Friday, 1 June 2007

Global Warming - on Neptune


We now have similar temperature graphs for Mars, Neptune, and the Earth. All correlate with Solar Output.

There are two ways of interpreting this:
1. That Global Warming is all the fault of the Sun, and that Man's impact is immeasureably small in comparison - so we should do nothing.
2. That the place is warming up anyway from natural causes, so adding Greenhouse gasses and making the situation no better, probably worse, possibly much worse, is a Bad Idea (tm).

Basically the whole thing is so politicised that we really need to get more and better data on how Man's actions are affecting the climate before we do anything. It's even possible we're ameliorating rather than worsening the situation through feedback effects.


Lloyd Flack said...

The graphs of total solar irradiance and the solar UV flux proxy look wrong. The direct measurements from satellites are only available for the past 25 years but they show a pronounced 11 year cycle and negligible trend. As far as we can tell from lower grade data and proxies there hasn't been a trend other than the 11 year cycles in the previous 25 years. There does appear to have been an increasing trend in the first half of the 20th Century.

Any changes in the apparent brightness of Neptune cannot be due to Solar variation if there hasn't been Solar variation. I think the direct measurements are the first thing we should look at rather when we look for Solar variation rather than inferring it from planetary effects which can easily have other causes.

Lloyd Flack said...

I looked at the Neptune data again. I can see an increasing trend for the past 15 years and before that I see either a cycle or a random walk but no visible trend. Data torture alert!

JC said...

Lloyd Flack makes a good point about solar variation. The problem with the article quoted at WorldClimateReport is it uses solar output from an outdated reconstruction of solar irradiance (Foukal et al). Foukal's reconstruction contradicts direct satellite measurements ( that have found solar output has shown no rising trend since 1978, sunspot numbers ( which have leveled out since 1950, the Max Planck Institute reconstruction ( that shows irradience has been steady since 1940 and solar radio flux or flare activity ( which shows no rising trend over the past 30 years.

So if the sun isn't getting hotter, what's causing Neptune's warming? Neptune's orbit is 164 years so observations (1950 to present day) span less than a third of a Neptunian year. Climate modelling of Neptune ( shows its brightening is a seasonal response. Eg - Neptune is heading into summer.

Lloyd Flack said...

The 11 year cycle appears to have been filtered out of the Solar irradiation and UV flux graphs. That's why I couldn't see it.

The apparent magnitude of Neptune increases by about 0.12. This corresponds to an increase in reflected light 0f about 10%. But the Solar irradiation graph shows an increase of about 0.1%. It can't be the explanation.

It has to be a change in Neptune's albedo, probably a sesonal effect.

Denise said...


I would send you an email, but I don't readily see your email address.

I'm curious -- why do you list submarine-related links? I ask because I served on submarines in the US Navy (as did another two trans women that I know (one of whom also blogs).

Denise -

Zoe Brain said...

Hi Denise!
My e-mail addy is

As for submarines - See this post and here's a quote from this one:

I'm not a submariner (though I've spent some time on board various subs). But assuming over a dozen boats are in service with the IDF, Bundesmarine, Armada de Chile, Royal Swedish Navy, Hellenic Navy, Italian Navy, and others, all of which carry the ISUS-90 or CSU-90 systems on board, and assuming 1 in 3 are at sea, each with about 60-70 crew on each, then 200 submariners at any one time are reliant for their very survival on me and my erstwhile colleagues having done our jobs adequately. I've never met more than a handful of these men (and none of the few women), but I think about them every day, and pray "Dear God, Please May I Not Have Screwed Up Ten Years Ago".

Anyone who doesn't think the same way has no place in making Safety-Critical systems.

I have no right to wear the Dolphins, I'm just a scumbag sea rider contractor who keeps herself BSY.