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Research Reveals, Red Planet’s Rivers Were Wider Than Those On Earth Today

If the dates for these massive rivers are correct, the findings could suggest that Mars' late-stage atmosphere disappeared faster than previously calculated, or that there were other drivers of precipitation under low-atmosphere conditions, the researchers noted.

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In the river basins, for which there is most data, Mars' rivers were about two times wider than those on Earth. Pixabay

Mars’ rivers flowed intensely and may have persisted as recently as one billion years ago, reveals a survey that found that the red planet’s rivers were wider than those on Earth today.

The study by scientists at the University of Chicago catalogued these rivers and found that significant river runoff persisted on Mars later into its history than previously thought.

According to the study, published in the Science Advances journal, the runoff was intense and occurred at hundreds of locations on the red planet.

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The survey used image data of well-preserved paleo-river channels. Pixabay

These findings suggest that climate-driven precipitation may have taken place on Mars even during the time that researchers think the planet was losing its atmosphere and was drying out.

This complicates the picture for scientists trying to model the ancient Martian climate, said lead author Edwin Kite, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago.

“It’s already hard to explain rivers or lakes based on the information we have. This makes a difficult problem even more difficult,” he said.

But, Kite said, the constraints could be useful in winnowing the many theories that researchers have proposed to explain the climate.

The survey used image data of well-preserved paleo-river channels, alluvial fans and deltas across Mars, and calculated the intensity of river runoff using multiple methods, including an analysis of the size of the river channels.

Atmosphere
These findings suggest that climate-driven precipitation may have taken place on Mars even during the time that researchers think the planet was losing its atmosphere and was drying out. VOA

In the river basins, for which there is most data, Mars’ rivers were about two times wider than those on Earth.

Between 1 and 3.6 billion years ago, and likely after 1 billion years ago, there was intense runoff in these channels, amounting to 3 to 20 kg per square metre each day.

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The runoff appeared to have been distributed globally, and was not a short-lived or localised phenomenon, the researchers said.

If the dates for these massive rivers are correct, the findings could suggest that Mars’ late-stage atmosphere disappeared faster than previously calculated, or that there were other drivers of precipitation under low-atmosphere conditions, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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WMO: Earth Witnesses Record Breaking Temperature in June 2019

Nullis says the heat wave will affect millions of people from the Great Plains to the East Coast. She says temperatures of 38 to 43 degrees Celsius are expected

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June 2019 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles. (NOAA) (VOA)

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the world’s leading weather stations confirm the Earth has just had the warmest June on record, since record keeping began in 1880.

Meteorologists say nine of the 10 warmest Junes on record have occurred since 2010.  The 10th record-holder was in June 1998.  WMO says last month’s record-breaking temperatures were felt across the globe.  It says no land or ocean areas have recorded cold temperatures in June.

But WMO spokeswoman Claire Nullis says temperatures are only part of the story. “June saw the second-smallest Arctic sea ice extent for the month on record and the lowest Antarctic sea ice extent,” she said. “… There is a lot of concern this week about fires in Greenland as part of the unusual spike in Arctic blazes.”

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Scientists say heatwaves such as the one Earth is currently experiencing are consistent with climate scenarios. Pixabay

Nullis notes Alert, Canada, the northernmost settlement on Earth, reached a high of 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in history a few days ago.  And now, she says the U.S. National Weather Service is issuing warnings about dangerous heat and humidity through this weekend in two-thirds of the United States.

ALSO READ: New York Governor Signs Ambitious Climate Change Bill with Goal of Slashing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030

Nullis says the heat wave will affect millions of people from the Great Plains to the East Coast.  She says temperatures of 38 to 43 degrees Celsius are expected. “Twenty to 30 record high temperatures are expected and no relief at night is expected,” she said. “Again, the National Weather Service is predicting that about 123 minimum overnight temperature records may be tied or broken.”

Scientists say heatwaves such as the one Earth is currently experiencing are consistent with climate scenarios. They predict more frequent, drawn out and intense heat events as greenhouse gas concentrations lead to a rise in global temperatures. (VOA)