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Climate Change Alert: Global Warming Also Reached Mars, Planet Scarred by Greenhouse Gasses

Dec 05, 2016 06:33 AM EST
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Even if President-elect Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax, it is actually the opposite. The effects of climate change are felt globally and apparently, it happens to Mars, too. Reports say that gas-fueled climate activities and greenhouse gasses scarred even the red planet.

A new study from Penn State University is looking into the possibility of how gas-fuelled climate changes that resulted in the accumulation of greenhouse gasses could be the cause of some formative changes on the surface of Mars. The study led by planetary scientists suggest that carbon dioxide and hydrogen trapped in the atmosphere could have scarred the Martian surface.

It has always bewildered experts how the massive canyons on Mars, during a time when the planet was frozen, formed. The canyons bear resemblance to the canyons on Earth formed by flowing liquid water. Based on the study, Mars could have experience long warm climate cycle. These warm cycles lasted for 10 million years per interval due to Greenhouse gasses from the thick atmosphere with carbon dioxide and hydrogen. This cycle enables the formation of Martian valleys and canyons, according to a report.

"With the cycling hypothesis, you get these long periods of warmth that give you sufficient time to form all the different Martian valley networks," Natasha Batalha, a graduate student from astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State said in a press release.

The study used climate models in order to come up with the findings. The models show that it took the planet a series of 10 million years of warm periods to enable the formation of canyons and scarring from greenhouse gasses.

How then do the greenhouse gasses scar the planet? Researchers say that the gasses in the atmosphere were influenced by volcanic eruptions from cooling magma or those seeping from the crust. The carbon was stored in the ground due to chemical weathering since there is very less rainfall on Mars and that it was cold in there during that time. The carbon deposits are vital in the climate change process on Mars.

"It's receiving less solar flux, so you start at a glaciated state. There is volcanic outgassing, but because you are colder, you don't get the same deposition of carbon back into the planet's surface. Instead, you get this atmospheric buildup and your planet slowly starts to rise in temperature," Batalha said in the same press release.

However, despite their seemingly flawless model, the planetary scientists deem it necessary to perform further studies to confirm the theory.

 

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