NASAGoddard has just celebrated on Twitter the fact that “Blue Marble 2012 with nearly 3.2 million views is now “one of the all time most viewed images” on @flickr http://bit.ly/xBOuD8“. That’s nice apart from the fact that it is a fake.
Even the Bad Astronomer was half-fooled initially, perhaps by the enthusiastic caption that still refers to a “hemisphere“. However, as it should be clear given the relative size of the USA to the rest of the world, the “blue marble” does not show a hemisphere, and should be considered as “a picture taken with a huge huge fish-eye lens“.
A quick trip to Google Earth shows how a real Blue Marble would have looked like, minus the clouds:
This story has however a happier ending in the newst “Blue Marble”, the one showing Africa.
I can happily report it is the way it should’ve been . See Google Earth again:
Nice to see somebody at NASA still interested in the real world.
After a (disastrous) preventative war in Iraq in 2003, we are going to see a (potentially disastrous) preventative Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC on December 10 at a ceremony in Oslo.
Why can’t we deal with real-and-present problems, and have to make up fantasies of new ones, I wonder?
What will people make of our climate change circus in 50 years’ time is anybody’s guess.
Surely though, they will still question what Al Gore and the IPCC had actually done, by the middle of 2007, to deserve a prize. No Kyoto-II agreement has been reached yet, no CO2 emission cutting program has been implemented by any Government yet, and no “smoking gun” for greenhouse-gas-induced climatic change has been found yet.
Things are actually a-moving, and the still-ongoing Bali conference may come out with a document asking developing countries to develop rather less. Who would have thought that “global warming” rhymes with “neocolonialism”?
And yet, there is some hope. The bandwagon has become so huge, it will be next-to-impossible to steer. Expect ridiculous targets nobody will ever try to reach, set for times unbelievably far in the future.
Until one day, the Sun will cool us down, and so will die the mad dream of anthropogenic climate change.
In a few years, the old ideas of Fred Singer will come back into fashion.
Venus’ retrograde rotation, incredibly massive atmosphere and relatively young (<500 million years) surface will be elegantly explained by the crash of a massive satellite half a billion years ago (with subsequent melting of much if not the whole crust, and humongous outgassing).
Current lead-melting surface temperatures will be just as beautifully explained by simple adiabatic processes.
The role of CO2 in the heating of the atmosphere via some “greenhouse effect” will be seriously reconsidered and almost completely dismissed.
Some quick computations:
Ratio of available solar energy Venus/Earth: 190%
Earth, surface pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 288K
Venus, 50km altitude pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 330K
330K/288K = 114% < 190%
Venus, surface pressure: 90,000 mbar; temperature: 735K
Temperature of terrestrial air compressed from 288K/1,000mbar to 90,000mbar: 887K
735K/887K = 82.9% < 190%
Far from showing any CO2-induced global warming, Venus is much cooler than expected, likely because of the high-altitude clouds that prevent us from looking at the surface.