Why Did Mars Explode With Rivers But Stay A Desert?

Credit: Pixabay.com

Rivers formerly flowed crimson over the surface of Mars. All around the world, you may still see the traces of rivers, streams, as well as lakes that once existed. For unknown reasons, they all dwindled some three billion years ago.

Various hypotheses have been advanced, but we still don’t know what triggered the sudden shift in climate. To learn more about Mars’ water & atmosphere’s past, a recent research analyses river traces on Mars.

During 1972, NASA’s Mariner 9 spacecraft sent back stunning images of Mars from space. Despite today’s dearth of water, the terrain was littered with riverbeds, indicating that the globe originally had a lot of water, despite its current dryness. With no plate tectonics to move the material on Mars, old river trails remain as though they were left there hastily.

Orbital images were used to create detailed models of the Planet’s surface. The group was able to build together a chronology of river behavior across billions of years, relying on which traces overlapped and how worn they were. They may then use that information in conjunction with computer simulations of various climatic situations to determine which was the most accurate.

However, when they contrasted the results of several simulations, they discovered something unexpected. The conclusion was unaffected by altering the quantity of co2 in the environment. That is to say, co2 did not appear to be the primary factor behind the shift.

There seem to be a number of other possibilities available. These findings are consistent with the idea that Mars’ upper atmosphere has a thin layer of frozen clouds that functions like a greenhouse window, retaining heat. Hydrogen may have combined with co 2 to trap infrared radiation and heat the Planet, according to other experts.

The group offers a variety of prospective experiments for NASA’s Perseverance lander, which might provide hints, to nail down the likely culprits.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.