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Climate Monitoring Station Proposed on the Moon

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the to-the-moon-data dept.

Space 106

CryogenicKeen writes with the news that a University of Michigan study indicates the perfect place to monitor Earth's climate system would be the surface of the moon. The side facing us is a perfect location to monitor temperatures and weather patterns here on our planet, and a UM paper proposes an international effort to deploy monitoring stations on Earth's natural satellite. "On the near side of the airless moon, where Apollo 15 landed, surface temperature is controlled by solar radiation during daytime and energy radiated from Earth at night. Huang showed that due to an amplifying effect, even weak radiation from Earth produces measurable temperature changes in the regolith. Further, his revisit of the data revealed distinctly different characteristics in daytime and nighttime lunar surface temperature variations. This allowed him to uncover a lunar night-time warming trend from mid-1972 to late 1975, which was consistent with a global dimming of Earth that occurred over the same period and was due to a general decrease of sunlight over land surfaces."

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expensive? (3, Interesting)

crunzh (1082841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293595)

Sounds really expensive, isn't there some way to use the money better or do we really need all that new data? We could, like sped the money on CO2 reductions or developing green technology.

Re:expensive? (4, Insightful)

Bodrius (191265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293691)

If you cannot measure success, how do you know it works?

I'm not sure if this is the cheapest way to get the best measurements, but if we're going to invest seriously on technology to control global warming, having objective measurements to track the results is vital.

Otherwise, knee-jerk reactions, politics and PR will control which green-technologies become mainstream, if any.

Re:expensive? (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294463)

First of all, I certainly understand your point about being able to measure succes.

On the other hand, a clean electric car that is not polluting is something I can measure by just walking on the street. ;)

Measuring .001C global temperature differences is of course another story. :)

Re:expensive? (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295221)

On the other hand, a clean electric car that is not polluting is something I can measure by just walking on the street. ;)

Only in comparison to horses, they pollute the streets something awful. ;-)

More seriously, unless you measure the whole process -- everything that goes into making the car as well as making the electricity it runs on -- you don't know it isn't polluting. In particular, electric cars that recharge from coal-fired electrical stations are worse than cars that burn gas. For one coal is just much dirtier, and for another you have to burn extra to make up for transmission losses. Now, if the power comes from nukes or hydroelectric, you're probably right.

Re:expensive? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298549)

make that wind, and you're there. It's (a lot) cheaper than nuclear. And it takes away a (the only) drawback of windmills (no constant supply of energy): electric cars are a great load-balancer.

Re:expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19298563)

"University of Michigan" proposed a "Climate Monitoring Station" on the Moon.

It's not really a "Climate Monitoring Station", it's really a camouflaged "Top-Secret Military Station" on the Moon with the "States United of America" flag.

They want to forget and violate the Outer_Space_Treaty [wikipedia.org] .

This proposal is equivalent to terraforming the Moon. It's prohibited by the American-Russian Treaty from the Cold War and Star Wars.

The men "University of Michigan" did not read Outer_Space_Treaty [wikipedia.org] because they don't interest this affair.

TopSecrResearchingForMilitarDestination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19299317)

... to drill two boreholes about three meters into the lunar soil and insert specially designed probes ...

Three meters!!! It's much!!! How much power need it to drill it? >5000 Watts with much O2?

Is it as the architects and workers were drilling the terrain to verify the hardness of the ground? Like the buildings jobs!

How hard it is the ground at the time of excavating, perforating, digging? Is it that want the top-secret military researchers like of the C.I.A.?

Do they want to research the quality of regolith for fueling use?

Few weeks ago, there was a competition of a robot that collects regolith in slashdot [slashdot.org]

They want a top-secret camouflaged station like a control tower of monitoring & vigilance:
  • It's an USA spacecraft : PASS!.
  • It's an USA spacecraft : PASS!.
  • It's a non-USA spacecraft : alarm! alarm! alarm! Kill it? [yes/no] Autodestruct the base? [yes/no].
It can be a long-time control tower of communications on the Moon too! With its High Gain big antenna 32 GHz [wikimedia.org] to communicate to the Earth, and to communicate for those slaves on the Moon. It reserves the maximum (claimed?) range of frequencies spectrums! Many GHz and Mbits/s of meaningful data!!!.

A control tower with many top-secret cameras to control who come in to our top-secret territory (claimed), our spaceship, our platform, our station, ...

I don't use solar panels, i use top-secret atomic energy for full uptime of many accelerated operations of many short-time (and long-time) missions.

Our global future objetive for our USA flag: our future colonization for us, America brave!

Re:expensive? (1)

PCeye (661091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298797)

Your point of measuring the process should also be a concern.

The process of nickel mining for the batteries is frequently overlooked.

http://www.baileycar.com/prius_vs_hummer.html [baileycar.com]
 

Re:expensive? (3, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295369)

On the other hand, a clean electric car that is not polluting is something I can measure by just walking on the street. ;)


No, you can't, because walking down the street where the car is tells you nothing about the pollution being created by the power plant that makes the electricity, nor does it tell you anything about the possibly highly toxic metals and/or chemicals used in the battery which will pollute where and when the car is disposed of.

The electric car may be a step towards less pollution. It may not be. To be honest, I suspect it will be. But you're not going to be able to tell just by watching the car. You're going to need to be a little more systematic than that.

Chris Mattern

Re:expensive? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298569)

when the car is disposed of.
when are guys starting to RECYCLE?????

Recycling cars (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19303483)

Cars do get reused. Every used or "program" car on the lot is a reused car.
Whether cars get recycled when they cease to work depends on who has them. Some cars go to junkyards that sell car parts, and parts of those cars get recycled. I imagine cars that are simply compacted into one square mesh of steel and glass usually aren't.
Recycling car batteries is not common these days, esp. since they're sealing the batteries. Those go directly to hazardous waste dumps, do not pass go, collect new battery from auto parts store. If they don't get treated that way, they could get as bad for the environment as burnt gasoline.

Re:expensive? (5, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293763)

"We could, like sped the money on CO2 reductions or developing green technology."

Do your part to reduce CO2 by turning off your computer.

Re:expensive? (2, Informative)

crunzh (1082841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293785)

Err, yuo know what /. is? The answer would be something like, Do your part to reduce CO2 by building a more energy efficient computer!

Re:expensive? (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294313)

Wrong answer. This is Slashdot. The Anonymous Cowards should do their part to reduce CO2 by not breathing. A substantial side benefit is the reduction of unwanted basement dwelling DNA from the gene pool. This would help both the climate and the human race. :P

Re:expensive? (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294629)

Now, where's my damn mod-points when I need them?

Re:expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294911)

Oh, yeah, and _you_ never posted anonymously?

Fathead.

Re:expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19295075)

Very rarely and not in a long time. :P

Re:expensive? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19298991)

I forgot to add, you were right about my head being fat. :P

Re:expensive? (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295257)

A substantial side benefit is the reduction of unwanted basement dwelling DNA from the gene pool.

I don't know, it's a pretty big leap to assume that basement dwelling DNA is part of the gene pool to start with.

Unless... Horrors! You don't suppose... sperm banks!?

Re:expensive? (2, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293805)

We could use the same Hollywood movie set that created the Apollo Moon Landings to put a weather station there too. Shouldn't cost more than the typical movie these days. They could even charge tickets for the weather.

Re:expensive? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293867)

Teh /. IS FOR FAGGOTS!

Here is my impression of the typical slashdotter. "Pee in my anus! GO LINUX! M$ is evIL! I'm better than you and I'm gonna mod you down because you said something I don't like. I'd much rather talk to my faggot friends about open source software than take a shower and attempt to get laid! I'M QUEER!!!!"

Fuck you slash dot community.

Re:expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19297557)

"Pee in my anus"??? I don't know what movies you have been watching dude! But that some wrong shit. Good luck "attempting" to get laid.

Not expensive if you piggyback on India moon probe (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294183)

You are correct that it would be very expensive, if you had a mission to the moon with this as the sole goal of the entire mission. So they should talk to India about including this as part of India's moon shots. I assume India wants to land on the Earth facing side, too, so this could ride down along with the robot from a few articles ago.

Re:expensive? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19295163)

Let's send Al Gore to the Moon so that he can monitor the Earth's climate.

Re:expensive? (3, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295541)

Let's send Al Gore to the Moon so that he can monitor the Earth's climate.

It is pre-ordained, he is to be First Emperor of the Moon.

"For I have ridden the MIGHTY MOON WORM!"

Re:expensive? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298887)

Hey, what's a few billion dollars for a moonbase, when it means you have an actual, physical presence when the Chinese get there?

Re:expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19299531)

Well as long as they're using the side facing us, it shouldn't be too expensive ;-)

Why the moon? (5, Funny)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293607)

Is the moon the closest to earth you can get before your science is distorted by politics?

Re:Why the moon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19295437)

No, Jupiter. Politicians noticed the moon in the 60s and have since grown tired of it. Lately, they've moved on to Mars. Jupiter still remains beyond the grasp of your average politician for now.

hindsight (3, Interesting)

perlchild (582235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293621)

He's proving a correlation, which means that knowing what happened, he found clues that it would...
How can he be so sure that if we gather the clues, we'll come to the right conclusion? We have lots of data about climate, so much we usually can't tell what will happen, how is this different? Is it really that tied to radiation? Couldn't we measure radiation straight in the atmosphere? Do we already do so? Can we take multiple measurements to isolate local conditions?

Putting stuff on the moon is a romantic notion that appeals to a lot of people, but we should keep it as a last resort.

We already know the climate (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293689)

of the moon....

Goatse! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293709)

Goatse! [goatse.cz]

mod parent funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294005)

Yeah it's flamebait, offtopic, and even at -100 it would still be overrated but come on, the subject is the MOON for chrissakes!

+1 funny -MAXNUMBER flamebaint etc.

We've got something sitting here ready to go up (4, Interesting)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293715)

We've had this baby [nasa.gov] ready to launch for years, but for some mysterious reason NASA is having trouble doing anything with climate research. All they need to do is strap it on a DELTA IV rocket.

Re:We've got something sitting here ready to go up (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294395)

Maybe the fact that it looks like something built out of neon Lego blocks had kept it on the sidelines?

Re:We've got something sitting here ready to go up (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19295441)

Nah, I think the problem is the frick'in 2 year design lifespan. Why should we spend all that money to get it up there if it's only going to last 2 years? Climate changes are long term. What the hell?

Granted it will probably last longer than that but maybe not.

Re:We've got something sitting here ready to go up (1)

ypps (1106881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295889)

Oh you mean (AL)GORESAT? Guessing it may be launched soon after the next president throws Bush's space plans in the trashcan.

Re:We've got something sitting here ready to go up (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19297731)

Actually the Goresat shot itself in the foot back in the Clinton Administration.
 
To make a long story short; as an election year stunt Al Gore proposed to launch a satellite that would provide a 'screensaver shot' of Earth to provide support for his enviromental agenda. Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Gore convinced some of his cronies to hang a few instruments on the side and repurpose it as a 'climatological observatory'. When the National Academy of Science couldn't explain how this slapdash project fit into NASA's existing (and ongoing even today) program of climatological studies (Goresat duplicated existing instruments and placed them in a poorer viewing position) - Congress axed the program.
 
NASA has tried to resurrect the program from time to time, but when faced with the same objections it couldn't answer before - they retreat. It's worth noting that, contrary to what the OP implies, that objections to the Goresat have been bi-partisan. The current (Democratic party controlled) Congress hasn't made an issue of this satellite to date either.

Well... (4, Insightful)

gaijin99 (143693) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293731)

I'm in favor of lunar development, but this seems kind of pointless. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the insturments in a polar orbit so they'd be closer and get more accurate readings? Heck, even a geosynch orbit is vastly closer than on the moon.

Re:Well... (4, Informative)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293945)

No, it wouldn't make more sense, since he proposes measuring the temperature variation in the lunar surface dust (regolith). What he measures with this is a global average Earth temperature, avoiding problems such as having weather stations in city heat islands. Additionally, the method also measures heating changes due to variations in solar input. Both of these criticisms have arisen among the anti-global warming crowd, so the addition of this methodology is useful. Plus, it's not like it replaces the use of orbiting satellites, getting the required additional funding from Big Oil-controlled politicians notwithstanding. *cough cough*

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298663)

No, it wouldn't make more sense, since he proposes measuring the temperature variation in the lunar surface dust (regolith)

The funny bit is that the Apollo ALSEP stations would have done the job perfectly except they were switched off after the Apollo program finished.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19303501)

Any chance we can switch the ALSEP stations back on? We might send a manned mission to the moon sometime in the next twenty years...

Re:Well... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306643)

Any chance we can switch the ALSEP stations back on?

Unfortunately not because the bit which listens for commands from the Earth is off.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294589)

Perhaps, but there is one advantage to putting a weather station on the moon: it'll stay put.
Satellites fall out of the sky, become space junk, or get hit by anti-satellite missiles. Equipment on the moon should stay on the moon, and it won't be as awkward to work around if it stops working. Hopefully it'll take longer to make anti-moonbase missiles than to set this weather station up.

Re:Well... (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298393)

Satellites don't generally fall out of the sky unless they are in LEO and need frequent reboosts. If a moon-based system breaks down, it's junk too (although not orbiting). Anti-satellite missiles are not a likely threat at this stage, especially not to peaceful satellites.
It will be even MORE awkward to work around problems because the moon is so much harder to get to than an orbiting satellite.

So, in conclusion, none of those are very convincing reasons for a greatly increased cost.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19303395)

Space junk orbiting the earth interferes with space travel. Space junk on the moon, less so.
Satellites are only easier than moon bases to maintain if manned flights go into orbit, but not to the moon. When the shuttle program ends, and since I don't anticipate it being replaced with something similar quickly, will we have to detour Russian or Chinese rockets to maintain the satellite?
As for why anti-satellite missiles would threaten peaceful satellites: bad aim, or failure to believe that all the satellite is doing is peacefully recording the climate. I can imagine our own administration shooting such a satellite down...
Which is why it wants the station far away on the moon, where it will take longer to get in action, I suppose.

Re:Well... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295087)

Of course you are correct, but it is so much cooler to do it from a moon base and there is so much more room to make loads of money off Joe Taxpayer...

Cool (1, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293737)

Sending robots to do this kind of work makes much more sense than sending humans, a monitoring station could be fully automated much easier than a human could be put on the moon again.

Re:Cool (1, Insightful)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293769)

So true. Sending up balls of meat to do something a robot could do cheaper and easier seems more and more pointless. At most it would require the same amount of funding as a human mission, and the experience gathered would be immensely useful for further missions. Let's face it, humans are going nowhere far soon, and why should Billions be spent on giving a few dozen astronauts a field trip?

Re:Cool (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293773)

TFA didn't mention sending people. Is "ZOMG manned spaceflight is teh expensive!" the "frost pist!" of space-related articles around here?

Re:Cool (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293827)

The thing is, it's probably true. NASA is pretty beat about good ideas of what to do when they send people up there that a) are remotely interesting and b) don't cost much.

I propose an earth-based station... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293775)

...to remotely measure the temperature changes in the regolith from the earth to observe the earth's climate. Repeat until stack overflow.

Alternatively... (2, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293779)

We could just use satellites, which we've gotten pretty good at.

Fair warning (3, Funny)

Jhan (542783) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293781)

If anyone uses the phrase "Dark Side of the Moon", or "Light Side of the moon" I will punch them in the face. If they defend that by saying it's a "figure of speech", I'll rip their head of. Just so you know.

Re:Fair warning (3, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293811)

I thought "Dark Side Of The Moon" was a pretty good album, and I'm not that big of a fan.

Re:Fair warning (0, Troll)

Jhan (542783) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293845)

*Slap*. You get of with a warning.

Re:Fair warning (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294281)

Does 'of' come with anything other than a warning, like maybe a nice Chianti?

Re:Fair warning (1)

wboelen (916816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19301815)

There is no dark side in the moon really, as a matter of fact it's all dark...

Re:Fair warning (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293853)

I suppose you're from Soviet Russia, and are trying to cover up the nuclear weapons testing.

You won't get me with your water flouridation, I drink rain. Liberty rulez!

Re:Fair warning (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293855)

"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."

"I'll rip their head of.[sic]"

Just another figure of speech?

--
BMO

Re:Fair warning (1)

Jhan (542783) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293887)

I'll rip their head of...

cabbage.... ... from their shoulders?

It WAS the dark side of the moon (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294045)

From dictionary.com [reference.com] , dark can mean "hidden; secret."

Until the space age, that's exactly what the non-Earth-facing side of the moon was: hidden from view.

I admit it is a bit confusing when any given part of what was once the "dark side of the moon" spends half of each orbit in bright sunlight.

Re:Fair warning (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19296093)

but what if their head explodes for dark forbodings too, before you can rip it off?

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293803)

Sophisticated weapon developed by Dr Alan Parsons.......

Lunar cooling? (2, Interesting)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293839)

Would they be looking especially for lunar cooling at "night" on the moon? Because it has no atmosphere and no sunlight when dark, they say that the temperature of the side nearest the Earth is controlled by radiation from Earth. Would that mean global warming would cause it to be cooler, since the greenhouse effect causes that radiation to be reflected back to Earth?

Re:Lunar cooling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294647)

Because it has no atmosphere and no sunlight when dark, they say that the temperature of the side nearest the Earth is controlled by radiation from Earth. Would that mean global warming would cause it to be cooler, since the greenhouse effect causes that radiation to be reflected back to Earth?

Yes & no. The greenhouse effect reduces the transmission of certain frequencies of light. So, an increased greenhouse effect means less light getting in from the sun (albeit a miniscule difference) to warm the earth, and less light getting out from the earth.

There are many other factors that affect incoming & outgoing light - the sun's output isn't constant, seasonal variation due to earth's tilt, the distance from earth to sun isn't constant, atmospheric pollution, water vapor content, reflectivity of the earth, etc, etc.

Re:Lunar cooling? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294749)

At equilibrium, the energy absorbed by the earth, and that given off by the earth are equal. If the earth's temperature is rising, then it is emitting/reflecting less light than if it is constant. You could therefore use the temperature of the moon as a proxy for the rate of change of the temperature of the earth.

The greenhouse effect isn't causing radiation to be reflected back to earth. It is a result of lowering the overall emissivity of the earth, while increasing the overall absorptivity (though to a much smaller degree, given the difference between the spectrum received and that emitted).

blah blah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293941)

lots of proposals but nothing is done

Is this a good idea? (1)

Bwana Geek (1033040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294027)

Isn't the moon getting smacked around by asteroids on a fairly regular basis (hence all those impact craters)? How long is a "permanent" installation really going to last? I know I must be missing something... Right?

Re:Is this a good idea? (1)

EtherealStrife (724374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295397)

Yea. Like how long it takes for a random location to be hit. Think of being a greasy young teenager for four and a half billion years. The moon doesn't look so bad.

Re:Is this a good idea? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19296647)

The moon [wikipedia.org] used to rotate, during that time, the side we see got cratered up pretty bad. Now that it doesn't rotate anymore the Earth facing side doesn't see a lot of impacts.

What will the phone number be? (5, Funny)

zamboni1138 (308944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294033)

Like any other good remote automated weather station (think AWOS), there should be a phone number to dial into, so that pilots could check the local weather, as well as a VHF station for in-flight use. I can imagine the data now:

000:00:00:00 Winds: Calm, Altimeter: 00.00, Humidity: 0, Visibility: > 20 miles, Celling: > two five thousand feet
000:01:00:00 Winds: Calm, Altimeter: 00.00, Humidity: 0, Visibility: > 20 miles, Celling: > two five thousand feet
000:02:00:00 Winds: Calm, Altimeter: 00.00, Humidity: 0, Visibility: > 20 miles, Celling: > two five thousand feet
000:03:00:00 Winds: Calm, Altimeter: 00.00, Humidity: 0, Visibility: > 20 miles, Celling: > two five thousand feet
000:04:00:00 Winds: Calm, Altimeter: 00.00, Humidity: 0, Visibility: > 20 miles, Celling: > two five thousand feet, caution extreme radiation warning

Re:What will the phone number be? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19309401)

At least it will let us know when the Transformers invade.

The Moon is a perfect place... (2, Informative)

xZoomerZx (1089699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294273)

from which to measure and study so called global warming. Or more accurately, solar radiation fluctuations and its effects on its satellites (the moon and earth).
The overwhelming arrogance of some people to believe that mere humans and our assorted activities have a major impact on the (average) mass of the atmosphere of about 5,000 trillion metric tons, is astounding in the extreme. A single volcanic eruption spews more "greenhouse gases" and particulates into the atmosphere than all human activity for a decade. And yet the worst that happens (globally)are beautiful sunsets for a couple of years then its gone.
The most logical and common sense reason for climate temperature variations is that great, bright, flaming ball of fusing hydrogen in the sky. Which, by the way, is known to be variable in its output. So putting a sensor array on the moon, away from the influence of human activities , will finally settle this matter once and for all, so we can get on with more important matters. Like fair taxes http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer [fairtax.org] , or ending genocide http://www.savedarfur.org/content?splash=yes [savedarfur.org] , or who will be the next "American Idol". Oh, and if you really want to reduce CO2 emissions, plant a few trees or flowers, they love the stuff.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (1, Insightful)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294679)

Wow, either this is just bait, or you are an astoundingly ignorant being.

First off, if you'd have read the article, you'd have noticed this is about observing terrestrial radiation, not solar radiation.

The overwhelming arrogance of some people to believe that mere humans and our assorted activities have a major impact on the (average) mass of the atmosphere of about 5,000 trillion metric tons, is astounding in the extreme.


There's an old saying that goes: "There's plenty more fish in the sea" [bbc.co.uk]

A single volcanic eruption spews more "greenhouse gases" and particulates into the atmosphere than all human activity for a decade.


Now that's just one of the classic bullshit arguments invented by someone who had no Idea. I don't blame you, many have fallen for it, but it's just plain wrong.

The most logical and common sense reason for climate temperature variations is that great, bright, flaming ball of fusing hydrogen in the sky. Which, by the way, is known to be variable in its output.


There's something called the "solar constant", and there's a reason why it has that second word. That is because it is pretty much constant, with minimal periodic variations (under 0.1%). Not saying that it can't have any effect, but comparing it to burning up vast amounts of Carbon which have amassed over hundreds of millions of years, I'd say we've known where to start looking.

So putting a sensor array on the moon, away from the influence of human activities , will finally settle this matter once and for all, so we can get on with more important matters. Like fair taxes http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer [fairtax.org] , or ending genocide http://www.savedarfur.org/content?splash=yes [savedarfur.org]


Yeah, cause we know that reducing our energy consumption and CO2 emissions so fundamentally conflicts with the present and future welfare of poor and underdeveloped nations, and that you can't possibly protect the environment and reform the tax system at the same time. It's just too much.

Oh, and if you really want to reduce CO2 emissions, plant a few trees or flowers, they love the stuff.


Even better: Use Biofuel for your energy needs. Maybe you shuold try it too.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (1)

xZoomerZx (1089699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295001)

Neither troll nor flamebait.

First off, if you'd have read the article, you'd have noticed this is about observing terrestrial radiation, not solar radiation.
And where do you believe terrestrial radiation comes from? The sun. What is being measured and observed is terrestrial re-radiation, with solar radiation as a control and baseline.

There's an old saying that goes: "There's plenty more fish in the sea"
Now there's a "red herring" argument! I believe that quote refers to dating.

There's something called the "solar constant", ...
The solar constant is not quite constant over long time periods either; see solar variation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation [wikipedia.org]

Now that's just one of the classic bullshit arguments invented by someone who had no Idea. I don't blame you, many have fallen for it, but it's just plain wrong.
Ok, you got me there. Shot my mouth off with out doing the research. Mea Culpa.

Even better: Use Biofuel for your energy needs.
But at what cost? http://www.iisd.org/media/2006/oct_25_2006.asp [iisd.org] And doesn't the burning of any hydrocarbon based fuel release carbon? Not to mention that there is some question as to the actual origin of "fossil fuels". They may be naturally occuring.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295349)

And where do you believe terrestrial radiation comes from? The sun. What is being measured and observed is terrestrial re-radiation, with solar radiation as a control and baseline.


And the reason the re-radiation is interesting is because it's good to know what's going out, we already know whats coming in.

Now there's a "red herring" argument! I believe that quote refers to dating.


It can refer to many things, but you have only heard it in that context it seams. The point is that what used to seem mysterious, overpowering and vast, has revealed itself to be quite weak and instable if left to industry's pleasure.
It's the same reasoning that you used for your argument. But it turns out, we humans can do quite a bit of damage.

Ok, you got me there. Shot my mouth off with out doing the research. Mea Culpa.

One reference [usgs.gov] that I found in few seconds, but the idea is so ludicrous that it's hardly mentioned except by denial folks.

And doesn't the burning of any hydrocarbon based fuel release carbon?


Yes, but the net output for Biofuel is zero. Every molecule burned was transformed out of atmospheric CO2 by a plant, using an unbelievable magic known as "photosynthesis". That way, no damage is done.



You want to compare it to what is spent on oil annually? Go ahead.

Not to mention that there is some question as to the actual origin of "fossil fuels". They may be naturally occuring.


Whether or not you buy into abiogenic theories of oil (Coal mines have been found with fossilised remains of actual forest life, so there isn't much question there) the fact remains that they're there, we're burning them, and they're not coming back, which means you're fucking up the carbon cycle.
(I presume you meant abiogenic theories. "naturally occuring" is a strange way of describing it)

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295373)

I don't think anyone argues that fossil fuels are naturally occurring. Deposition of organic matter through various climate, weather, volcanic, and other activity being an exceptionally natural process. A slightly more sensible question is whether the material is biological in origin, or geophysical.

And also, probably unlike you, I've actually seen a scholarly report (in person) on the subject by someone doing research in the area with credentials in Environmental Chemistry. I tend to suspect that fossil fuels actually are biological in origin, largely because of the immense preponderance of fossils in the matrix.

In any case, what you are missing is this difference, fossil fuels, whether biological or geophysical in nature, have been sequestered from the atmosphere for a long time, either billions (in the case of geophysical origin) or hundreds of millions (in the case of biological) of years. Biofuels, assuming that farming is modified to make use of non-petrochemical fertilizers (and don't go and say that's impossible, its not, many cultures have used various forms of marine alga as fertiziler, we could as well, if we invested in the appropriate infrastructure to cultivate the appropriate alga en mass.) have the distinct advantage of utilizing Carbon which is already in the atmosphere. Thus, Biofuels, do not result in any net increase of Carbon into the atmosphere.

A seperate issue is that it would be a good idea to also attempt to grow plants for the purpose of burying them deeply in order to sequester atmospheric carbon.

Additionally I will state this, I am much more sympathetic than others to the possibility that global warming may be caused to some degree by solar warming (by which I mean that the sun itself is increasing in temperature). The point that I think you sidestep is that regardless of cause, global warming has a number of well characterized negative impacts on the environment, from our perspective. A more sensible kind of debate is one of mitigation. What can we do to counteract this trend that we observe? Reducing Carbon emissions is one method. Are you going to argue with decades of research indicating that Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas? I tend to think that the method suggested by Astrophysicist and author Gregory Benford is worthy of consideration. He suggested constructed a solar shield at the L1 Lagrange point in order to reduce the amount of solar radiation reaching earth by a small percentage. Keep in mind that such a solution is fully reversible should some kind of doomsday scenario come to pass, baring anything else, you could blast the structure(s) out of the way with Nukes. Note that detonating nukes at that distance also poses no danger to earth, the L1 point being over a hundred million miles from earth, over four times as far as the moon.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19296349)

You mean the biofuels that are encouraging people to burn down even more rainforests so they can plant soybeans? That's several steps backwards.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (4, Insightful)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294923)

Stop trolling, troll. You know, people had setellites in space using misterious things called "SOLAR PANEL"s for their power production for a few decades now. And guess what? The EM flux from the sun didn't change, yet, global warming!

According to
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide [wikipedia.org]
Earth's atmosphere contains about 3 trillion tons of CO2.

Now, let's get some real data about emission,
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob.htm [ornl.gov]
In 2003, 7.303 billion tons of additional CO2 emitted from fossil fuels

See the nice graph they have,
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/graphics/cumulat ivedata.JPG [ornl.gov]
Now if they just add India and China accelerating consumption, we would see a huge spike at the end.

So, we are have an ADDITIONAL 7.3/3000 => 0.24% of CO2 by weight per year to the ecosystem.

Now, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the _Earth's_atmosphere [wikipedia.org] , ALL volcanoes release about,
    130-230 MILLION tons of CO2.

So humanity is releasing, oh, 30-50 TIMES the amount of CO2 by volcanoes during the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME., well, back in 2003.

This also means that current natural system is balanced at volcanic emissions of CO2, not 50 times that, hence CO2 is rising and not being tanked.

Also, if 3000 billion tons of CO2 is 380ppm, then 7.3 (from fossil fuels in 2003) is only 1ppm.. So, that doesn't even account for the total increase of CO2 now hence the number is too low (additional release of CO2 from burning forests probably accounts for the rest, but who weights forests??). CO2 is going up at a current rate of 2 ppm per year and accelerating.

Anyway, what you say is bullshit as seen above. Volcanoes do not account for even a fraction of what is happening in CO2.

Just wait a little bit and "mother nature" will help us increase the CO2 rate much, much faster than even currently. When the Siberian and Canadian bogs defrost and warm up, the Atlantic (aka. Bermuda Triangle) and Black Sea releases their methane (it just needs to warm a little bit more), well, then we'll see global warming. CO2 will be over 1000ppm by end of the century and then, well, you or your kids may just see what happens then.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (4, Funny)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295951)

The overwhelming arrogance of some people to believe that mere humans and our assorted activities have a major impact...
You're right! For too long humanity has been making decisions on the basis of nothing more than "facts", "data", and "experimental evidence". No longer! We shall move over to a system of making decisions on how arrogant it is to believe things.

For example, atoms are the fundamental building blocks of matter; it is extraordinarily arrogant of humanity to think that we can split them. Simple logical thus shows that atom bombs are obviously myths, and it clearly follows that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not destroyed by them. As a "nuclear bomb sceptic", I have previously been assaulted by someone who claimed to be a family member of someone who was killed by a nuclear bomb! I was merely attempting to calmly and patiently explain how bombs were a liberal consipiracy propogated by the all-controlling American liberal media, but alas -- they did not want to listen to the Truth.

They even offered to take me over to Japan to show me the 'destruction' -- when I refused on the grounds that the voyage would take several months by steamship, they preposterously claimed that mankind could fly through the air? How arrogant is that, to think that mankind should have the ability to conquer the sky, which clearly belongs to God; and if He had meant us to fly, He would have given us wings!

Ah, the arrogance of Humanity to believe such things.

Re:The Moon is a perfect place... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298481)

A single volcanic eruption spews more "greenhouse gases" and particulates into the atmosphere than all human activity for a decade.

Just once, I'd like to see someone cite a source for this ridiculous claim. I bet it's that Channel 4 'documentary'.

shit? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294317)

our a3ility 7o GAY NIGGERS FROM

Just as a weather station, huh? (1, Flamebait)

Old Spider (948471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294431)

It'll be for more than weather monitoring. With a station on the moon you can use HAARP technology, spy cameras, test new manufacturing processes, research probable mining locations, test habitations, refueling depots, 'defensive' installations, and on and on and on. Despite being very expensive, with all of that such a station would be highly profitable.

Weathervane to Know Which Way the Wind Blows (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294573)

Bush will fund it if it can report to him "weather" a given American is voting Republican properly or not.

tfa is right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19295487)

The moon will be a good place to be when the earth is fucked from climate change.

Instead of watching us, why not watch the moon? (3, Interesting)

Angelwrath (125723) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295531)

I would suggest, in addition to watching the Earth for climate change, that we also watch other planets. I've read recently that some research points to part of the climate change problem being the sun itself. Why don't we send weather monitoring stations to Mars as well, and see if the temperature is rising on other planets?

If we're going to monitor our own planet, we should have some objective evidence from other planets as well.

Re:Instead of watching us, why not watch the moon? (2, Interesting)

shma (863063) | more than 7 years ago | (#19296115)

I would suggest, in addition to watching the Earth for climate change, that we also watch other planets. I've read recently that some research points to part of the climate change problem being the sun itself.

I don't know who told you that, but it isn't true. Solar irradiance is a very small part of global warming. This is the conclusion in the IPCC's latest report: see this presentation [www.ipcc.ch] from the vice chair of working group one (top link, the relevant slide is 27). The main reason we can separate the two is that heating from the sun varies with respect to altitude in a different way than anthropogenic heating (unfortunately I don't have those slides for you).

Re:Instead of watching us, why not watch the moon? (2, Informative)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19303587)

We've already sent the Mars probes and the Mars Climate Orbiter. If we're lucky, we'll send a Mars Climate Orbiter that actually stays in the correct orbit soon. So, we're covering that end.
I believe someone also just sent a probe into Jupiter. It took a while to get there, but we should have climate data on Jupiter and some of its moons by now.
I think we've even tried a solar orbiter.
So, we're already doing other planets. (Climate on Venus: hot enough to melt probes--but then, Venus has a huge problem with greenhouse gasses.) We just need to play with our own some more.

gr8 location (1)

vengeful_ferengi (1103091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19295549)

Will it be constructed in cooperation with the inhabitants of Zeta Reticuli?

Sorry the moon is NOT the right place! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19296061)

This has been discussed here. The moon is not the right place to do this. (why should it be down in another gravity well?) The right place is where DSCOVR aka Triana [nasa.gov] is to be placed.

The location for that is L1 (Lagrange-1), the neutral gravity point between the Sun and the Earth. That location will always view a sunlight earth.

FYI, one reason that Triana [wikipedia.org] was not actually launched was that it was proposed by vice president at the time Al Gore. (Some wanted to call it GoreSat)

Re:Sorry the moon is NOT the right place! (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 7 years ago | (#19296525)

Not only that, but it outfitted to measure the energy balance between the Earth and Sun (it would measure the Earth's albedo). That is something you can't do well from the Moon.

One of the knocks against climate warming is that some argue that the Sun is putting out more energy. This spacecraft would make that measurement, and it is bought and paid for (and built). Unfortunately some of the same people who argue that the solar output has increased are the ones refusing to launch the instrument to determine if that is the case.

Re:Sorry the moon is NOT the right place! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19299359)

Let me ask you a few questions.

* Can you go 1 day without hearing about the moon (on TV or on the internet)?

* Has NASA ever released hi-res images of anything?

* How's golf on the moon?

* Is 40% thrust-by-weight ratio enough for escape velocity under any gravity?

* As an engineer, would you send men to the moon in a vehicle that never lifted off from the surface? (Read the Apollo history.)

Hi Apollo, I'd like to order a taco? Cheese, beef, retroreflectors, thanks.

I have a laser, I swear.

Proposed on the moon! (1)

counterfriction (934292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19296251)

Why did they have to go all the way to the moon in order to propose a climate monitoring station? Besides, where would be put such a station?

Dangling modifiers, anyone?

Moon is a lousy observation platform (2, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 7 years ago | (#19296423)

If you really need to be at the lunar distance to monitor climate you should station the instruments at L4 and L5. It takes a lot less energy deploy instruments there than landing on the moon. Solar eclipses are less frequent, etc. You would think that the scientist would have had this figured out before he went public.

Re:Moon is a lousy observation platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19299205)

Yes, you'd think a scientist would think about putting cameras in orbit before putting them on the moon.

Much closer range = higher resolution.

But who cares, right? It's the moon, it must be cool.

Climate Monitoring Station Proposed on the Moon (1)

Zepalesque (468881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19296769)

"Climate Monitoring Station Proposed on the Moon"

Bob: "How's the climate looking today?"

Fred: "Yup... still a vacuum."

we are far too advanced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19297851)

for such primitive tools on the moon.

advanced beyond your wildest dreams, bitches

your three dimensions for such a station are cute. err, tell them how many dimensions we have on the moon.

five

yes

hundred

thank you, err.

genetically modified CO2-eating plants? (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19298941)

Monitoring climate change is important, but solving it even more important. As plants are natural consumers of CO2, they could help us a bit. We would probably need lots of space to control the current CO2 levels by planting trees, so I am wondering whether we could genetically modify some plants, preferably phytoplankton, to consume CO2 very rapidly. Then we could just throw some of them in every ocean and let them feed on our CO2 emmissions. Our problem then would be to find what to do with the excess oxygen.

Oblig. Space 1999 reference (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19304629)

I hope they're careful with any nuclear material they might be moving around up there. I'd miss the moon if it were blasted away from Earth's orbit.
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