There's a nice new paper in Nature by some NASA Ames and USGS people (including Bob Haberle, who used to have a sign saying "Commander of the Solar System" taped to his office door) on the link between climate and albedo on Mars. As my colleague Katharine Sanderson reports, they found that warming of darker patches creates winds that move the lighter dust around so that the darker patches grow and get warmer still -- a nice positive feedback that is presumably reset by global dust storms and the like.
This provoked me to a little venting on the Nature website about the absurd climate skeptic riff that there's warming going on all over the solar system and that since the thing all the warming places have in common is the sun that must be the cause.
What's saddening is that people should miss what these various phenomena really have in common — their explicability. They show that our ideas of atmospheric physics are applicable and useful on bodies that range from the tiny (Pluto, the atmosphere of which is hardly worth mentioning) to the gigantic (Jupiter, the atmosphere of which outweighs a hundred solid Earths). And computer models based on the ones used to study the climate on Earth provide results even when applied to the hugely different conditions on Mars. That is truly impressive.
So what these disparate observations actually tell us is that the scientific community — the scientific community that enjoys a firm consensus on the causes of Earthly climatic change — has a fairly impressive grasp of the fundamentals of how weather works elsewhere, as well. It's a rather inspiring insight. But it is not the lesson that climate sceptics want their readers to learn.