Weather Change on Planets – In Sync With Earth?

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 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):


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.


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…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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18 Responses to Weather Change on Planets – In Sync With Earth?

  1. Pete says:

    Way back around 2005 I read a NASA report which said that Mars’ ice cap shrank and expanded in sink with Earth’s NP ice cap. That was the starting point of my conversion back to AGW scepticism after a brief period of believing in the consensus. It was what kicked my ass and commenced my personal research in climate and what drives its changes. This, and Al Gore’s prophecy that driving my SUV is killing my grandchildren and their children.

  2. A C Osborn says:

    Yes, it is quite interesting, but only to those of a sceptical nature.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    Well that small rocky planet, Mars, is as close to an unbuggered proxy for Earth that we have. At present there are only a very few SUVs on it so Humans can be having almost no effect on it’s weather / climate although I am sure the Butterfly people will claim other wise. pg

  4. R. de Haan says:

    Absolutely fascinating isn’t it.

    Still so much to research and so much to learn.

  5. R. de Haan says:

    And all the government does is sticking it’s head into the ground, bashing real scientists and bankrupting the country. What a waste.

  6. omanuel says:

    AGW promoters lost the debate, and the reaction is worldwide. Inquisitions in the US. Obama and Hillary officially charged as terrorists ?

  7. sabretoothed says:

    We still live in the Earth is the centre of the universe world, but the sun and energies hitting the area from outside the solar system do things for sure.

  8. Greg says:

    Weird moon that comes close to earth in 2750 years time

  9. omanuel says:

    Weather change in sync across the solar system is:

    1. Consistent with evidence the Sun’s pulsar core made and sustains every atom, life and world in the solar system:

    Click to access Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

    2. Inconsistent with claims of AGW promoters that trace levels of CO2 in air have greater influence on weather change than do the pulsar remains of the supernova that birthed the solar system.

  10. R. de Haan says:

    OT, read the posting yesterday about US convoy at the Russian border was re-published in the the Washington Post today.
    When I checked a second time this evening, there were three more articles.
    One article claiming Russian armored units had entered Ukraine territory (which I think is not true) another article about Nato Commander Breedlove telling us the situation in Ukraine is deteriorating quickly… followed by yet another article about Swift Boat Kerry telling us major measures will be taken to address Ukraine, Iran and IS.

    This is it ladies and gentlemen.

    Apart from a quest for more defenese budget, something big is going on and it will be more than a provoking show parade with some flag waving at the Russian border.

    This IMO is the the opening of the door to a potential Armageddon which have would come either way, from financial collapse or an escalation of war.

    It looks to we get both.

    Just follow the news and keep track of what these freaking clowns are up to.

  11. Pinot Noir says:

    A wild, extraterrestrial environment which is not populated by living beings, can suffer huge changes over long periods of time.
    We don’t know yet how often they occur because we started to study the space seriously only a few decades ago and those planets are there for billions of years.
    In the meantime, here on Earth, we can suffer quick weather changes if we don’t understand that the environment had enough of our greenhouse gases and wants to stop our polluting activities.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    I’ll likely need to open a new thread for this as it isn’t at all related to weather…

    But just in passing: At a friends home (where he has lived for near 2 decades) there was a VERY unusual flight of military jets overhead. They never fly over his place. We both commented that usually that kind of ‘out of place movement’ is indicative of “something is up”.

    Back during the build up to the Iraq wars I’d noticed similar air flights and also a long train through So. California full of Army gear (tanks, vehicles). That kind of repositioning and odd flights / movements is not done without orders and not done without reason. Just what reason is unknown.

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  15. sabretoothed says:

    Noctilucent clouds, behaving strangely

    Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:43 CET

    The southern season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) has come to an end. NASA’s AIM spacecraft observed the last wisps of electric-blue over Antarctica on Feb. 20, 2015. The end of the season was no surprise: The polar clouds always subside in late summer. Looking back over the entire season, however, reveals something unexpected. In an 8-year plot of Antarctic noctilucent cloud frequencies, the 2014-2015 season is clearly different from the rest:
    NLC Frequency

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