State Sen. Brandon Smith made some interesting statements about Mars during a speech last week and he is receiving some pretty stiff criticism after he argued that Mars and Earth have the exact same temperature. The ill-advised comments were made at a meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment in an effort to protest against the Obama administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission regulations. The Huffington Post's report on July 8 also said that Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R) claimed that man-made climate change is scientifically implausible.
“I won’t get into the debate about climate change," said Sen. Brandon Smith, who owns a mining company called Mohawk Energy. “But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”
Smith shared his belief that coal companies on Earth should be exempt from emission regulations because Mars doesn’t have any coal mines and it is the same temperature as Earth. However, a quick Google search reveals that Mr. Smith is wrong.
Mars is a very cold place. It is colder than Earth because the planet is smaller, is farther from the sun and has a thin atmosphere. However, since Mars is the most Earth-like planet in our solar system, it is also the best candidate for colonization.
Differing values have been reported for the average temperature on Mars but according to NASA, the average surface temperature on Mars is -81 degrees F vs. Earth's average temp of 57 degrees F.
This temperature varies with latitude and season. Thus, the temperature during the day in Mars can reach a high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or more, while at the poles in winter it can easily reach -225 degrees Fahrenheit.
These marked differences in day and night temperatures are due to the fact that the atmosphere of Mars is very thin, so it retains little heat. It also contributes to their remoteness from the sun and the low thermal conductivity of the soil.