Titan has Earth-style 'climate change', says prof
Saturnian ice-moon's 'Sea of Krakens' will vanish
Scientists at Cal Tech say they have cracked the puzzling conundrum of the polar patio-gas lakes of Titan, moon of Saturn. The reason why such bodies of fluid are found at the moon's north pole but not at its antarctic is apparently eccentricity in Saturn's orbit, of the same type as that governing ice ages on Earth.
Regular Reg readers will be familiar with the bodies of chilly -180°C liquefied methane, ethane and propane which adorn the Titanian arctic, among them the Sea of Krakens and the island-speckled Ligeian. They are formed by hydrocarbon drizzle condensing out of the moon's thick atmosphere.
What has had boffins stumped, however, is the fashion in which the seas are clustered at the north pole but not at the south, where similar conditions prevail. There are also many more dried-up lake beds in the north than in the south, indicating that the clustering is not simply a matter of liquid evaporating and being redeposited at the other pole owing to seasonal variations (Titan's seasons change on a thirty Earth-year cycle).
"How do you move the hole in the ground?" asks Cal Tech prof Oded Aharonson. "The seasonal mechanism may be responsible for part of the global transport of liquid methane, but it's not the whole story."
According to Aharonson, the missing factor is orbital eccentricity, the fact that Saturn doesn't circle the Sun but rather moves around it on an elliptical path such that at some times of year it is further away. At present, the entire Saturnian system - moons and all - is closer to the sun during Titan's southern summer. This means hotter summers at the south pole, and cooler ones up north, so permitting much more hydrocarbon "rain" and lake formation in the arctic.
A similar effect, known as Milankovitch cycles, controls the spread and retreat of glaciers on Earth and the associated ice ages. Aharonson says that after a few tens of thousands of years the seasonal imbalance on Titan will reverse, and the moon's antarctic will be covered in bodies of fluid - while today's Ligeian and Sea of Krakens will have disappeared so permanently that even their dried-out bottoms will have smoothed out.
"Like Earth, Titan has tens-of-thousands-of-year variations in climate driven by orbital motions," Aharonson says. "On Titan, there are long-term climate cycles in the global movement of methane that make lakes and carve lake basins."
"We may have found an example of present-day climate change, analogous to Milankovitch climate cycles on Earth, on another object in the solar system," he adds.
The new paper, An Asymmetric Distribution of Lakes on Titan as a Possible Consequence of Orbital Forcing, can be read here by subscribers to Nature Geoscience; or there's a less brain-melting website from Aharonson here. ®
NO-Climate Change 101 - 100
Isn't a matter of "deniers" it is a matter of wasted millions on 15y/20y research and nothing proved till now today.
This doesn't mean that one day some scientist will have a bright idea of using data set which doesn't need hide to omit temperatures declines to backup his/political claim. And that data set could be shared and tests replicated where every time is tested the results are the same... Once this happens then is no longer one unproved theory but the truth.
What gets into my nerves is why my 6yo kid will going to be brain washed every day on his class room with this unproved theory... so lets cut the political rubbish in science now.
Therefore don't call deniers to others when you are obvious denying your self from knowing the truth.
Why do you _know_ this but nobody else does?
It seems that, at present, you are the only person outside of the people who steal our money in the name of Carbons (AKA The Government) who is sure that anthropogenic climate change is fact.
As has been touched on by another commenter: Most people, even on here, will probably agree that relying on fossil fuels causes political, financial, and environmental problems; and that polluting the environment with anything is probably a bad thing. However, some of us are getting a little pissed off at being constantly told that we can't use patio heaters and taxed more and more multiple times whenever we use any kind of transport just because a clique of scientists got onto a good thing for government funding.
There is also the small problem that the planet's climate will change without any "greenhouse gasses", as evidenced by this article, and some of us would rather like the world's governments to stop taxing us and bleating on about carbons and actually start thinking about how to live if the sea levels rise and we start to experience more "heavy weather".
In other words, this article illustrates that the religion of anthropogenic climate change caused by "carbon emissions" is missing the point entirely.
Its so easy....
So easy that the people who was in charge of warning us had to fake the data for our own good.
Let's say that contamination is bad and we have to contaminate as less as possible for our sake and the environment's.
But stop this nonsense about the climate please.