Wednesday June 19, 2019
Home Science & Technology Emerging from...

Emerging from an ice age that ended about 400,000 years ago, Mars is also Coming close to Earth

2
//
Mars . Image Source : Wikipedia

Deep analysis of the image captured on radar shows that the mars is coming out of an ice age due to ongoing climate change, said scientists on Thursday.

According to the research published in the journal Science Martian, ice began its retreat about 370,000 years ago, marking the end of the last ice age.

Using images taken by satellites orbiting Mars, the researchers determined that about 20,872 cubic miles (87,000 cubic km) of ice has accumulated at its poles since the end of the ice age, mostly in the northern polar cap.

Scientists are keenly interested in piecing together the climate history of Mars, which contains strong evidence that oceans and lakes once pooled on its surface, bolstering the prospects for life.

Scientists can now use the new ice measurements in computer simulations to more accurately model the Martian climate, said planetary scientist Isaac Smith of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study.

Scientists are keenly interested in piecing together the climate history of Mars, which contains strong evidence that oceans and lakes once pooled on its surface (Source: Reuters)
Scientists are keenly interested in piecing together the climate history of Mars, which contains strong evidence that oceans and lakes once pooled on its surface (Source: Reuters)

“Previously those models were unconstrained by observations so they started with guesses. Now they have more to run on,” Smith said.

The study also was the first to tie a specific layer of Martian ice with a specific period of time. “Eventually we’d like to be able to do this for every layer,” Smith said.

From the perspective of an Earthling, every day on Mars may feel like an ice age. According to NASA, temperatures on Mars may hit a high at noon at the equator in the summer of roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), or a low of about minus-225 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-153 degrees Celsius) at the poles.

Unlike Earth, ice ages on Mars occur when its poles are warmer than average and frozen water is more stable at lower latitudes. Transitions between lengthy climate phases can leave telltale features in the ice, the research showed.

For example, Smith and colleagues found dramatic slopes in layers of ice within the Martian northern ice cap. Other layers reveal ice flowing in reverse direction. The climate cycles are triggered by changes in Mars’ orbit and tilt, which affect how much sunlight reaches the planet’s surface.

The climate changes on Red planet depend on the its orbit and tilt which also affects how much sunlight reaches the planet’s surface. For example, Smith and colleagues found dramatic slopes in layers of ice within the Martian northern ice cap. Other layers reveal ice flowing in reverse direction.

It is said that shifts on Mars are pretty strong as their tilt change is as much as 60 compared to that Earth’s tilt degree is just about 2 degrees. (Reuters)

ALSO READ:

  • Pritam Go Green

    Just waiting for the day when scientists will declare Mars suitable enough for growth of living organisms. Hope one day we humans will travel to Mars.

  • Pritam Go Green

    With this new theory one thing is for sure that the day is not far when Mars will become a living planet.

Next Story

Greenland Lost More than 2 Billion Tons of Ice, with over 40% of Country Experiencing Unusual Melting

The researchers found that the Greenland melt event was due to an atmospheric circulation

0
Greenland, Ice, Country
The high melt is unusual so early in the season but not unprecedented. Pixabay

 In a sign that this year could once again set records for loss in Greenland ice, researchers have found that the island’s ice sheet lost more than two gigatonnes (a gigaton is equal to one billion tonnes) of ice in just a day this week due to a widespread melting event.

“Yesterday (13th June), we calculate #Greenland #icesheet lost more than 2 Gt of ice, melt was widespread but didn’t quite get to #SummitCamp which was just below 0 degree C. The high melt is unusual so early in the season but not unprecedented,” said the Greenland Twitter handle of the Arctic monitoring web-site Polar Portal of the Danish Arctic research institutions.

The researchers found that the Greenland melt event was due to an atmospheric circulation in the Arctic and North Atlantic.

The sudden spike in melting on June 13 this year is comparable to some spikes seen seven years ago, Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland’s climate, told CNN.

Greenland, Ice, Country
Researchers have found that the island’s ice sheet lost more than two gigatonnes (a gigaton is equal to one billion tonnes) of ice in just a day this week due to a widespread melting event. Pixabay

Melt off early in the season makes it easier for further ice loss later in the season, the researcher said.

The Greenland melt season started very early this season – on April 30, which is the second earliest in a record that stretches back to 1980, according to scientists from the Danish Meteorological Institute.

“On average, the melt season starts around the 26th May, so we are almost a full month earlier this year” scientist Peter Langen said in a statement released by Polar Portal.

This year’s start of April 30 is second only to 2016, when a very unusual weather pattern caused a very early start to the melt season in mid-April.

Also Read- Scientists Create Virtual Biopsy Device to Detect Skin Tumors

Number three on the list is May 2, 2010 when a similar weather pattern also caused early melt onset closely followed by May 7 in 2017. The top four have all occurred within the last 10 years.

One reason why melting has spiked this year is that Greenland experienced a dry and cold winter.

“Through most of the winter, the majority of the ice sheet has been unusually dry, which sets it up for enhanced melting – if the right weather conditions occur – in the summer this year” scientist Ruth Mottram was quoted as saying.

The Polar Portal is a collaboration between DMI, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU) under the Danish Ministry for Energy, Utilities and Climate. (IANS)