Tuesday, October 16th 2012, 6:04 PM EDT
* Earthly computers foresee Martian glaciers
* Astronomers dispute climate change skeptics
WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Computer models have accurately forecast conditions on Mars and are valid predictors of climate change on Earth, U.S. and French astronomers said on Tuesday.
These computer programs predicted Martian glaciers and other features on Earth's planetary neighbor, scientists found.
"Some public figures imply that modeling of global climate change on Earth is 'junk science,' but if climate models can explain features observed on other planets, then the models must have at least some validity," lead researcher William Hartmann of the Planetary Science Institute said in a statement.
The team's findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's planetary sciences division in Reno, Nevada.
Some climate change skeptics, notably U.S. Senator James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, dismiss human-spurred global warming as a hoax. Others accept that Earth's climate is changing, but discount a human cause. Still others, including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, accept the idea of climate change, but maintain the science is inconclusive.
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