Stink from the methane post

Contributed by
Jan 21, 2009

I've been getting some interesting feedback about my Mars methane post from earlier this week. Some people have complained that the media were not going overboard with the story, but that's patently not true. I'm not saying every single venue went ballistic, crying "Life"! I'm saying some did. And many had decent articles about the story, but pimped exaggerated headlines, like The Sun did.

I think my favorite item so far is from the American Thinker blog. The author there claims that methane is from solar-induced global warming.

Yes, you may pick yourself off the floor and take a few deep breaths. Obviously, he has never read my blog, where I smack the idea down of the Sun causing global warming. Twice, in fact.

Think of it this way. On average, Mars is about 200 million km from the Sun, and we're about 150 million km. If Mars has a noticeable rise in temperature due to heating from the Sun, then the Earth would have an even greater rise. One of the big problems about global warming is that it's a relatively small temperature change (something global warming deniers love to talk about). So if our temperature rise is small, Mars' would be even smaller if the Sun were the cause.

In other words, if the Sun were behind global warming, we wouldn't be able to see it on Mars at all. But we do. Therefore global warming is not solar induced, either on Earth or on Mars.

Anyway, I have more details in the blog posts linked above.

There is one thing that was pointed out to me I didn't know: bovine methane on Earth appears to be predominantly from eructation and not flatulation. That's as adult a way as I can phrase it. Interesting... and so I edited my earlier piece. Don't let it be said I won't fix scientific errors on my posts! So please don't raise a stink about it.

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