Lunar Warming

In a previous article, I examined the average moon temperature (AMT). You may have noticed that there’s been about ~3 degree K warming in the last decade.

According to [Vasavada 2012], the mean equatorial temperature between 2009 and 2011 was about 213K, whereas the 2017-2018 data from UCLA and WUSTL shows that to be about 216K.

For AMT, the increase has been from ~197K to ~200K.

Perhaps there is some error in the exactness, but that the moon has warmed is not actually controversial; it is accepted by mainstream scientists. I wanted to share with you today their theory as to the cause. Are you ready?

Google “lunar warming”. Here is what you will get:

Mainstream Nonsense

Livescience reports:

According to the new study, the 12 Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon between 1969 and 1972 kicked aside so much dust that they revealed huge regions of darker, more heat-absorbing soil that may not have seen the light of day in billions of years. Over just six years, this newly exposed soil absorbed enough solar radiation to raise the temperature of the entire moon’s surface by up to 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C), the study found.

Livescience

You got that? They didn’t just raise the temperature where they walked but the ENTIRE moon!

You buy it? I hope not. Great laugh, right?

What is the ratio of surface area walked to the entire moon? I don’t know, but it’s ultra tiny. Seems like heat capacity calculations were ignored. The walked surface area might have to be millions (if not billions) of degrees to raise the entire surface area of the moon by a single degree – ASSUMING there’s horizontal heat transfer via conduction.

Now why would they say something that absurd?

I’ll tell you. Scientists have known that Total Solar Irradiance has been decreasing since the 1950s, and the moon has virtually no atmosphere. Because there is no atmosphere there can’t be any stupid greenhouse effect at work.

That would leave geothermal (lunathermal, I guess) warming as the only culprit!

And if the surface of the moon can warm up due to more internal energy coming up from beneath the surface, perhaps the same thing can be at work on Earth …

Think about it, Occam’s Razor sharp … (answer)

-Zoe

23 thoughts on “Lunar Warming

    1. Maybe, but that would be speculation. We don’t actually need to know the cause.

      It would be odd if a planetary body was supposed to be at a constant temperature anyway. Even barbeque coals don’t always burn uniformly with constant temperature.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Zoe,
    Occam’s Razor =
    What are the real chances that the moon has actually changed surface temperature at all in the last whatever years???
    From astronauts footprints? really? give me a break!
    Better questions:-
    What are the chances that the 2 different measuring instruments were CORRECT, ACCURATE and CALIBRATED to each other??
    Better questions!
    And did the operators operate the instruments properly?
    And were the calcutaions indipendently checked?
    AND
    Did NASA, Met Office or BoM do the homogenising??

    Col

    Like

    1. I can’t vouch for the measurements made in the 1970s, but the recent warming is definitely real. The diviner probe has gone around the moon tens of thousands of times since 2009.

      Certainly the “kicking up moondust” theory is a big joke.

      Like

  2. “You got that? They didn’t just raise the temperature where they walked but the ENTIRE moon!”

    Paper: http://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4d89/b2dd11ac08e3f7f5617d16b678b07adccc58.pdf
    Abstract:
    Abstract The Apollo heat flow experiment (HFE) was conducted at landing sites 15 and 17.

    On Apollo 15 On Apollo 17, at both sitesthe thermal gradient decreased, because the warming was more pronounced at shallower depths. Over the two landing sites show that the regolith on the paths of the astronauts turned darker, lowering the albedo. We suggest that, as a result of the astronauts’ activities, solar heat intake by the regolith increased slightly on average, and that resulted in the observed warming. Simple analytical heat conduction models with constant regolith thermal properties can show that an abrupt increase in surface temperature of 1.6 to 3.5 K at the time of probe deployment best duplicates the magnitude and the timing of the observed subsurface warmings at both Apollo sites.

    Where does the actual paper talk about temps over the entire moon?

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    1. Patrick,
      I think you missed the point. This paper is cited 4 times (google scholar). This paper is NOT the mainstream theory. The mainstream theory is the google search showing how this paper is purposefully misinterpreted.

      My article started out about lunar warming since 2009, and then when I went looking for an explanation …

      Like

      1. Thanks for fixing my comment. 🙂

        “The mainstream theory is the google search showing how this paper is purposefully misinterpreted.”
        So by “the mainstream theory” you mean whatever clueless idiots make up to get their magazine some ad revenue after reading a paper they did not understand? Isn’t this a science blog?

        It’s a nice, humerous post, definitely. But …
        “it is accepted by !!!mainstream scientists!!!. I wanted to share with you today

        !!!their!!!

        theory as to the cause. Are you ready?”

        and later on you talk about what “they” missed – conduction.

        So –
        “It’s a nice, humerous post, definitely. …” … it is easily misunderstood as an attack on actual scientists, whether you like them or not.

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        1. The paper still concludes that albedo-change is the most likely candidate.

          But this begs the question: How did the albedo change?

          There are two options: external and internal. Sun or lunathermal. There is ~no atmosphere!

          The mainstream will seek to obfuscate either possible cause!

          And that’s what the paper does: The paper merely ends on “albedo change”, and goes no further.

          Please learn to read beyond the text to find the meta story.

          Like

        2. “The mainstream theory is the google search showing how this paper is purposefully misinterpreted.”
          Do you also mean something other than making local global?

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        3. Why would they possibly want to make local global? To cover up global, right?

          The paper shows albedo-change as the cause. But wise people will immediately go to: What caused albedo change?

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        4. Why not ad revenue? We are talking ad revenue following clueless idiots here, aren’t we???
          So actually, they would be quite incentivized to also report on the global lunar warming mystery (woohoo!! :D), wouldn’t they?

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        5. How many people even know your lunathermal theory, though? And whatever claim turns this into a positive trend – on the moon, anyway:

          Regardless of the merit behind lunathermal and sun warming moon ideas (that is not relevant at this very point in the discussion), I doubt that any clickbait science blogger even knows about them, i.e. cannot feel threatened by them.

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        6. I meant solar wind and other electromagnetic effects I don’t understand, not insolation. It’s not hard to imagine solar particles bombarding the moon and changing albedo somewhat.

          I already checked insolation. As you show, there is virtually no change in the last decade. Went up, came down.

          I have to kindly disagree with you.

          Popsci journals can bring up skeptical arguments, but they will always be “debunked” in favor of AGW.

          The moon can not heat up on its own!
          That might lead popsci readers to think so can the Earth.

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        7. Zoe, it’s a very interesting issue about the lunar warming. Nobody knows how geothermal or lunar thermal heat is made. Conjecture only. One interesting theory is cosmic rays. The sun is in an exceptionally weak phase now. When that happens the solar wind weakens and hence doesn’t push away cosmic ray particles. It’s quite feasible that cosmic rays interact with planet’s iron cores and since the moon is simple a big chunk of pre earth protoplanet it likely also has a lot of iron. I haven’t attempted a total energy calculation but I think one could find the number in order to do so. Also cosmic rays probably increase cloud cover on earth due to nucleation.

          Liked by 1 person

        8. Yes, indeed, internal planetary heat might be due to mostly external induction. No different than wirelessly charging your phone.

          I don’t now how to evaluate that, but what I do know is that the atmosphere is not the source of extra energy.

          I do not think that there’s separate laws for stars and planets. I think it’s a matter of scale. The Earth is an infrared star. Period. And it has internal variation not unlike the Sun.

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  3. I always believed that people who shuffle their feet as they walk and thus create heat (via friction between two objects in contact and in relative motion) were the real global warming threat. Now my belief is confirmed. However, I wonder if the scientists who believe/suspect man’s walking on the moon has lead to increased moon temperatures have taken “shuffling” versus “hopping” into account. /sarc

    Liked by 1 person

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