempt.
Yes, India has a Mars Orbiter and it worked on the first try. Someone will make it to a permanent space settlement, but you might need to learn Chinese or Hindi… On the plus side, looks like their stuff is more reliable and the flights are cheaper, so the first commercial spaceport with cheap bulk passenger service that folks like me can afford might well be in India…
But back at the news:
The Rs. 450-crore MOM is the cheapest inter-planetary mission. India is the first country to reach Mars in the very first attempt. European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or land on the planet, but after several attempts.
A crore is 10-Million (or l00 lakh that are 100,000 units) in the odd Indian numbering system often used for money. So that’s 4.5 Billion (or Million Million in the old English system…).
So 450 x 10^ 7 or 4.5 X 10^ 9 rupees. The rupee is running about 1.6 ¢ at the moment, so we’re talking about 2.8 x 10^7 dollars. Call it $28 Million. Think NASA can even repaint the launch pad for that little?
But NASA has some info from the ground:
NASA Tracks Big Dust Storm on Mars
by SPACE.com Staff | November 24, 2012 08:30am ET
This is from 2 years before the Indian report, but still relevant. Since our weather warmth peaked in about 1998, these are both from the “post solar shift” phase.
A NASA spacecraft is keeping tabs on a vast dust storm on Mars that has spawned changes in the Martian atmosphere felt by two rovers on the planet’s surface.
The Martian dust storm was first spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on Nov. 10 and has been tracked ever since. The agency’s Mars rover Opportunity has seen a slight drop in atmospheric clarity due to the storm. Meanwhile the newer Curiosity rover — which has a built-in weather station — has seen a drop in air pressure and slightly increased nighttime temperatures halfway around the planet from Opportunity, NASA officials said.
So what, on Mars, can cause changes in pressure and temperature? SUVs? Burning coal? Or maybe, just maybe, changes come from the Sun.
Because the dust from the current storm is absorbing sunlight instead of reflecting it, a warming effect 16 miles (25 kilometers) above the Martian tempest has been seen by MRO. The effect, first recorded by MRO’s Mars Climate Sounder on Nov. 16, has led to a temperature increase of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) so far.
Warmer temperatures are not confined to the Martian south. The circulation of the Martian atmosphere has also led to a hot spot in the planet’s northern polar regions. The temperature on Mars is typically about minus 80 degrees F (minus 60 degrees C), but can vary depending on location and the Martian season.
Gee… changes in aerosols and solar flux can combine to cause a 25 C temperature change… AND we get a polar hot spot from descending compression heating rather like a sudden stratospheric warming on Earth.
Same thing on Saturn (minus the dust, obviously):
SOUTH POLAR STORMS ON SATURN
14 November 2006
The instruments on board the Cassini spacecraft have observed an enormous storm raging in the atmosphere above Saturn’s south pole. This type and scale of storm has never before been seen on another planet.
From 2006 (though on the news today was a report of another major polar storm on Saturn, but I’ve not found a link for it yet). That 2006 date is also after the solar turn. So what happened on Saturn?
mages of the storm show it to be very similar in morphology to hurricanes on Earth, with a well-developed eye some 1500 km across, surrounded by a ~300 km wide ring of towering clouds. From the central ring, two spiral arms of clouds extend outwards and the entire storm measures ~8000 km across.
Over the eye, at the altitudes normally inhabited by bright ammonia clouds, there is a hole in the cloud layer and we can look deeper into Saturn’s atmosphere. In the last two of the ISS images, this results in the eye to appear darker. At the concerned wavelengths (728 and 890 nm) methane gas absorbs light and only the highest clouds are visible, but these are absent over the eye of the storm
The absence of high clouds is also underlined by the brightness of the eye in the last image at 5.0 μm (with red colour scheme). At 5 μm, the lack of clouds at higher altitudes allows for the planet’s thermal emission from below to escape, making the region appear brighter.
The dark spots in the two VIMS images are all smaller storms that are well developed and extend deep into the atmosphere, making them good absorbers of the thermal emission from the planet below. They therefore stand out in silhouette.
POLAR HOT SPOT
Observations by the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) taken at the same time, but imaging higer altitudes, reveal a very small hot spot over the south pole coinciding with the eye of the storm.
I’ve bolded a couple of bits. Snark follows:
Gee… a south polar atmospheric hole causing differences in gas chemistry there… and not a CFC using air conditioner in sight…
Then changes in cloud cover allows heat to escape… wonder why that can’t happen on Earth. Clearly we get polar hot spots from driving cars, but on Saturn it must be something else /snarc;
The measured temperature increase of ~2 Kelvin suggests that the atmosphere sinks over the south pole, with the increase in pressure causing the atmosphere to become compressed and heated up.
So vertical air flow can change temperatures, not CO2? Gee… wonder if they can generalize to evaporation from the surface on earth and convection dumping heat at altitude as the water condenses… then the sinking dry air making it higher temperature (but lower heat) where it comes down in the dry areas.
Then, with a H/T to Sabertoothed in tips here:
This link about a large unexplained dust plume on Mars:
This article on Uranus:
Mystery storms rage across face of Uranus
21 January 2015
STORMS have clouded Uranus’s normally placid face. In the past year, the gas planet has played host to huge cloud systems so bright that even amateur astronomers can see them from Earth – and their cause is a mystery.
“We have no idea. It’s very unexpected,” says Imke de Pater at the University of California, Berkeley.
De Pater observed Uranus on 5 and 6 August, 2014, and was surprised to spot unusually bright features, the hallmark of clouds condensing in the planet’s upper atmosphere. “It was brighter than anything we had ever seen in Uranus’s atmosphere before,” she says. The planet’s weather generally picks up at its spring and autumn equinoxes every 42 years, when the sun shines on the equator. But the last equinox was 7 years ago, so the recent spike in activity is difficult to explain.
De Pater’s group spread the word, and amateurs around the globe trained their telescopes on Uranus. Coincidentally, the amateurs spotted a storm that de Pater had imaged at a different wavelength on 5 August. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, de Pater and her colleagues saw storms spanning a variety of altitudes […], which could be linked to a vortex deep in Uranus’s atmosphere.
Though I’d really rather they trained their telescopes on something other than Uranus ;-)
( I know, i know… cheap and obvious… butt… )
So once again an large uptick in storms with evidence of increased vortex strength.
Anyone claiming our present Polar Vortex is caused by car driving and warming homes needs to explain how that managed to impact the other planets too, and anyone claiming our present strong storms are caused by human activity needs to explain the increase in storms on other planets too.
If anyone has a link to the more recent report of a major polar storm on Saturn, please post it. In the mean time, check the weather before driving anywhere, or taking a vacation to Mars or Saturn…