Home   |   News   |   Discussion Forum   |   Books   |   Curiosity Shop   |   Features
Discussion Forum
Science Talk
What's on your mind? Discuss scientific conundrums with our motley band of bamboozled boffins in the forum.
News And Research


Climate Change


Natural World



All 2007 News

All Feature Articles

Sponsored Links
e.com/custom" target="google_window">
Recent Musings
Sexing Up UFOs
The Space Race's Softer Side
Moore's Law No More?
Leaving The Body Behind
The Dino Dynasty Reconsidered
The Information Insurgency
Evolution And The Hive Mind
Small Penis Syndrome A Big Problem?
Rethinking Black Holes
Down On The Farm - Yields, Nutrients And Soil Quality
Turbocharged Evolution
POP Goes The Planet
Take Me To Your Lame Duck Leader
Eye Of The Beholder Redux
Publish AND Perish
View All...
Science Newsfeeds
Sci Topics
Musings, discussion and waffle on scientific current affairs by a troop of barely evolved science pundits. WARNING: May Contain Traces Of Science
Interesting Reading
Extinction Threat To Wild Salmon
Canadian wild salmon are being driven to extinction by outbreaks of parasites from fish farms. (BBC)
Half Of Amazon Lost By 2030
Climate change could speed up the large-scale destruction of the Amazon rainforest and bring the "point of no return" much closer than previously thought. (The Guardian)
What Does Climate Change Mean for the U.S.?
The regional effects range from more wildfires in the west to stronger storms in the east. (Scientific American)

Kangaroo Farts Could Fight Global Warming
Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. (ABC)
Failing To Learn From Mistakes Is Genetic
One reason that some people seem unable to learn from their mistakes has been pinpointed by scientists. (The Telegraph)

Unhappy? Self-Critical? Maybe You’re Just a Perfectionist
Several recent studies stand as a warning against taking the platitudes of achievement too seriously. (New York Times)
Science Shopping
Sci Shop
Peculiar scientific stuff that you didn't even know existed, which you don't need, but which, if fortune smiles upon us, you'll still go ahead and buy anyway.
Hot Topics

The Environment




Emerging Threats

Energy Alternatives


Nature's Influence

Rusty's Reading List
Sci Books
Join Rusty Rockets for the lowdown on what you should be reading. You can also catch up on Rusty's regular weekly reviews via our book review section.
2007 2006
2005 2004
2003 2002
2001 2000
1999 1998


28 June 1998
Global Warming Detected on Triton
There may not be much industrial pollution on Neptune's largest moon, but things are hotting up nonetheless...

The Earth is not alone in suffering global warming. According to observations made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and several ground-based instruments, temperatures on Neptune's largest moon have increased dramatically since the Voyager space probe swung by in 1989. So much so, in fact, that Triton's surface of frozen nitrogen is turning into gas, making its thin atmosphere denser by the day.

"At least since 1989, Triton has been undergoing a period of global warming," confirms astronomer James Elliot, professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Percentage-wise, it's a very large increase."

Elliot and colleagues from the Lowell Observatory and Williams College report their findings in the June 25 issue of the journal Nature. Triton's 5 percent increase on the absolute temperature scale from about -392 to -389 degrees Fahrenheit would be like the Earth experiencing a jump of some 22 degrees Fahrenheit in just nine years.

There are two possible explanations for the moon's warmer weather. One is that the frost pattern on Triton's surface may have changed over the years, absorbing more and more of the sun's warmth. The other is that changes in reflectivity of Triton's ice may have caused it to absorb more heat.

About the same size and density as Pluto, Triton is thirty times as far from the sun as the Earth. It is known to be extremely cold and gusty, with wind speeds close to the speed of sound. Its atmosphere is composed mostly of molecular nitrogen, and its terrain varies between icy regions and bare spots. Quips Elliot: "When you're so cold, global warming is a welcome trend."

Picture courtesy of NASA/JPL

Home   |   News   |   Discussion Forum   |   Books   |   Curiosity Shop   |   Features   |   About
The terms and conditions governing your use of this website.
Copyright © 1997 - 2007 Science a Go Go and its licensors. All rights reserved.