Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Climate change on Jupiter

Posted on 13 September 2007 by John Cook

A popular argument against anthropogenic global warming is that other planets in the solar system are warming (Fred Thompson even seems to be making it one of his campaign policies). Last week, I received an intriguing email from John Cross speculating that perhaps Jupiter's climate change were the effects of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet collision. None of the papers on the topic seemed to indicate any long term effects from the comet impact but scratching around the peer reviewed literature did dig up some interesting facts about Jupiter's climate.

Between 1998 and 2000, three White Ovals (giant vortices) on Jupiter merged and formed a new oval, approximately the size of Earth. Initially, it was white but turned brown and then red in 2005. The official name of the red spot is "Oval BA" although it's more popular nickname "Red Spot Jr" has considerably more cachet.


Steps in the consolidation of three "white oval" storms into one over a three-year span of time.

What fuels Jupiter's storms?

On Jupiter, the sun's energy is only 4% of the level we receive on earth, nowhere near enough to fuel its turbulent, planet-sized storms. Jupiter radiates into space almost twice the heat it absorbs from the sun. This internal heat source, via moist convection, converts heat flow into the kinetic energy that fuels Jovian storms (Ingersoll 2000, Gierasch 2000).

How is Jupiter's climate changing?

Temperature is relatively uniform on Jupiter - the temperature at the poles is nearly the same as at the equator. This is due to the chaotic mixing of heat and airflow from vortices (eg - the White Ovals). The oscillatory motions of the White Ovals ceased after they merged, dampening the movement of heat from Jupiter's equator to its south pole. The latitudes near 34°S, the same latitude where Red Spot Junior is located, are predicted to become barriers preventing the mixing of heat and airflow. If so, Jupiter's equatorial regions will become warmer and its poles will become cooler. Average temperature at some latitudes could change by as much as 5.5° Celsius (Marcus 2006).

Implications for Earth's climate

While Jupiter's storms are fueled from an internal heat source, Earth's climate gets its energy from the sun (which hasn't shown any long term warming trend for over 50 years). Additionally, Jupiter's climate change is due to shifts in internal turbulence rather than an external forcing. So what is the connection between Jupiter's climate change and Earth's global warming? There is none.

More on Jupiter warming...

0 0

Bookmark and Share Printable Version  |  Link to this page | Repost this Article Repost This

Comments

Comments 1 to 1:

  1. thanks for this post, and for this blog.
    In the rapidly expanding field of denialist-squashing
    websites, this one is a standout.
    0 0

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.



The Consensus Project Website

TEXTBOOK

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)

THE DEBUNKING HANDBOOK

BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

The Scientific Guide to
Global Warming Skepticism

Smartphone Apps

iPhone
Android
Nokia

© Copyright 2014 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us