Mars is a dry and cold earth today but billions of years ago it flowed, rivers despite less than one-third of the sunlight our planet receives.
So how did Mars get hot enough to hold liquid water? A new study suggests that this may be due to some special ice clouds. As published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a thin layer of high-altitude long-lasting ice clouds may be enough to create a greenhouse effect. This will keep the Red Planet warm enough, even considering the less sunlight it has experienced in the past.
Lead author professor Edwin Kite from the University of Chicago said in a statement, “It’s an embarrassing connection between our evidence and our ability to explain it in physics and chemistry.” “This assumption goes a long way towards closing that gap.” This model was previously proposed but was dropped because it does not work if the water cycle occurs as fast as the Earth. Dragons and colleagues have argued that Mars, even at its lowest point, had much less water than Earth today, and that its water cycle probably allowed water particles to stay in the air for up to a year.
“In the model these clouds behave like a very non-Earth. Building models in Earth-based recognition will not work exactly, because it is not at all similar to the Earth’s water cycle, which quickly moves water into the atmosphere which and surface,” explained the dragon.
“Our model suggests that once water first enters the Martian atmosphere, it will stay there for a long time – close to a year – and this creates long-term high-altitude cloud conditions.” According to the models, the climate is dry and relative humidity is about 25 percent as a result of ice-cloud-induced global warming. Lakes in this type of environment will melt ice or arise from groundwater. “Mars is important because it’s the only planet we know that has the ability to support life – and then it loses,” the dragon said.
“Earth’s long-term climate stability is remarkable. We want to understand how a planet’s long-term climate stability can be broken – and how it can be maintained (not just Earth’s path). This finding defines new areas of comparative planetary practice.” It is hoped that NASA’s perseverance will be able to test this hypothesis in multiple ways in the coming years.