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Science Of Global Climate Modeling Confirmed By Discoveries On Mars

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Scientific modeling methods that predicted climate change on Earth have been found to be accurate on Mars as well, according to a paper presented at an international planetary sciences conference Tuesday.

An international team of researchers from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, working with French colleagues, found that an unusual concentration of glacial features on Mars matches predictions made by global climate computerized models, in terms of both age and location.

“Some public figures imply that modeling of global climate change on Earth is ‘junk science,’ but if climate models can explain features observed on other planets, then the models must have at least some validity,” said team leader Hartmann.

Full Story: http://www.psi.edu/news/press-releases#hartmannmars
Images: http://www.psi.edu/news/hartmanndps.html

Solar ‘Climate Change’ Could Cause Rougher Space Weather

March 29, 2012 1 comment

Recent research shows that the space age has coincided with a period of unusually high solar activity, called a grand maximum. Isotopes in ice sheets and tree rings tell us that this grand solar maximum is one of 24 during the last 9300 years and suggest the high levels of solar magnetic field seen over the space age will reduce in future. This decline will cause a reduction in sunspot numbers and explosive solar events, but those events that do take place could be more damaging. Graduate student Luke Barnard of the University of Reading will present new results on ‘solar climate change’ in his paper at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester.

The level of radiation in the space environment is of great interest to scientists and engineers as it poses various threats to man-made systems including damage to electronics on satellites. It can also be a health hazard to astronauts and to a lesser extent the crew of high-altitude aircraft.

The main sources of radiation are galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), which are a continuous flow of highly energetic particles from outside our solar system and solar energetic particles (SEPs), which are accelerated to high energies in short bursts by explosive events on the sun. The amount of radiation in the near-Earth environment from these two sources is partly controlled in a complicated way by the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field.

There are theoretical predictions supported by observational evidence that a decline in the average strength of the Sun’s magnetic field would lead to an increase in the amount of GCRs reaching near-Earth space. Furthermore there are predictions that, although a decline in solar activity would mean less frequent bursts of SEPs, the bursts that do occur would be larger and more harmful.

Full Story: http://www.jodrellbank.manchester.ac.uk/meetings/nam2012/pressreleases/nam12.html