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Sample records for early martian climate

  1. The Effect of Impacts on the Early Martian Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colaprete, A.; Haberle, R. M.; Segura, T. L.; Toon, O. B.; Zahnle, K.

    2004-01-01

    The first images returned by the Mariner 7 spacecraft of the Martian surface showed a landscape heavily scared by impacts. Mariner 9 imaging revealed geomorphic features including valley networks and outflow channels that suggest liquid water once flowed at the surface of Mars. Further evidence for water erosion and surface modification has come from the Viking Spacecraft, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor's (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), and Mars Odyssey's THEMIS instrument. In addition to network channels, this evidence includes apparent paleolake beds, fluvial fans and sedimentary layers. The estimated erosion rates necessary to explain the observed surface morphologies present a conundrum. The rates of erosion appear to be highest when the early sun was fainter and only 75% as luminous as it is today. All of this evidence points to a very different climate than what exists on Mars today. The most popular paradigm for the formation of the valley networks is that Mars had at one time a warm (T average > 273), wetter and stable climate. Possible warming mechanisms have included increased surface pressures, carbon dioxide clouds and trace greenhouse gasses. Yet to date climate models have not been able to produce a continuously warm and wet early Mars. The rates of erosion appear to correlate with the rate at which Mars was impacted thus an alternate possibility is transient warm and wet conditions initiated by large impacts. It is widely accepted that even relatively small impacts (approx. 10 km) have altered the past climate of Earth to such an extent as to cause mass extinctions. Mars has been impacted with a similar distribution of objects. The impact record at Mars is preserved in the abundance of observable craters on it surface. Impact induced climate change must have occurred on Mars.

  2. Influence of carbon dioxide clouds on early martian climate.

    PubMed

    Mischna, M A; Kasting, J F; Pavlov, A; Freedman, R

    2000-06-01

    Recent studies have shown that clouds made of carbon dioxide ice may have warmed the surface of early Mars by reflecting not only incoming solar radiation but upwelling IR radiation as well. However, these studies have not treated scattering self-consistently in the thermal IR. Our own calculations, which treat IR scattering properly, confirm these earlier calculations but show that CO2 clouds can also cool the surface, especially if they are low and optically thick. Estimating the actual effect of CO2 clouds on early martian climate will require three-dimensional models in which cloud location, height, and optical depth, as well as surface temperature and pressure, are determined self-consistently. Our calculations further confirm that CO2 clouds should extend the outer boundary of the habitable zone around a star but that there is still a finite limit beyond which above-freezing surface temperatures cannot be maintained by a CO2-H2O atmosphere. For our own Solar System, the absolute outer edge of the habitable zone is at approximately 2.4 AU.

  3. The evolution of the early Martian climate and the initial emplacement of crustal H2O

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, S. M.

    1993-01-01

    Given the geomorphic evidence for the widespread occurrence of water and ice in the early Martian crust, and the difficulty involved in accounting for this distribution given the present climate, it has been suggested that the planet's early climate was originally more Earth-like, permitting the global emplacement of crustal H2O by direct precipitation as snow or rain. The resemblance of the Martian valley networks to terrestrial runoff channels and their almost exclusive occurrence in the planet's ancient (approximately 4-b.y.-old) heavily cratered terrain are often cited as evidence of just such a period. An alternative school of thought suggests that the early climate did not differ substantially from that of today. Advocates of this view find no compelling reason to invoke a warmer, wetter period to explain the origin of the valley networks. Rather, they cite evidence that the primary mechanism of valley formation was groundwater sapping, a process that does not require that surface water exists in equilibrium with the atmosphere. However, while sapping may successfully explain the origin of the small valleys, it fails to address how the crust was initially charged with ice as the climate evolved towards its present state. Therefore, given the uncertainty regarding the environmental conditions that prevailed on early Mars, the initial emplacement of ground ice is considered here from two perspectives: (1) the early climate started warm and wet, but gradually cooled with time, and (2) the early climate never differed substantially from that of today.

  4. Early Mars Climate Revisited With a Global Probability Map of Martian Valley Network Origin and Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grau Galofre, A.; Jellinek, M.; Osinski, G. R.

    2016-12-01

    Valley networks are among the most arresting features on the surface of Mars. Their provocative morphologic resemblance to river valleys on Earth has lead many scientists to argue for Martian river valleys in a "warm and wet" climate scenario, with conditions similar to the terrestrial mid-to-low latitudes. However, this warm scenario is difficult to reconcile with climate models for an Early Mars receiving radiation from a fainter young Sun. Moreover, recent models suggest a colder scenario, with conditions more similar to present day Greenland or Antarctica. Here we use three independent characterization schemes to show quantitative evidence for fluvial, glacial, groundwater sapping and subglacial meltwater channels to build the first global probability map of Martian valley networks. We distinguish a SW-NE corridor of fluvial drainage networks spanning latitudes from 30ºS to 30ºN. We identify additional widespread patterns related to glaciation, subglacial drainage and channels incised by groundwater springs. This global characterization of Martian valleys has profound implications for the average climate of early Mars as well as its variability in space and time.

  5. Chemical modeling constraints on Martian surface mineralogies formed in an early, warm, wet climate, and speculations on the occurrence of phosphate minerals in the Martian regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Ridley, W. Ian; Debraal, Jeffrey D.

    1992-01-01

    This is one in a series of reports summarizing our chemical modeling studies of water-rock-gas interactions at the martian surface through time. The purpose of these studies is to place constraints on possible mineralogies formed at the martian surface and to model the geochemical implications of martian surficial processes proposed by previous researchers. Plumlee and Ridley summarize geochemical processes that may have occurred as a result of inferred volcano- and impact-driven hydrothermal activity on Mars. DeBraal et al. model the geochemical aspects of water-rock interactions and water evaporation near 0 C, as a prelude to future calculations that will model sub-0 C brine-rock-clathrate interactions under the current martian climate. In this report, we discuss reaction path calculations that model chemical processes that may have occurred at the martian surface in a postulated early, warm, wet climate. We assume a temperature of 25 C in all our calculations. Processes we model here include (1) the reaction of rainwater under various ambient CO2 and O2 pressures with basaltic rocks at the martian surface, (2) the formation of acid rain by volcanic gases such as HCl and SO2, (3) the reactions of acid rain with basaltic surficial materials, and (4) evaporation of waters resulting from rainwater-basalt interactions.

  6. Simulation of the early Martian climate using a general circulation model, DRAMATIC MGCM: Impacts of thermal inertia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamada, A.; Kuroda, T.; Kasaba, Y.; Terada, N.; Akiba, T.

    2017-09-01

    Our Mars General Circulation Model was used to reproduce the early Martian climate which was thought to be warm and wet. Our simulation with high thermal inertia assuming wet soils and ancient ocean/lakes succeeded in producing the surface temperature above 273K throughout a year in low-mid latitudes of northern hemisphere.

  7. Implications of Martian Phyllosilicate Formation Conditions to the Early Climate on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Baker, L.; Fairén, A. G.; Michalski, J. R.; Gago-Duport, L.; Velbel, M. A.; Gross, C.; Rampe, E. B.

    2017-12-01

    We propose that short-term warmer and wetter environments, occurring sporadically in a generally cold early Mars, enabled formation of phyllosilicate-rich outcrops on the surface of Mars without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We are investigating phyllosilicate formation mechanisms including CO2 and H2O budgets to provide constraints on the early martian climate. We have evaluated the nature and stratigraphy of phyllosilicate-bearing surface units on Mars based on i) phyllosilicate-forming environments on Earth, ii) phyllosilicate reactions in the lab, and iii) modeling experiments involving phyllosilicates and short-range ordered (SRO) materials. The type of phyllosilicates that form on Mars depends on temperature, water/rock ratio, acidity, salinity and available ions. Mg-rich trioctahedral smectite mixtures are more consistent with subsurface formation environments (crustal, hydrothermal or alkaline lakes) up to 400 °C and are not associated with martian surface environments. In contrast, clay profiles dominated by dioctahedral Al/Fe-smectites are typically formed in subaqueous or subaerial surface environments. We propose models describing formation of smectite-rich outcrops and laterally extensive vertical profiles of Fe/Mg-smectites, sulfates, and Al-rich clay assemblages formed in surface environments. Further, the presence of abundant SRO materials without phyllosilicates could mark the end of the last warm and wet episode on Mars supporting smectite formation. Climate Implications for Early Mars: Clay formation reactions proceed extremely slowly at cool temperatures. The thick smectite outcrops observed on Mars through remote sensing would require standing water on Mars for hundreds of millions of years if they formed in waters 10-15 °C. However, warmer temperatures could have enabled faster production of these smectite-rich beds. Sporadic warming episodes to 30-40 °C could have enabled formation of these smectites over only tens or

  8. Sulfur in the Early Martian Atmosphere Revisited: Experiments with a 3-D Global Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerber, L.; Forget, F.; Wordsworth, R.

    2013-09-01

    Data returned from the surface of Mars during the 1970s revealed intriguing geological evidence for a warmer and wetter early martian climate. Dendritic valley networks were discovered by Mariner 9 on ancient Noachian terrain [1], indicating that liquid water had flowed across the surface in the distant past. Since this time, geological investigations into early Martian history have attempted to ascertain the nature and level of activity of the early Martian hydrological cycle [e.g. 2-5] while atmospheric modeling efforts have focused on how the atmosphere could be warmed to temperatures great enough to sustain such activity [see 6-7 for reviews]. Geological and spectroscopic investigations have refined the history and chronology of Noachian Mars over time, and circulation of liquid water has been invoked to explain several spatially and temporally distinct morphological and chemical signatures found in the geological record. Detections of iron and magnesium-rich clays are widespread in the oldest Martian terrains, suggesting a period of pH-neutral aqueous alteration [e.g., 8]. Valley network incision also took place during the Noachian period [9]. Some chains of river valleys and craters lakes extend for thousands of kilometers, suggesting temperatures at least clement enough for sustained ice-covered flow [3,10]. The commencement of valley network incision is not well constrained, but the period of Mg/Fe clay formation appears to have ended before the termination of valley network formation, as the visible fluvial systems appear to have remobilized existing clays rather than forming them [5,8]. There is also evidence that the cessation of valley network formation was abrupt [11]. Towards the end of the Noachian, erosion rates appear to have been significantly higher than during subsequent periods, a process that has also been attributed to aqueous processes [12]. A period of sulfate formation followed, likely characterized by acidic, evaporitic playa environments

  9. Martian oceans, valleys and climate

    Carr, M.H.

    2000-01-01

    The new Mars Global Surveyor altimetry shows that the heavily cratered southern hemisphere of Mars is 5 km higher that the sparely cratered plains of the northern hemisphere. Previous suggestions that oceans formerly occupied that northern plains as evidenced by shorelines are partly supported by the new data. A previously identified outer boundary has a wide range of elevations and is unlikely to be a shoreline but an inner contact with a narrow range of elevations is a more likely candidate. No shorelines are visible in the newly acquired, 2.5 metre/pixel imaging. Newly imaged valleys provide strong support for sustained or episodic flow of water across the Martian surface. A major surprise, however, is the near absence of valleys less than 100 m across. Martian valleys seemingly do not divide into ever smaller valleys as terrestrial valleys commonly do. This could be due to lack of precipitation or lack of surface runoff because of high infiltration rates. High erosion rates and supports warm climates and presence of large bodies of water during heavy bombardment. The climate history and fate of the water after heavy bombardment remain cotroversial.

  10. A Quantitative Characterization and Classification of Martian Valley Networks: New Constraints on Mars' Early Climate and Its Variability in Space and Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grau Galofre, A.; Jellinek, M.

    2014-12-01

    Valley networks and outflow channels are among the most arresting features of Mars' surface. Remarkable similarities between the structure and complexity of individual Martian channels with certain fluvial systems on Earth supports a popular picture of a warm wet early Mars. A key assumption in this picture is that "typical" Martian examples adequately capture the average character of the majority of all valley networks. However, a full catalog of the distribution of geomorphologic variability of valley networks over Mars' surface geometry has never been established. Accordingly, we present the first planet-wide map in which we use statistical methods and theoretical arguments to classify Martian channels in terms of the mechanics governing their formation. Using new metrics for the size, shape and complexity of channel networks, which we ground truth against a large suite of terrestrial examples, we distinguish drainage patterns related to glacial, subglacial, fluvial and lava flows. Preliminary results separate lava flows from other flow features and show that these features can be divided into three different groups of increasing complexity. The characteristics of these groups suggest that they represent fluvial, subglacial and glacial features. We show also that the relative proportions of the different groups varies systematically, with higher density of river-like features located in low longitudes and increasing glacial-like features as we move east or west. Our results suggest that the early Martian climate and hydrologic cycle was richer and more diverse than originally thought.

  11. The Ancient Martian Climate System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. The atmosphere is thin and liquid water is not stable. But there is evidence that very early in its history it was warmer and wetter. Since Mariner 9 first detected fluvial features on its ancient terrains researchers have been trying to understand what climatic conditions could have permitted liquid water to flow on the surface. Though the evidence is compelling, the problem is not yet solved. The main issue is coping with the faint young sun. During the period when warmer conditions prevailed 3.5-3.8 Gy the sun's luminosity was approximately 25% less than it is today. How can we explain the presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars under such conditions? A similar problem exists for Earth, which would have frozen over under a faint sun even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Attempts to solve the "Faint Young Sun Paradox" rely on greenhouse warming from an atmosphere with a different mass and composition than we see today. This is true for both Mars and Earth. However, it is not a straightforward solution. Any greenhouse theory must (a) produce the warming and rainfall needed, (b) have a plausible source for the gases required, (c) be sustainable, and (d) explain how the atmosphere evolved to its present state. These are challenging requirements and judging from the literature they have yet to be met. In this talk I will review the large and growing body of work on the early Mars climate system. I will take a holistic approach that involves many disciplines since our goal is to present an integrated view that touches on each of the requirements listed in the preceding paragraph. I will begin with the observational evidence, which comes from the geology, mineralogy, and isotopic data. Each of the data sets presents a consistent picture of a warmer and wetter past with a thicker atmosphere. How much warmer and wetter and how much thicker is a matter of debate, but conditions then were certainly different than

  12. Deciphering Martian climatic history using returned samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paige, D. A.; Krieger, D. B.; Brigham, C. A.

    1988-01-01

    By necessity, a Mars sample return mission must sample the upper few meters of the Martian surface. This material was subjected to a wide variety of physical processes. Presently, the most important processes are believed to be wind-driven erosion and deposition, and water ice accumulation at higher latitudes. A sample return mission represents an opportunity to better understand and quantify these important geological processes. By obtaining sample cores at key locations, it may be possible to interpret much of recent Martian climatic history.

  13. Salt or ice diapirism origin for the honeycomb terrain in Hellas basin, Mars?: Implications for the early martian climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, David K.; Head, James W.

    2017-03-01

    The "honeycomb" terrain is a Noachian-aged cluster of ∼7 km wide linear cell-like depressions located on the northwestern floor of Hellas basin, Mars. A variety of origins have been proposed for the honeycomb terrain, including deformation rings of subglacial sediment, frozen convection cells from a Hellas impact melt sheet, a swarm of igneous batholiths, salt diapirism, and ice diapirism. Recent work has shown that the salt or ice diapirism scenarios appear to be most consistent with the morphology and morphometry of the honeycomb terrain. The salt and ice diapirism scenarios have different implications for the ancient martian climate and hydrological cycle, and so distinguishing between the two scenarios is critical. In this study, we specifically test whether the honeycomb terrain is consistent with a salt or ice diapir origin. We use thermal modeling to assess the stability limits on the thickness of an ice or salt diapir-forming layer at depth within the Hellas basin. We also apply analytical models for diapir formation to evaluate the predicted diapir wavelengths in order to compare with observations. Ice diapirism is generally predicted to reproduce the observed honeycomb wavelengths for ∼100 m to ∼1 km thick ice deposits. Gypsum and kieserite diapirism is generally predicted to reproduce the observed honeycomb wavelengths for ≥ 600-1000 m thick salt deposits, but only with a basaltic overburden. Halite diapirism generally requires approx. ≥ 1 km thick halite deposits in order to reproduce the observed honeycomb wavelengths. Hellas basin is a distinctive environment for diapirism on Mars due to its thin crust (which reduces surface heat flux), low elevation (which allows Hellas to act as a water/ice/sediment sink and increases the surface temperature), and location within the southern highlands (which may provide proximity to inflowing saline water or glacial ice). The plausibility of an ice diapir mechanism generally requires temperatures ≤ 250

  14. Icy Layers and Climate Fluctuations near the Martian North Pole

    2010-03-31

    The Martian north polar layered deposits are an ice sheet much like the Greenland ice sheet on the Earth in this image from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This Martian ice sheet contains many layers that record variations in the Martian climate.

  15. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  16. Chaotic obliquity and the nature of the Martian climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1995-01-01

    Recent calculations of the Martian obliquity suggests that it varies chaotically on timescales longer than about 10(exp 7) years and varies between about 0 and 60 deg. We examine the seasonal water behavior at obliquities between 40 and 60 deg. Up to several tens of centimeters of water may sublime from the polar caps each year, and possibly move to the equator, where it is more stable. The CO2 frost and CO2-H2O clathrate hydrate are stable in thepolar deposits below a few tens of meters depth, so that the polar cap could contain a significant CO2 reservoir. If CO2 is present, it could be left over from the early history of Mars; also, it could be released into the atmosphere during periods of high obliquity, causing occasional periods of more-clement climate.

  17. Martian stable isotopes: volatile evolution, climate change and exobiological implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. M.

    1999-01-01

    Measurements of the ratios of stable isotopes in the martian atmosphere and crust provide fundamental information about the evolution of the martian volatile and climate system. Current best estimates of the isotope ratios indicate that there has been substantial loss of gases to space and exchange of gases between the atmosphere and the crust throughout geologic time; exchange may have occurred through circulation of water in hydrothermal systems. Processes of volatile evolution and exchange will fractionate the isotopes in a manner that complicates the possible interpretation of isotopic data in terms of any fractionation that may have been caused by martian biota, and must be understood first. Key measurements are suggested that will enhance our understanding of the non-biological fractionation of the isotopes and of the evolution of the martian volatile system.

  18. Do Martian Blueberries Have Pits? -- Artifacts of an Early Wet Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    Early Martian weather cycles would have supported organic chemical self-organization, the assumed predecessor to an independent "origin" of Martian life. Artifacts of these processes are discussed, including the possibility that Martian blueberries nucleated around organic cores.

  19. Remote Sensing Studies Of The Current Martian Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, F. W.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Calcutt, S. B.; Moroz, V. I.

    A systematic and detailed experimental study of the Martian atmosphere remains to be carried out, despite many decades of intense interest in the nature of the Martian climate system, its interactions, variability and long-term stability. Such a study is planned by the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, using limb-scanning infrared radiometric techniques similar to those used to study trace species in the terrestrial stratosphere. For Mars, the objectives are temperature, humidity, dust and condensate abundances with high vertical resolution and global coverage in the 0 to 80 km height range. The paper will discuss the experiment and its methodology and expectations for the results.

  20. The physics of Martian weather and climate: a review.

    PubMed

    Read, P L; Lewis, S R; Mulholland, D P

    2015-12-01

    The planet Mars hosts an atmosphere that is perhaps the closest in terms of its meteorology and climate to that of the Earth. But Mars differs from Earth in its greater distance from the Sun, its smaller size, its lack of liquid oceans and its thinner atmosphere, composed mainly of CO(2). These factors give Mars a rather different climate to that of the Earth. In this article we review various aspects of the martian climate system from a physicist's viewpoint, focusing on the processes that control the martian environment and comparing these with corresponding processes on Earth. These include the radiative and thermodynamical processes that determine the surface temperature and vertical structure of the atmosphere, the fluid dynamics of its atmospheric motions, and the key cycles of mineral dust and volatile transport. In many ways, the climate of Mars is as complicated and diverse as that of the Earth, with complex nonlinear feedbacks that affect its response to variations in external forcing. Recent work has shown that the martian climate is anything but static, but is almost certainly in a continual state of transient response to slowly varying insolation associated with cyclic variations in its orbit and rotation. We conclude with a discussion of the physical processes underlying these long- term climate variations on Mars, and an overview of some of the most intriguing outstanding problems that should be a focus for future observational and theoretical studies.

  1. The early Martian environment: Clues from the cratered highlands and the Precambrian Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craddock, R. A.; Maxwell, T. A.

    1993-01-01

    There is abundant geomorphic evidence to suggest that Mars once had a much denser and warmer atmosphere than present today. Outflow channel, ancient valley networks, and degraded impact craters in the highlands all suggest that ancient Martian atmospheric conditions supported liquid water on the surface. The pressure, composition, and duration of this atmosphere is largely unknown. However, we have attempted to place some constraints on the nature of the early Martian atmosphere by analyzing morphologic variations of highland impact crater populations, synthesizing results of other investigators, and incorporating what is know about the geologic history of the early Earth. This is important for understanding the climatic evolution of Mars, the relative abundance of martian volatiles, and the nature of highland surface materials.

  2. The Climate of Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wordsworth, Robin D.

    2016-06-01

    The nature of the early martian climate is one of the major unanswered questions of planetary science. Key challenges remain, but a new wave of orbital and in situ observations and improvements in climate modeling have led to significant advances over the past decade. Multiple lines of geologic evidence now point to an episodically warm surface during the late Noachian and early Hesperian periods 3-4 Ga. The low solar flux received by Mars in its first billion years and inefficiency of plausible greenhouse gases such as CO2 mean that the steady-state early martian climate was likely cold. A denser CO2 atmosphere would have caused adiabatic cooling of the surface and hence migration of water ice to the higher-altitude equatorial and southern regions of the planet. Transient warming caused melting of snow and ice deposits and a temporarily active hydrological cycle, leading to erosion of the valley networks and other fluvial features. Precise details of the warming mechanisms remain unclear, but impacts, volcanism, and orbital forcing all likely played an important role. The lack of evidence for glaciation across much of Mars's ancient terrain suggests the late Noachian surface water inventory was not sufficient to sustain a northern ocean. Though mainly inhospitable on the surface, early Mars may nonetheless have presented significant opportunities for the development of microbial life.

  3. Methane storage capacity of the early martian cryosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Quesnel, Yoann; Langlais, Benoit; Chassefière, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Methane is a key molecule to understand the habitability of Mars due to its possible biological origin and short atmospheric lifetime. Recent methane detections on Mars present a large variability that is probably due to relatively localized sources and sink processes yet unknown. In this study, we determine how much methane could have been abiotically produced by early Mars serpentinization processes that could also explain the observed martian remanent magnetic field. Under the assumption of a cold early Mars environment, a cryosphere could trap such methane as clathrates in stable form at depth. The extent and spatial distribution of these methane reservoirs have been calculated with respect to the magnetization distribution and other factors. We calculate that the maximum storage capacity of such a clathrate cryosphere is about 2.1 × 1019-2.2 × 1020 moles of CH4, which can explain sporadic releases of methane that have been observed on the surface of the planet during the past decade (∼1.2 × 109 moles). This amount of trapped methane is sufficient for similar sized releases to have happened yearly during the history of the planet. While the stability of such reservoirs depends on many factors that are poorly constrained, it is possible that they have remained trapped at depth until the present day. Due to the possible implications of methane detection for life and its influence on the atmospheric and climate processes on the planet, confirming the sporadic release of methane on Mars and the global distribution of its sources is one of the major goals of the current and next space missions to Mars.

  4. Martian climate - An empirical test of possible gross variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.

    1974-01-01

    There appears to be evidence for a cyclic behavior of the Martian climate in which the surface pressure periodically reaches values compatible with the flow of water in equatorial regions on the planet. A relatively simple test of such hypotheses is pointed out. The premise on which cyclic models are based is that a substantial reservoir of volatils exist in frozen form at one or both poles. The proposed test involves a determination of the relative abundances of neon and argon isotopes. The required measurements may be made after the soft landing next February of Soviet spacecraft presently en route to the planet.

  5. A topographically forced asymmetry in the martian circulation and climate.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Mark I; Wilson, R John

    2002-03-21

    Large seasonal and hemispheric asymmetries in the martian climate system are generally ascribed to variations in solar heating associated with orbital eccentricity. As the orbital elements slowly change (over a period of >104 years), characteristics of the climate such as dustiness and the vigour of atmospheric circulation are thought to vary, as should asymmetries in the climate (for example, the deposition of water ice at the northern versus the southern pole). Such orbitally driven climate change might be responsible for the observed layering in Mars' polar deposits by modulating deposition of dust and water ice. Most current theories assume that climate asymmetries completely reverse as the angular distance between equinox and perihelion changes by 180 degrees. Here we describe a major climate mechanism that will not precess in this way. We show that Mars' global north-south elevation difference forces a dominant southern summer Hadley circulation that is independent of perihelion timing. The Hadley circulation, a tropical overturning cell responsible for trade winds, largely controls interhemispheric transport of water and the bulk dustiness of the atmosphere. The topography therefore imprints a strong handedness on climate, with water ice and the active formation of polar layered deposits more likely in the north.

  6. CO2 greenhouse in the early martian atmosphere: SO2 inhibits condensation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Y. L.; Nair, H.; Gerstell, M. F.

    1997-01-01

    Many investigators of the early martian climate have suggested that a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere was present and warmed the surface above the melting point of water (J.B. Pollack, J.F. Kasting, S.M. Richardson, and K. Poliakoff 1987. Icarus 71, 203-224). However, J.F. Kasting (1991. Icarus 94, 1-13) pointed out that previous thermal models of the primitive martian atmosphere had not considered the condensation of CO2. When this effect was incorporated, Kasting found that CO2 by itself is inadequate to warm the surface. SO2 absorbs strongly in the near UV region of the solar spectrum. While a small amount of SO2 may have a negligible effect by itself on the surface temperature, it may have significantly warmed the middle atmosphere of early Mars, much as ozone warms the terrestrial stratosphere today. If this region is kept warm enough to inhibit the condensation of CO2, then CO2 remains a viable greenhouse gas. Our preliminary radiative modeling shows that the addition of 0.1 ppmv of SO2 in a 2 bar CO2 atmosphere raises the temperature of the middle atmosphere by approximately 10 degrees, so that the upper atmosphere in a 1 D model remains above the condensation temperature of CO2. In addition, this amount of SO2 in the atmosphere provides an effective UV shield for a hypothetical biosphere on the martian surface.

  7. The Northwest Africa 8159 martian meteorite: Expanding the martian sample suite to the early Amazonian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herd, Christopher D. K.; Walton, Erin L.; Agee, Carl B.; Muttik, Nele; Ziegler, Karen; Shearer, Charles K.; Bell, Aaron S.; Santos, Alison R.; Burger, Paul V.; Simon, Justin I.; Tappa, Michael J.; McCubbin, Francis M.; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Lagroix, France; Sanborn, Matthew E.; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Cassata, William S.; Borg, Lars E.; Lindvall, Rachel E.; Kruijer, Thomas S.; Brennecka, Gregory A.; Kleine, Thorsten; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Caffee, Marc W.

    2017-12-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 8159 is an augite-rich shergottite, with a mineralogy dominated by Ca-, Fe-rich pyroxene, plagioclase, olivine, and magnetite. NWA 8159 crystallized from an evolved melt of basaltic composition under relatively rapid conditions of cooling, likely in a surface lava flow or shallow sill. Redox conditions experienced by the melt shifted from relatively oxidizing (with respect to known Martian lithologies, ∼QFM) on the liquidus to higher oxygen fugacity (∼QFM + 2) during crystallization of the groundmass, and under subsolidus conditions. This shift resulted in the production of orthopyroxene and magnetite replacing olivine phenocryst rims. NWA 8159 contains both crystalline and shock-amorphized plagioclase (An50-62), often observed within a single grain; based on known calibrations we bracket the peak shock pressure experienced by NWA 8159 to between 15 and 23 GPa. The bulk composition of NWA 8159 is depleted in LREE, as observed for Tissint and other depleted shergottites; however, NWA 8159 is distinct from all other martian lithologies in its bulk composition and oxygen fugacity. We obtain a Sm-Nd formation age of 2.37 ± 0.25 Ga for NWA 8159, which represents an interval in Mars geologic time which, until recently, was not represented in the other martian meteorite types. The bulk rock 147Sm/144Nd value of 0.37 ± 0.02 is consistent with it being derived directly from its source and the high initial ε143Nd value indicates this source was geochemically highly depleted. Cr, Nd, and W isotopic compositions further support a unique mantle source. While the rock shares similarities with the 2.4-Ga NWA 7635 meteorite, there are notable distinctions between the two meteorites that suggest differences in mantle source compositions and conditions of crystallization. Nevertheless, the two samples may be launch-paired. NWA 8159 expands the known basalt types, ages and mantle sources within the Mars sample suite to include a second igneous unit from

  8. The Northwest Africa 8159 martian meteorite: Expanding the martian sample suite to the early Amazonian

    DOE PAGES

    Herd, Christopher D. K.; Walton, Erin L.; Agee, Carl B.; ...

    2017-09-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 8159 is an augite-rich shergottite, with a mineralogy dominated by Ca-, Fe-rich pyroxene, plagioclase, olivine, and magnetite. NWA 8159 crystallized from an evolved melt of basaltic composition under relatively rapid conditions of cooling, likely in a surface lava flow or shallow sill. Redox conditions experienced by the melt shifted from relatively oxidizing (with respect to known Martian lithologies, ~QFM) on the liquidus to higher oxygen fugacity (~QFM + 2) during crystallization of the groundmass, and under subsolidus conditions. This shift resulted in the production of orthopyroxene and magnetite replacing olivine phenocryst rims. NWA 8159 contains both crystallinemore » and shock-amorphized plagioclase (An 50–62), often observed within a single grain; based on known calibrations we bracket the peak shock pressure experienced by NWA 8159 to between 15 and 23 GPa. The bulk composition of NWA 8159 is depleted in LREE, as observed for Tissint and other depleted shergottites; however, NWA 8159 is distinct from all other martian lithologies in its bulk composition and oxygen fugacity. Here, we obtain a Sm-Nd formation age of 2.37 ± 0.25 Ga for NWA 8159, which represents an interval in Mars geologic time which, until recently, was not represented in the other martian meteorite types. The bulk rock 147Sm/ 144Nd value of 0.37 ± 0.02 is consistent with it being derived directly from its source and the high initial ε 143Nd value indicates this source was geochemically highly depleted. Cr, Nd, and W isotopic compositions further support a unique mantle source. While the rock shares similarities with the 2.4-Ga NWA 7635 meteorite, there are notable distinctions between the two meteorites that suggest differences in mantle source compositions and conditions of crystallization. Nevertheless, the two samples may be launch-paired. Finally, NWA 8159 expands the known basalt types, ages and mantle sources within the Mars sample suite to include a

  9. The Northwest Africa 8159 martian meteorite: Expanding the martian sample suite to the early Amazonian

    SciT

    Herd, Christopher D. K.; Walton, Erin L.; Agee, Carl B.

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 8159 is an augite-rich shergottite, with a mineralogy dominated by Ca-, Fe-rich pyroxene, plagioclase, olivine, and magnetite. NWA 8159 crystallized from an evolved melt of basaltic composition under relatively rapid conditions of cooling, likely in a surface lava flow or shallow sill. Redox conditions experienced by the melt shifted from relatively oxidizing (with respect to known Martian lithologies, ~QFM) on the liquidus to higher oxygen fugacity (~QFM + 2) during crystallization of the groundmass, and under subsolidus conditions. This shift resulted in the production of orthopyroxene and magnetite replacing olivine phenocryst rims. NWA 8159 contains both crystallinemore » and shock-amorphized plagioclase (An 50–62), often observed within a single grain; based on known calibrations we bracket the peak shock pressure experienced by NWA 8159 to between 15 and 23 GPa. The bulk composition of NWA 8159 is depleted in LREE, as observed for Tissint and other depleted shergottites; however, NWA 8159 is distinct from all other martian lithologies in its bulk composition and oxygen fugacity. Here, we obtain a Sm-Nd formation age of 2.37 ± 0.25 Ga for NWA 8159, which represents an interval in Mars geologic time which, until recently, was not represented in the other martian meteorite types. The bulk rock 147Sm/ 144Nd value of 0.37 ± 0.02 is consistent with it being derived directly from its source and the high initial ε 143Nd value indicates this source was geochemically highly depleted. Cr, Nd, and W isotopic compositions further support a unique mantle source. While the rock shares similarities with the 2.4-Ga NWA 7635 meteorite, there are notable distinctions between the two meteorites that suggest differences in mantle source compositions and conditions of crystallization. Nevertheless, the two samples may be launch-paired. Finally, NWA 8159 expands the known basalt types, ages and mantle sources within the Mars sample suite to include a

  10. Stability of the Martian climate system under the seasonal change condition of solar radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Takasumi; Tajika, Eiichi

    2002-11-01

    Previous studies on stability of the Martian climate system used essentially zero-dimensional energy balance climate models (EBMs) under the condition of annual mean solar radiation income. However, areal extent of polar ice caps should affect the Martian climate through the energy balance and the CO2 budget, and results under the seasonal change condition of solar radiation will be different from those under the annual mean condition. We therefore construct a one-dimensional energy balance climate model with CO2-dependent outgoing radiation, seasonal changes of solar radiation income, changes of areal extent of CO2 ice caps, and adsorption of CO2 by regolith. We have investigated behaviors of the Martian climate system and, in particular, examined the effect of the seasonal changes of solar radiation by comparing the results of previous studies under the condition of annual mean solar radiation. One of the major discrepancies between them is the condition for multiple solutions of the Martian climate system. Although the Martian climate system always has multiple solutions under the annual mean condition, under the seasonal change condition, existence of multiple solutions depends on the present amounts of CO2 in the ice caps and the regolith.

  11. The Effect of Impacts on the Martian Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colaprete, A.; Haberle, R. M.; Segura, T. L.; Toon, O. B.; Zahnle, K.

    2005-01-01

    Evidence for the presence of liquid water early in Mars history continues to accumulate. The most recent evidence for liquid water being pervasive early in Mars history is the discoveries of sulfate and gypsum layers by the Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Express. However, the presence of liquid water at the surface very early in Mars history presents a conundrum. The early sun was most likely approximately 75% fainter than it is today. About 65-70 degrees of greenhouse warming is needed to bring surface temperatures to the melting point of water. To date climate models have not been able to produce a continuously warm and wet early Mars. This may be a good thing as there is morphological and mineralogical evidence that the warm and wet period had to be relatively short and episodic. The rates of erosion appear to correlate with the rate at which Mars was impacted thus an alternate possibility is transient warm and wet conditions initiated by large impacts. It is widely accepted that even relatively small impacts (approximately 10 km) have altered the past climate of Earth to such an extent as to cause mass extinctions. Mars has been impacted with a similar distribution of objects. The impact record at Mars is preserved in the abundance of observable craters on it surface. Impact induced climate change must have occurred on Mars.

  12. Reading the climate record of the martian polar layered deposits

    Hvidberg, C.S.; Fishbaugh, K.E.; Winstrup, M.; Svensson, A.; Byrne, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.

    2012-01-01

    The martian polar regions have layered deposits of ice and dust. The stratigraphy of these deposits is exposed within scarps and trough walls and is thought to have formed due to climate variations in the past. Insolation has varied significantly over time and caused dramatic changes in climate, but it has remained unclear whether insolation variations could be linked to the stratigraphic record. We present a model of layer formation based on physical processes that expresses polar deposition rates of ice and dust in terms of insolation. In this model, layer formation is controlled by the insolation record, and dust-rich layers form by two mechanisms: (1) increased summer sublimation during high obliquity, and (2) variations in the polar deposition of dust modulated by obliquity variations. The model is simple, yet physically plausible, and allows for investigations of the climate control of the polar layered deposits (PLD). We compare the model to a stratigraphic column obtained from the north polar layered deposits (NPLD) (Fishbaugh, K.E., Hvidberg, C.S., Byrne, S., Russel, P.S., Herkenhoff, K.E., Winstrup, M., Kirk, R. [2010a]. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L07201) and show that the model can be tuned to reproduce complex layer sequences. The comparison with observations cannot uniquely constrain the PLD chronology, and it is limited by our interpretation of the observed stratigraphic column as a proxy for NPLD composition. We identified, however, a set of parameters that provides a chronology of the NPLD tied to the insolation record and consistently explains layer formation in accordance with observations of NPLD stratigraphy. This model dates the top 500 m of the NPLD back to ∼1 million years with an average net deposition rate of ice and dust of 0.55 mm a−1. The model stratigraphy contains a quasi-periodic ∼30 m cycle, similar to a previously suggested cycle in brightness profiles from the NPLD (Laskar, J., Levrard, B., Mustard, F. [2002]. Nature, 419, 375

  13. Widespread loess-like deposit in the Martian northern lowlands identifies Middle Amazonian climate change

    Skinner, James A.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Platz, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Consistently mappable units critical to distinguishing the style and interplay of geologic processes through time are sparse in the Martian lowlands. This study identifies a previously unmapped Middle Amazonian (ca. 1 Ga) unit (Middle Amazonian lowland unit, mAl) that postdates the Late Hesperian and Early Amazonian lowland plains by >2 b.y. The unit is regionally defined by subtle marginal scarps and slopes, has a mean thickness of 32 m, and extends >3.1 × 106 km2 between lat 35°N and 80°N. Pedestal-type craterforms and nested, arcuate ridges (thumbprint terrain) tend to occur adjacent to unit mAl outcrops, suggesting that current outcrops are vestiges of a more extensive deposit that previously covered ∼16 × 106 km2. Exposed layers, surface pits, and the draping of subjacent landforms allude to a sedimentary origin, perhaps as a loess-like deposit emplaced rhythmically through atmospheric fallout. We propose that unit mAl accumulated coevally with, and at the expense of, the erosion of the north polar basal units, identifying a major episode of Middle Amazonian climate-driven sedimentation in the lowlands. This work links ancient sedimentary processes to climate change that occurred well before those implied by current orbital and spin axis models.

  14. Cemented Volcanic Soils, Martian Spectra and Implications for the Martian Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Schiffman, P.; Drief, A.; Southard, R. J.

    2004-01-01

    Cemented soils formed via reactions with salts are studied here and provide information about the climate when they formed. Spectroscopic and microprobe studies have been performed on cemented volcanic crusts in order to learn about the composition of these materials, how they formed, and what they can tell us about climatic interactions with surface material on Mars to form cemented soils. These crusts include carbonate, sulfate and opaline components that may all be present in cemented soil units on Mars.

  15. The record of Martian climatic history in cores and its preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.

    1988-01-01

    Among the questions to be addressed by a Mars Sample Return Mission are the history of the Martian climate and the mechanisms that control the volatile cycles. Unfortunately, the evidence that bears most strongly on those issues lies in the volatile distribution in, and physical configuration of, a very delicate and volatile system: the uppermost Martian regolith. Some useful measurements to be made on returned samples of the regolith are identified, along with the many critical considerations in ensuring the usefulness of returned samples.

  16. Early evolution of Martian volatiles: Nitrogen and noble gas components in ALH84001 and Chassigny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathew, K. J.; Marti, K.

    2001-01-01

    Studies on SNC meteorites have permitted the characterization of modern Martian atmospheric components as well as indigenous Martian nitrogen and solar-type xenon. New isotopic and elemental abundances of noble gases and nitrogen in ALH84001 and Chassigny provide important constraints on the early evolution of the planet. A primitive solar Xe component (Chass-S) and an evolved Xe component (Chass-E), augmented with fission Xe are identified in Chassigny. Both components represent interior reservoirs of Mars and are characterized by low 129Xe/132Xe (<1.07) and by distinct elemental ratios 36Ar/132Xe<5 and >130, respectively. Light nitrogen (δ15N=-30‰) is associated with the Chass-S component and is enriched in melt inclusions in olivine. An ancient (presumably incorporated ~4 Gyr ago) evolved Martian atmospheric component is identified in ALH84001 and has the following signatures: 129Xe/132Xe=2.16, 36Ar/38Ar>=5.0, 36Ar/132Xe=~50, 84Kr/132Xe=~6, and δ15N=7‰. The trapped Xe component in ALH84001 is not isotopically fractionated. We observe major shifts in nitrogen signatures due to cosmogenic N component in both Chassigny and ALH84001. A heavy nitrogen component of comparable magnitude (δ15N>150‰) has previously been interpreted as (heavy) Martian atmospheric N. In situ produced fission Xe components, due to 244Pu in ALH84001 and due to 238U in Chassigny, are identified. The ALH84001 data strongly constrain exchanges of Martian atmospheric and interior reservoirs. Mars retained abundant fission Xe components, and this may account for the low observed fission Xe component in the modern Martian atmosphere. Chronometric information regarding the evolution of the early Martian atmosphere can be secured from the relative abundances of radiogenic and fission Xe, as ~80% of the Martian 129Xer is observed in the atmospheric 129Xe/132Xe ratio ~ 4 Gyr ago.

  17. Constraints on early events in Martian history as derived from the cratering record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    1990-01-01

    Constrains on early events in Martian history are derived using the planet's cratering record. Variations in the shapes of the crater size-frequency distribution curves are interpreted as indicative of the size-frequency distribution of the production populations, thus providing information about the age of the unit relative to the end of the heavy bombardment period. Results from the analysis of craters superposed on heavily cratered units across the Martian surface provide constraints on the hemispheric dichotomy and the early erosional conditions on Mars.

  18. The Polar Regions and Martian Climate: Studies with a Global Climate Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, R. J.; Richardson, M. I.; Smith, M. D.

    2003-01-01

    Much of the interest in the polar regions centers on the fact that they likely contain the best record of Martian climate change on time scales from years to eons. This expectation is based upon the observed occurrence of weathering product deposits and volatile reservoirs that are coupled to the climate. Interpretation and understanding of these records requires understanding of the mechanisms that involve the exchange of dust, water, and carbon dioxide between the surface and atmosphere, and the atmospheric redistribution of these species. We will summarize our use of the GFDL Mars general circulation model (MGCM), to exploration aspects of the interaction between the global climate and the polar regions. For example, our studies have shown that while the northern polar cap is the dominant seasonal source for water, it can act as a net annual source or sink for water, depending upon the cap temperatures and the bulk humidity of the atmosphere. This behavior regulates the annual and global average humidity of the atmosphere, as the cap acts as a sink if the atmosphere is too wet and a source if it is too dry. We will then focus our presentation on the ability of the MGCM to simulate the observed diurnal variations of surface temperature. We are particularly interested in assessing the influence of dust aerosol and water ice clouds on simulated surface temperature and the comparison with observations. Surface thermal inertia and albedo are critical boundary inputs for MGCM simulations. Thermal inertia is also of intrinsic interest as it may be related to properties of the surface such as particle size and surface character.

  19. Tsunami waves extensively resurfaced the shorelines of an early Martian ocean.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, J Alexis P; Fairén, Alberto G; Tanaka, Kenneth L; Zarroca, Mario; Linares, Rogelio; Platz, Thomas; Komatsu, Goro; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Kargel, Jeffrey S; Yan, Jianguo; Gulick, Virginia; Higuchi, Kana; Baker, Victor R; Glines, Natalie

    2016-05-19

    It has been proposed that ~3.4 billion years ago an ocean fed by enormous catastrophic floods covered most of the Martian northern lowlands. However, a persistent problem with this hypothesis is the lack of definitive paleoshoreline features. Here, based on geomorphic and thermal image mapping in the circum-Chryse and northwestern Arabia Terra regions of the northern plains, in combination with numerical analyses, we show evidence for two enormous tsunami events possibly triggered by bolide impacts, resulting in craters ~30 km in diameter and occurring perhaps a few million years apart. The tsunamis produced widespread littoral landforms, including run-up water-ice-rich and bouldery lobes, which extended tens to hundreds of kilometers over gently sloping plains and boundary cratered highlands, as well as backwash channels where wave retreat occurred on highland-boundary surfaces. The ice-rich lobes formed in association with the younger tsunami, showing that their emplacement took place following a transition into a colder global climatic regime that occurred after the older tsunami event. We conclude that, on early Mars, tsunamis played a major role in generating and resurfacing coastal terrains.

  20. Tsunami waves extensively resurfaced the shorelines of an early Martian ocean

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, J. Alexis P.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Zarroca, Mario; Linares, Rogelio; Platz, Thomas; Komatsu, Goro; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Yan, Jianguo; Gulick, Virginia; Higuchi, Kana; Baker, Victor R.; Glines, Natalie

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that ~3.4 billion years ago an ocean fed by enormous catastrophic floods covered most of the Martian northern lowlands. However, a persistent problem with this hypothesis is the lack of definitive paleoshoreline features. Here, based on geomorphic and thermal image mapping in the circum-Chryse and northwestern Arabia Terra regions of the northern plains, in combination with numerical analyses, we show evidence for two enormous tsunami events possibly triggered by bolide impacts, resulting in craters ~30 km in diameter and occurring perhaps a few million years apart. The tsunamis produced widespread littoral landforms, including run-up water-ice-rich and bouldery lobes, which extended tens to hundreds of kilometers over gently sloping plains and boundary cratered highlands, as well as backwash channels where wave retreat occurred on highland-boundary surfaces. The ice-rich lobes formed in association with the younger tsunami, showing that their emplacement took place following a transition into a colder global climatic regime that occurred after the older tsunami event. We conclude that, on early Mars, tsunamis played a major role in generating and resurfacing coastal terrains. PMID:27196957

  1. Dhofar 378 Martian shergottite: Evidence of early shock melting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jisun; Bogard, Donald D.; Mikouchi, Takashi; McKay, Gordon A.

    2008-08-01

    Shock heating of the Dhofar 378 (Dho 378) Martian shergottite produced melting, vesiculation, and flow of the plagioclase, which upon cooling recrystallized into complex textures. Heating experiments on the similar Zagami shergottite indicate that Dho 378 was shock heated to 1000-1100°C and was cooled at ~2.5°C/h. An 39Ar-40Ar analysis of Dho 378 plagioclase indicates different Ar diffusion domains and K/Ca ratios. The lower-temperature phase defines an Ar-Ar isochron age of 141 +/- 32 Ma. The higher-temperature phase released more 40Ar but does not define an age. The meteorite's thermal history was examined by constructing a generic model to compare cooling rates for objects of different sizes against fractional diffusion loss of Ar for different cooling times. Using gas diffusion parameter values measured for Dho 378, this model indicates that it is improbable that the major shock heating event occurred at the time that Dho 378 was ejected from Mars ~3 Ma ago. Rather, we suggest that the time of shock heating is probably given by its Ar-Ar age. For Dho 378 to cool sufficiently fast not to lose most of its 40Ar ~3 Ma ago would require it to have been ejected into space as an impossibly small object. Larger and more reasonable Mars ejection sizes indicate that Dho 378 should have lost most of its 40Ar. On the basis of plagioclase texture and Ar data, we suggest that a major impact event ~141 Ma ago melted Dho 378 plagioclase, degassed most of its 40Ar, and deposited it in crater ejecta to cool. A smaller and later impact ejected it into space ~3 Ma ago.

  2. A Sulfur Dioxide Climate Feedback on Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halevy, I.; Pierrehumbert, R. T.; Schrag, D. P.

    2007-12-01

    Reconciling evidence for persistent liquid water during the late Noachian with our understanding of the evolution of the Martian atmosphere and of solar luminosity remains a challenge, despite several decades of research. An optically-thicker atmosphere to supply the necessary radiative forcing would result in the existence of a carbon cycle similar to Earth's, where the release of CO2 from volcanoes is balanced by burial of calcium carbonate through silicate weathering reactions that remove protons and release alkalinity to surface waters. Existence of such a carbon cycle on Mars, even for tens of millions of years, would yield carbonate sediments in far greater abundance than has been observed, as well as residual clay minerals. The high concentration of sulfur in Martian soils and rocks indicates that Martian volcanic emissions contained abundant sulfur volatiles in addition to CO2. However, the atmospheric and aquatic chemistry of SO2 under the reducing conditions of early Mars, in contrast with the presently oxidizing and biologically-catalyzed Earth, has not been thoroughly examined. We argue that these conditions may have allowed atmospheric concentrations of SO2 high enough to augment a thick CO2-H2O greenhouse. Furthermore, early Martian climate may have been stabilized by a feedback mechanism involving SO2 and the solubility of sulfite minerals instead of CO2 and the solubility of carbonates. We present the results of a one-dimensional radiative-convective model, demonstrating the radiative importance of SO2 to the planetary energy budget. We also use a simple geochemical model to show that the presence of SO2 in the early Martian atmosphere would have dominated the aquatic chemistry on the planet's surface, and may provide an explanation for how water could have persisted for millions of years without forming massive carbonate sediments, yet allowing the formation of clay minerals.

  3. Thermal Tides in the Martian Middle Atmosphere as Seen by the Mars Climate Sounder

    PubMed Central

    Lee, C.; Lawson, W. G.; Richardson, M. I.; Heavens, N. G.; Kleinböhl, A.; Banfield, D.; McCleese, D. J.; Zurek, R.; Kass, D.; Schofield, J. T.; Leovy, C. B.; Taylor, F. W.; Toigo, A. D.

    2016-01-01

    The first systematic observations of the middle atmosphere of Mars (35km–80km) with the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) show dramatic patterns of diurnal thermal variation, evident in retrievals of temperature and water ice opacity. At the time of writing, the dataset of MCS limb retrievals is sufficient for spectral analysis within a limited range of latitudes and seasons. This analysis shows that these thermal variations are almost exclusively associated with a diurnal thermal tide. Using a Martian General Circulation Model to extend our analysis we show that the diurnal thermal tide dominates these patterns for all latitudes and all seasons. PMID:27630378

  4. The Martian climate: Energy balance models with CO2/H2O atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffert, M. I.

    1984-01-01

    Progress in the development of a multi-reservoir, time dependent energy balance climate model for Mars driven by prescribed insolation at the top of the atmosphere is reported. The first approximately half-year of the program was devoted to assembling and testing components of the full model. Specific accomplishments were made on a longwave radiation code, coupling seasonal solar input to a ground temperature simulation, and conceptualizing an approach to modeling the seasonal pressure waves that develop in the Martian atmosphere as a result of sublimation and condensation of CO2 in polar regions.

  5. Some consequences of a liquid water saturated regolith in early Martian history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, A. O.; Hargraves, R. B.

    1978-01-01

    Flooding of low-lying areas of the Martian regolith may have occurred early in the planet's history when a comparatively dense primitive atmosphere existed. If this model is valid, the following are some pedogenic and mineralogical consequences to be expected. Fluctuation of the water table in response to any seasonal or longer term causes would have resulted in precipitation of ferric oxyhydroxides with the development of a vesicular duricrust (or hardpan). Disruption of such a crust by scarp undercutting or frost heaving accompanied by wind deflation of fines could account for the boulders visible on Utopia Planitia in the vicinity of the second Viking lander site. Laboratory and field evidence on earth suggests that under weakly oxidizing conditions lepidocrocite (rather than goethite) would have preferentially formed in the Martian regolith from the weathering of ferrous silicates, accompanied by montmorillonite, nontronite, and cronstedtite. Maghemite may have formed as a low-temperature dehydrate of lepidocrocite or directly from ferrous precursors.

  6. Cryolitozone of Mars- as the climatic indicator of the Martian relict ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozorovich, Y.; Fournier-Sicre, A.; Linkin, V.; Kosov, A.; Skulachev, D.; Gorbatov, S.; Ivanov, A.; Heggy, E.

    2015-10-01

    The existance of a large Martian cryolitozone consisting of different cryogenic formations both on the surface- polar caps ice and in subsurface layer (and probably overcooled salt solutions in lower horizons) is conditioned mostly by the planet's geological history and atmosphere evolution. The very structure of the cryolitozone with its strongly pronounced zone character owing to drying up of 0 to 200 m thick surface layer in the equatorial latitudes ranging from + 30 to - 300 was formed in the course of long-periodic climatic variations and at present is distincly heterogeneous both depthward and in latitudinal and longtudinal dimensions. The dryed up region of Martian frozen rocks is estimated to have been developing during more than 3.5 bln years, so the upper layer boundary of permafrost can serve as a sort of indicator reflecting the course of Martian climatic evolution. Since the emount of surface moisture and its distribition character are conditioned by the cryolitozone scale structure its investigation is considered to be an important aspect of the forthcoming Martian projects. In order to create Martian climate and atmosphere circulation models the whole complex information on surface provided by optical and infrared ranges observations, regional albedo surface measurements, ground layer thermal flow investigations, etc. must be carefully studed. The investigation of permafrost formation global distribution and their appearance in h ≤1 m thick subsurface layer may be provided successfully by using active-passive microwave remote sensing techniques [1]. Along with optical and infrared observations the method of orbital panoramic microwave radiometry in centi- and decimeter ranges would contribute to the mapping of the cryolitozone global surface distribution. This proposal discusses methodical and experimental possibilities of this global observation of Martian cryolitozone as the additional way for investigation subsurface of Mars. The main idea of

  7. The effects of orbital and climatic variations on Martian surface heat flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellon, Michael T.; Jakosky, Bruce M.

    1993-01-01

    Large changes in the orbital elements of Mars on timescales of 10(exp 4) to 10(exp 6) years will cause widely varying climate, specifically surface temperatures, as a result of varying insolation. These surface temperature oscillations will produce subsurface thermal gradients which contribute to the total surface heat flux. We investigate the thermal behavior of the Martian regolith on orbital timescales and show that this climatological surface heat flux is spatially variable and contributes significantly to the total surface heat flux at many locations. We model the thermal behavior of the Martian regolith by calculating the mean annual surface temperatures for each epoch (spaced 1000 years apart to resolve orbital variations) for the past 200,000 years at a chosen location on the surface. These temperatures are used as a boundary condition for the deeper regolith and subsurface temperature oscillation are then computed. The surface climatological heat flux due to past climate changes can then be found from the temperature gradient between the surface and about 150 m depth (a fraction of the thermal skin depth on these timescales). This method provides a fairly accurate determination of the climatological heat flow component at a point; however, this method is computationally time consuming and cannot be applied to all points on the globe. To map the spatial variations in the surface heat flow we recognize that the subsurface temperature structure will be largely dominated by the most recent surface temperature oscillations. In fact, the climate component of the surface heat flow will be approximately proportional to the magnitude of the most recent surface temperature change. By calculating surface temperatures at all points globally for the present epoch and an appropriate past epoch, and combining these results with a series of more precise calculations described above, we estimate the global distribution of climatological surface heat flow.

  8. Clay Mineralogy and Crystallinity as a Climatic Indicator: Evidence for Both Cold and Temperate Conditions on Early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horgan, B.; Rutledge, A.; Rampe, E. B.

    2015-01-01

    Surface weathering on Earth is driven by precipitation (rain/snow melt). Here we summarize the influence of climate on minerals produced during surface weathering, based on terrestrial literature and our new laboratory analyses of weathering products from glacial analog sites. By comparison to minerals identified in likely surface environments on Mars, we evaluate the implications for early martian climate.

  9. Forsterite/melt partitioning of argon and iodine: Implications for atmosphere formation by outgassing of an early Martian magma ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musselwhite, Donald S.; Drake, Michael J.; Swindle, Timothy D.

    1992-01-01

    Argon and Xe in the Martian atmosphere are radiogenic relative to the Martian mantle if the SNC meteorites are from Mars. Decay of the short lived isotope I-129 to Xe-129 (t sub 1/2 = 16 m.y.) is the most plausible source of the radiogenic Xe. This short half life constrains any process responsible for the elevated Xe-129/Xe-132 ratio of the Martian atmosphere to occur very early in solar system history. Musselwhite et al. proposed that the differential solubility of I and Xe in liquid water played a key role in producing the radiogenic signature in the Martian atmosphere. Here we explore an alternative hypothesis involving purely igneous processes, and motivated in part by new experimental results on the partitioning of I and Xe between minerals and melt.

  10. Meteoritic Evidence for Multiple Early Enriched Reservoirs in the Martian Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armytage, R. M. G.; Debaille, V.; Brandon, A. D.; Agee, C. B.

    2018-05-01

    From isotopic systematics, the martian crustal reservoir represented by NWA 7034 cannot be the enriched end-member for the shergottites. This suggests multiple enriched reservoirs in the martian mantle formed by several differentiation events.

  11. Northwest Africa 7034: New Unique Water-rich Martian Meteorite from the Early Amazonian Epoch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agee, C. B.; Wilson, N.; Ziegler, K. G.; McCubbin, F. M.; Polyak, V.; Nunn, M.; Sharp, Z. D.; Asmerom, Y.; Thiemens, M. H.

    2012-12-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 is a porphyritic basaltic breccia that shares some geochemical characterstics with known martian meteorites (SNC), but also possesses some unique characteristics that would exclude it from the current SNC grouping. Instead, it has a major and minor element composition that is a remarkably good match with the geochemistry of the rocks and soil at Gusev Crater measured by the Spirit rover and the average martian crust composition from the Odyssey Orbiter gamma ray spectrometer. The mismatch of orbiter and rover data with SNC meteorites has been a perplexing enigma, however with the discovery of NWA 7034 we may now have found a "missing link" between martian meteorites and space craft data. A five-point isochon gives an Rb-Sr age for NWA 7034 of 2.089±0.081 Ga (2σ) (MSWD=6.6) and an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.71359±54. The Sm-Nd data for the same samples show more scatter, with an isochron of 2.19±1.4 Ga (2σ). NWA 7034 is REE enriched crustal rock (La x58 CI) and strongly light REE over heavy REE enriched (La/Yb)N=2.3, with negative-Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu*=0.67). The whole rock has 143Nd/144Nd=0.511756 and 147Sm/144Nd=0.1664, giving a calculated initial (source value) 143Nd/144Nd=0.509467 (initial ɛNd=-9.1) which requires that it be derived from an enriched martian reservoir, with an inferred time-integrated 147Sm/144Nd=0.1689, assuming separation from a chondrite-like martian mantle 4.5 Ga. An age of ~2.1 Ga for NWA 7034 would make it the first meteorite sample from the early Amazonian or late Hesperian epoch in Mars geologic history. Oxygen isotope analyses of NWA 7034 were performed by laser fluorination at UNM on acid-washed bulk sample and at UCSD on vacuum pre-heated (1000°C) bulk sample and give mean values Δ17O=0.57±0.05‰ n=10 and Δ17O=0.50±0.03‰ n=2, respectively. These interlab values are in good agreement, but are significantly higher than literature values for SNC meteorites (Δ17O range 0.15-0.45‰). There may be

  12. An early Cambrian greenhouse climate.

    PubMed

    Hearing, Thomas W; Harvey, Thomas H P; Williams, Mark; Leng, Melanie J; Lamb, Angela L; Wilby, Philip R; Gabbott, Sarah E; Pohl, Alexandre; Donnadieu, Yannick

    2018-05-01

    The oceans of the early Cambrian (~541 to 509 million years ago) were the setting for a marked diversification of animal life. However, sea temperatures-a key component of the early Cambrian marine environment-remain unconstrained, in part because of a substantial time gap in the stable oxygen isotope (δ 18 O) record before the evolution of euconodonts. We show that previously overlooked sources of fossil biogenic phosphate have the potential to fill this gap. Pristine phosphatic microfossils from the Comley Limestones, UK, yield a robust δ 18 O signature, suggesting sea surface temperatures of 20° to 25°C at high southern paleolatitudes (~65°S to 70°S) between ~514 and 509 million years ago. These sea temperatures are consistent with the distribution of coeval evaporite and calcrete deposits, peak continental weathering rates, and also our climate model simulations for this interval. Our results support an early Cambrian greenhouse climate comparable to those of the late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic, offering a framework for exploring the interplay between biotic and environmental controls on Cambrian animal diversification.

  13. Changes in the Martian Circulation and Climate in Response to Orbital Parameter Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, M. I.; Wilson, R. J.

    2000-10-01

    Martian orbital parameters are known to vary on time scales greater than 105 years. Such variations, especially in obliquity, have important consequences for the spatial distribution of solar heating of the surface and atmosphere, and hence are expected to affect some form of quasi-periodic climate change. The impact of changing obliquity on surface temperatures, and hence on volatile stability have been widely addressed. However, the changing insolation patterns should also modify the circulation of the atmosphere. As the nature and rate of volatile transport, and the vigour of dust lifting and transport from the surface are critical aspects of the climate, the circulation response to orbital variations needs to be assessed. In this presentation, we show results from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) in which the orbit of Mars has been varied: obliquities between 0 and 60, perihelion passage between Ls=70 and 250, and eccentricities between 0 and 0.12. In general, the total atmosphere and cap CO2 budget is held constant (i.e. we assume no exchange with the regolith), and that the rate of dust supply into the lowest model level remains constant. The impact of these assumptions are examined. Many of the anticipated changes in circulation are found to occur as obliquity is increased from 0: The Hadley cell strength and that of the winter polar jet are found to increase; The magnitude of the seasonal CO2 cycle increases, resulting in extensive seasonal ice caps; Surface winds strengthen resulting in greater surface stresses and likely stronger dust lifting; The cycle of water becomes more vigourous, with large column vapour amounts in the polar regions corresponding to higher cap surface temperatures. However, some results contrast with expectations: Although the surface wind strengths change with orbital parameters, the mean directions tend not to, with implications for aeolian geological features; Even at low

  14. The effect of giant impactors on the magnetic field energy of an early Martian dynamo.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drummond, McGregor; Thieulot, Cedric; Monteux, Julien

    2016-04-01

    Through the cratering record embedded on its surface, Mars is one of the key planets required for investigating the formation and impact frequency in the early history of our Solar System. This record also holds clues to the events that may have caused the observed hemispheric dichotomy and cessation of the magnetic field that was present within the first 500 Myr of the planets' formation. We investigate the influence of giant impacts on the early Martian dynamo using the numerical dynamo modelling code PARODY-JA [1]. We hypothesize that the input heat from a giant impact will decrease the total heat flux at the CMB through mantle heating which leads to a decrease in the Rayleigh number of the core. As boundary conditions for the heat flux anomaly size, we use numerical results of a 750 km diameter impactor from the Monteux and Arkani-Hamed, 2014 [2] study which investigated impact heating and core merging of giant impacts in early Mars. We also determine the decrease in Rayleigh number from the change in total heat flux at the CMB using these results, where the decrease after impact is due to shock heating at the CMB. We calculate the time-averaged total magnetic field energy for an initial homogeneous heat flux model using a range of Rayleigh numbers (5 x 103 - 1 x 10^5). The Rayleigh number is then decreased for three new models - homogeneous, north pole impact and equatorial impact - and the time-averaged energy again determined. We find that the energy decreases more in our impact models, compared with the homogeneous, along with a variation in energy between the north pole and equatorial impact models. We conclude that giant impacts in Mars' early history would have decreased the total magnetic energy of the field and the decrease in energy is also dependent on the location of the impact. The magnetic field could have been disrupted beyond recovery from a planetesimal-sized collision; such as the suggested Borealis basin forming impact, or through the

  15. Preliminary Martian Atmospheric Water Vapour Column Abundances with Mars Climate Sounder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lolachi, Ramin; Irwin, P. G. J.; Teanby, N.; Calcutt, S.; Howett, C. J. A.; Bowles, N. E.; Taylor, F. W.; Schofield, J. T.; Kleinboehl, A.; McCleese, D. J.

    2007-12-01

    Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) is an infra-red radiometer on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched in August 2005 and now orbiting Mars in a near circular polar orbit. MCS has nine spectral channels in the range 0.3-50 µm. Goals of MCS include global characterization of atmospheric temperature, dust and water profiles observing temporal and spatial variation. Using Oxford University's multivariate retrieval algorithm, NEMESIS, we present preliminary determinations of the water vapour column abundance in the Martian atmosphere during the period September-October 2006 (Ls range 111-129°, i.e. northern hemisphere summer). A combination of spectral channels inside and outside the water vapour rotation band (at 50 µm) are used to retrieve the column abundances mainly using nadir observations (as aerosol opacity is less important relative to water vapour opacity in nadir viewing geometry). We then compare these column abundances to earlier results from the Viking Orbiter Mars Atmospheric Water Detectors (MAWD) and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on Mars Global Surveyor.

  16. Some Speculations Concerning The Abitibi Greenstone Belt As A Possible Analog To The Early Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, M.; Allwood, A.; Anderson, R. B.; Atkinson, B.; Beaty, D.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Hand, K. P.; Halevy, I.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Knoll, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Milliken, R.; Stolper, D. A.; Stolper, E. M.; Tosca, N. J.; Agouron Mars Simulation Field Team

    2011-12-01

    The Noachian crust of Mars comprises basaltic and, potentially, komatiitic lavas derived from a hot mantle slightly more reducing and sulfur-rich than that of the Earth. Ultramafic volcanic sequences of the ~2.7Ga Tisdale Group of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Ontario, provide a potential analog to these early martian lavas. The Abitibi rocks are a possible source of quartz veins carrying, in places, pyrite, carbonate and gold. These were hydrothermally introduced into volcanic and sedimentary rocks during greenschist metamorphism. Kilometer-scale talc-magnesite zones, resulting from the carbonation of serpentinized ultramafics, may have been the source and seawater, with some magmatic addition, was probably responsible for the pervasive alteration, although the chemical nature of hydrothermal fluids circulating in such piles depends upon the temperature of wall-rock interactions and is largely independent of fluid origin. Any sulfides and gold in unaltered ultramafic putative source rocks may have been lost to the invasive convective fluids. Given high heat flow and the presence of a hydrosphere, hydrothermal convection cells were probably the main mechanism of heat transfer through the crust on both planets. Exploration of the Abitibi belt provides a template for possible martian exploration strategies. Orbital remote sensing indicates that some ultramafic rocks on Mars have also been serpentinized and isolated areas of magnesite have been recently discovered, overlying altered mafic crust, with characteristic ridges at scales of a few hundred meters. While cogent arguments have been made favoring sedimentary exhalative accumulations of hydrothermal silica of the kind that are known to harbor bacteria on our own planet, no in situ siliceous sinters or even quartz veins have been identified with certainty on Mars. Here, we report on the mineralogic and visible to infrared spectral characteristics of mafic and ultramafic lithologies at Abitibi for comparison to

  17. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; Harri, A.-M.; Kemppinen, O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Smith, M. D.; de la Torre-Juárez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to today's Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars' present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions. Understanding the modern Martian climate is important to determine if Mars could have the conditions to support life and to prepare for future human exploration.

  18. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-Situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to todays Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions.

  19. Origin of the Martian global dichotomy by crustal thinning in the late Noachian or early Hesperian

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgill, George E.; Dimitriou, Andrew M.

    1990-01-01

    The marked dichotomy in topography, surface age, and crustal thickness between the northern lowland (NL) and southern upland of Mars has been explained as due to an initially inhomogeneous crust, a single megaimpact event, several overlapping large basin impacts, and first-order convective overtum of the Martian mantle. All of these hypotheses propose that the dichotomy was formed before the end of the primordial heavy bombardment. Geological data indicate episodes of fracturing and faulting in the late Noachian and the early Hesperian, within the NL and along the lowland/highland boundary. Igneous activity also peaked in the late Noachian and early Hesperian. These data suggest a tectonic event near the Noachian/Hesperian boundary characterized by enhanced heat loss and extensive fracturing, including formation of the faults that define much of the highland/lowland boundary. It is argued that the major result of this tectonic event was formation of the dichotomy by thinning of the crust above a large convection cell or plume.

  20. General Circulation Model Simulations of the Annual Cycle of Martian Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R.; Richardson, M.; Rodin, A.

    Observations of the martian atmosphere have revealed a strong annual modulation of global mean atmospheric temperature that has been attributed to the pronounced seasonal asymmetry in solar radiation and the highly variable distribution of aerosol. These observations indicate little interannual variability during the relatively cool aphelion season and considerable variability in the perihelion season that is associated with the episodic occurrence of regional and major dust storms. The atmospheric circulation responds to the evolving spatial distribution of aerosol-induced heating and, in turn, plays a major role in determining the sources, sinks, and transport of radiatively active aerosol. We will present simulations employing the GFDL Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) that show that aspects of the seasonally evolving climate may be simulated in a self-consistent manner using simple dust source parameterizations that represent the effects of lifting associated with local dust storms, dust devil activity, and other processes. Aerosol transport is accomplished, in large part, by elements of the large-scale circulation such as the Hadley circulation, baroclinic storms, tides, etc. A seasonal cycle of atmospheric opacity and temperature results from the variation in the strength and distribution of dust sources as well as from seasonal variations in the efficiency of atmospheric transport associated with changes in the circulation between solstice and equinox, and between perihelion and aphelion. We examine the efficiency of atmospheric transport of dust lifted along the perimeter of the polar caps to gauge the influence of these storms on the global circulation. We also consider the influence of water, as the formation of water ice clouds on dust nuclei may also affect the vertical distribution of dust and strongly influence the aerosol radiative properties.

  1. Triggering a Wet Climate on Mars: The Role of Outflow Channels in Martian Water Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santiago, D.; Asphaug, E. I.; Colaprete, A.

    2011-12-01

    The triggering of a robust water cycle on Mars has been hypothesized to be caused by gigantic flooding events evidenced by outflow channels. Here we use the Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) to study how these presumably abrupt eruptions of water (Carr,1996) affected the climate of Mars. We model where the water ultimately went as part of a transient hydrologic cycle. Chryse Planitia, east of Tharsis, has evidence for multiple water outflow channels. One of the largest channels is Ares Valles, which was carved by floods with estimated water volumes of order 10^5 km^2 (Andrews-Hanna, 2007 & Carr, 1996). Outflow discharge rate estimates range from 10^6 to 10^7 m^3/seconds or greater (Andrews-Hanna & Phillips, 2007, Harrison & Grimm, 2008). Studies suggest that outflow channels formed with smaller, successive floods instead of a single large flood (Wilson, et al.,2004). Warner et al. (2009) suggest up to six outflow events for the formation of Ares Valles, while estimates for another large outflow, Kasei Valles, might have been flooded by over two thousand floods with a total water volume of 5.5 x 10^5 km^3 (Harrison & Grimm, 2008). By adding water to the surface of Mars at the given outflow rate, as an expanding one-layer lake, we are able to study quantitatively how these outflow events influenced Mars climate, particularly the hydrologic cycle. In particular: Could sudden introductions of large amounts of water on the Martian surface lead to a new equilibrated water cycle? Can we tie certain fluvial surface features to transient or sustained water cycles? What are the roles of water vapor and water ice clouds to sudden changes in the water cycle on Mars? How are radiative feedbacks involved with this? What is the ultimate fate of the outflow water? This work uses the NASA Ames MGCM version 2.1 and other schemes that are part of the NASA Ames MGCM suite of tools. Various versions of the MGCM developed at Ames have been used extensively to examine dust and

  2. Second Conference on Early Mars: Geologic Hydrologic, and Climatic Evolution and the Implications for Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Some of the topics addressed by the conference paper abstracts included in this document include: martian terrain, terrestrial biological activity and mineral deposits with implications for life on Mars, the martian crust and mantle, weathering and erosion on Mars, evidence for ancient martian environmental and climatic conditions, with implications for the existence of surface and ground water on Mars and the possibility for life, martian valleys, and evidence for water and lava flow on the surface of Mars.

  3. Martian Atmosphere Profiles

    2010-08-26

    The Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter maps the vertical distribution of temperatures, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere as the orbiter flies a near-polar orbit.

  4. Workshop on Early Mars: How Warm and How Wet?, part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. (Editor); Kasting, J. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This volume contains papers that have been accepted for presentation at the Workshop on Early Mars: How Warm and How Wet?, 26-28 Jul. 1993, in Breckenridge, CO. The following topics are covered: the Martian water cycle; Martian paleoclimatology; CO2/CH4 atmosphere on early Mars; Noachian hydrology; early Martian environment; Martian weathering; nitrogen isotope ratios; CO2 evolution on Mars; and climate change.

  5. Comparing wind directions inferred from Martian dust devil tracks analysis with those predicted by the Mars Climate Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statella, T.; Pina, P.; Silva, E. A.; Nervis Frigeri, Ary Vinicius; Neto, Frederico Gallon

    2016-10-01

    We have calculated the prevailing dust devil tracks direction as a means of verifying the Mars Climate Database (MCD) predicted wind directions accuracy. For that purpose we have applied an automatic method based on morphological openings for inferring the prevailing tracks direction in a dataset comprising 200 Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Narrow Angle (NA) and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the Martian surface, depicting regions in the Aeolis, Eridania, Noachis, Argyre and Hellas quadrangles. The prevailing local wind directions were calculated from the MCD predicted speeds for the WE and SN wind components. The results showed that the MCD may not be able to predict accurately the locally dominant wind direction near the surface. In adittion, we confirm that the surface wind stress alone cannot produce dust lifting in the studied sites, since it never exceeds the threshold value of 0.0225 Nm-2 in the MCD.

  6. The hydrologic response of Mars to the onset of a colder climate and to the thermal evolution of its early crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, S. M.

    1993-01-01

    Morphologic similarities between the Martian valley networks and terrestrial runoff channel have been cited as evidence that the early Martian climate was originally more Earth-like, with temperatures and pressures high enough to permit the precipitation of H2O as snow or rain. Although unambiguous evidence that Mars once possessed a warmer, wetter climate is lacking, a study of the transition from such conditions to the present climate can benefit our understanding of both the early development of the cryosphere and the various ways in which the current subsurface hydrology of Mars is likely to differ from that of the Earth. Viewed from this perspective, the early hydrologic evolution of Mars is essentially identical to considering the hydrologic response of the Earth to the onset of a global subfreezing climate.

  7. Early views of the martian surface from the Mars Orbiter Camera of Mars Global Surveyor.

    PubMed

    Malin, M C; Carr, M H; Danielson, G E; Davies, M E; Hartmann, W K; Ingersoll, A P; James, P B; Masursky, H; McEwen, A S; Soderblom, L A; Thomas, P; Veverka, J; Caplinger, M A; Ravine, M A; Soulanille, T A; Warren, J L

    1998-03-13

    High-resolution images of the martian surface at scales of a few meters show ubiquitous erosional and depositional eolian landforms. Dunes, sandsheets, and drifts are prevalent and exhibit a range of morphology, composition (inferred from albedo), and age (as seen in occurrences of different dune orientations at the same location). Steep walls of topographic depressions such as canyons, valleys, and impact craters show the martian crust to be stratified at scales of a few tens of meters. The south polar layered terrain and superposed permanent ice cap display diverse surface textures that may reflect the complex interplay of volatile and non-volatile components. Low resolution regional views of the planet provide synoptic observations of polar cap retreat, condensate clouds, and the lifecycle of local and regional dust storms.

  8. Ar-Ar Dating of Martian Meteorite, Dhofar 378: An Early Shock Event?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, J.; Bogard, D. D.

    2006-01-01

    Martian meteorite, Dhofar 378 (Dho378) is a basaltic shergottite from Oman, weighing 15 g, and possessing a black fusion crust. Chemical similarities between Dho378 and the Los Angeles 001 shergottite suggests that they might have derived from the same Mars locale. The plagioclase in other shergottites has been converted to maskelenite by shock, but Dho378 apparently experienced even more intense shock heating, estimated at 55-75 GPa. Dho378 feldspar (approximately 43 modal %) melted, partially flowed and vesiculated, and then partially recrystallized. Areas of feldspathic glass are appreciably enriched in K, whereas individual plagioclases show a range in the Or/An ratio of approximately 0.18-0.017. Radiometric dating of martian shergottites indicate variable formation times of 160-475 Myr, whereas cosmic ray exposure (CRE) ages of shergottites indicate most were ejected from Mars within the past few Myr. Most determined Ar-39-Ar-40 ages of shergottites appear older than other radiometric ages because of the presence of large amounts of martian atmosphere or interior Ar-40. Among all types of meteorites and returned lunar rocks, the impact event that initiated the CRE age very rarely reset the Ar-Ar age. This is because a minimum time and temperature is required to facilitate Ar diffusion loss. It is generally assumed that the shock-texture characteristics in martian meteorites were produced by the impact events that ejected the rocks from Mars, although the time of these shock events (as opposed to CRE ages) are not directly dated. Here we report Ar-39-Ar-40 dating of Dho378 plagioclase. We suggest that the determined age dates the intense shock heating event this meteorite experienced, but that it was not the impact that initiated the CRE age.

  9. The Martian climate and energy balance models with CO2/H2O atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffert, M. I.

    1986-01-01

    The analysis begins with a seasonal energy balance model (EBM) for Mars. This is used to compute surface temperature versus x = sin(latitude) and time over the seasonal cycle. The core model also computes the evolving boundaries of the CO2 icecaps, net sublimational/condensation rates, and the resulting seasonal pressure wave. Model results are compared with surface temperature and pressure history data at Viking lander sites, indicating fairly good agreement when meridional heat transport is represented by a thermal diffusion coefficient D approx. 0.015 W/sq. m/K. Condensational wind distributions are also computed. An analytic model of Martian wind circulation is then proposed, as an extension of the EMB, which incorporates vertical wind profiles containing an x-dependent function evaluated by substitution in the equation defining the diffusion coefficient. This leads to a parameterization of D(x) and of the meridional circulation which recovers the high surface winds predicted by dynamic Mars atmosphere models (approx. 10 m/sec). Peak diffusion coefficients, D approx. 0.6 w/sq m/K, are found over strong Hadley zones - some 40 times larger than those of high-latitude baroclinic eddies. When the wind parameterization is used to find streamline patterns over Martian seasons, the resulting picture shows overturning hemispheric Hadley cells crossing the equator during solstices, and attaining peak intensities during the south summer dust storm season, while condensational winds are most important near the polar caps.

  10. The mineralogic evolution of the Martian surface through time: Implications from chemical reaction path modeling studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ridley, W. I.; Debraal, J. D.; Reed, M. H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical reaction path calculations were used to model the minerals that might have formed at or near the Martian surface as a result of volcano or meteorite impact driven hydrothermal systems; weathering at the Martian surface during an early warm, wet climate; and near-zero or sub-zero C brine-regolith reactions in the current cold climate. Although the chemical reaction path calculations carried out do not define the exact mineralogical evolution of the Martian surface over time, they do place valuable geochemical constraints on the types of minerals that formed from an aqueous phase under various surficial and geochemically complex conditions.

  11. Hesperian-Amazonian Transition Mid-Latitude Valleys: Markers of a Late Martian Climate Optima?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Jeffrey; Howard, A. D.; Parsons, Reid A.; Hobley, D. E.

    2012-01-01

    Recently the inventory of fluvial features that have been dated to the late Hesperian to early Amazonian epoch has increased dramatically, including a reassessment of the ages of the large alluvial fans and deltas (e.g., Eberswalde) to this time period. Mid-latitude Valleys (MLVs) are distinct from the older, more integrated Noachian-Hesperian Valley Networks which are deeply dissected, are generally of much larger spatial extent, and are more degraded. Although some MLVs involve rejuvenation of older Valley Networks, many MLVs are carved into smooth or rolling slopes and intercrater terrain. The MLVs range from a few meters to < 300 m in width, with nearly parallel valley walls and planforms that are locally sinuous. Although the MLVs in Newton and Gorgonum basins extend from the basin rims up to 75 km into the basin interior, most MLVs are shorter and often discontinuous. The occurrence of widespread MLVs suggest the possibility of their formation during one or perhaps more regional to global climatic episodes, possibly due to melting of seasonal to long-term accumulations of snow and ice. Temperatures warm enough to cause extensive melting may have occurred during optimal orbital and obliquity configurations, perhaps in conjunction with intensive volcanism releasing moisture and greenhouse gasses, or as a result of a brief episode of warming from a large impact. The concentration of MLVs to the northern and western basin slopes of Newton and Gorgonum basins suggests a possible aspect control to ice accumulation or melting. MLV activity occurred about at the same time as formation of the major outflow channels. A possible scenario is that delivery of water to the northern lowlands provided, through evaporation and sublimation, water that temporarily accumulated in the mid-southern latitudes as widespread ice deposits whose partial melting formed the MLVs and small, dominantly ice-covered lakes.

  12. Investigations of Martian history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1976-01-01

    Geologic and stratigraphic analyses of Martian channels were accomplished using Mariner frames of high resolution. Crater counts were made to determine which forms had the least relative age. Results indicate that major channel and chaotic systems were relatively young, and that Mars experienced periods of enhanced erosive activity during a period of early dense atmospheric activity with rain. The problem of absolute age determination is discussed and geomorphological studies of selected Local Martian Regions are presented.

  13. In Situ Atmospheric Pressure Measurements in the Martian Southern Polar Region: Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor Meteorology Package on the Mars Polar Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Siili, T.; Crisp, D.

    1998-01-01

    Pressure observations are crucial for the success of the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Meteorology (MET) package onboard the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), due for launch early next year. The spacecraft is expected to land in December 1999 (L(sub s) = 256 degrees) at a high southern latitude (74 degrees - 78 degrees S). The nominal period of operation is 90 sols but may last up to 210 sols. The MVACS/MET experiment will provide the first in situ observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind, and humidity in the southern hemisphere of Mars and in the polar regions. The martian atmosphere goes through a large-scale atmospheric pressure cycle due to the annual condensation/sublimation of the atmospheric CO2. Pressure also exhibits short period variations associated with dust storms, tides, and other atmospheric events. A series of pressure measurements can hence provide us with information on the large-scale state and dynamics of the atmosphere, including the CO2 and dust cycles as well as local weather phenomena. The measurements can also shed light on the shorter time scale phenomena (e.g., passage of dust devils) and hence be important in contributing to our understanding of mixing and transport of heat, dust, and water vapor.

  14. Early warning of climate tipping points

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenton, Timothy M.

    2011-07-01

    A climate 'tipping point' occurs when a small change in forcing triggers a strongly nonlinear response in the internal dynamics of part of the climate system, qualitatively changing its future state. Human-induced climate change could push several large-scale 'tipping elements' past a tipping point. Candidates include irreversible melt of the Greenland ice sheet, dieback of the Amazon rainforest and shift of the West African monsoon. Recent assessments give an increased probability of future tipping events, and the corresponding impacts are estimated to be large, making them significant risks. Recent work shows that early warning of an approaching climate tipping point is possible in principle, and could have considerable value in reducing the risk that they pose.

  15. Climatic and Chemical Effects of Punctuated Volcanism on Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halevy, I.; Head, J. W.

    2012-12-01

    The geological record of Mars shows a pronounced peak in volcanic activity during the transition between the late Noachian and early Hesperian epochs. This peak appears coeval with profound climatic and chemical changes in the surface environment, including the formation of the majority of known valley networks, open-basin lakes and the deposition of massive sulfate-bearing deposits of aqueous origin. It has been suggested that volcanism maintained a warmer climate and an active hydrological cycle through the radiative effect of volcanically emitted greenhouse gases, such as CO2, H2O and SO2. However, previous model attempts at explaining overland flow with CO2-H2O greenhouse atmospheres required several bars of CO2, even including the warming effect of infrared scattering by CO2 ice clouds. This amount of CO2 is in apparent disagreement with recent estimates of volcanic outgassing on Mars. The net climatic effect of volcanic SO2 emissions into the atmosphere of early Mars has been the topic of recent debate, because it is unclear whether strong greenhouse warming by SO2 or strong cooling by scattering sulfate aerosols should dominate. To address this problem, we considered two previously neglected phenomena: i) the punctuated, rather than continuous, nature of volcanic eruptions, and ii) the role of preexisting dust grains and volcanic ash as condensation nuclei for sulfuric acid. For this purpose we developed a coupled model of volcanic eruption and atmospheric response, including detailed aerosol microphysics. We find that while SO2 concentrations increase rapidly and dramatically with the initiation of a strong volcanic eruption, the dynamics of sulfate aerosol formation in the martian atmosphere results in a delay of aerosol-related cooling by several months to years. Moreover, the existence of dust in the atmosphere prior to the volcanic eruption, as well as the emission and global distribution of fine volcanic ash particles, results in the formation of H2SO4

  16. New Martian climate constraints from radar reflectivity within the north polar layered deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lalich, D. E.; Holt, J. W.

    2017-01-01

    The north polar layered deposits (NPLD) of Mars represent a global climate record reaching back millions of years, potentially recorded in visible layers and radar reflectors. However, little is known of the specific link between those layers, reflectors, and the global climate. To test the hypothesis that reflectors are caused by thick and indurated layers known as "marker beds," the reflectivity of three reflectors was measured, mapped, and compared to a reflectivity model. The measured reflectivities match the model and show a strong sensitivity to layer thickness, implying that radar reflectivity may be used as a proxy for short-term accumulation patterns and that regional climate plays a strong role in layer thickness variations. Comparisons to an orbitally forced NPLD accumulation model show a strong correlation with predicted marker bed formation, but dust content is higher than expected, implying a stronger role for dust in Mars polar climate than previously thought.

  17. Carbon Dioxide Clouds at High Altitude in the Tropics and in an Early Dense Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colaprete, Anthony; Toon, Owen B.

    2001-01-01

    We use a time dependent, microphysical cloud model to study the formation of carbon dioxide clouds in the Martian atmosphere. Laboratory studies by Glandor et al. show that high critical supersaturations are required for cloud particle nucleation and that surface kinetic growth is not limited. These conditions, which are similar to those for cirrus clouds on Earth, lead to the formation of carbon dioxide ice particles with radii greater than 500 micrometers and concentrations of less than 0.1 cm(exp -3) for typical atmospheric conditions. Within the current Martian atmosphere, CO2 cloud formation is possible at the poles during winter and at high altitudes in the tropics during periods of increased atmospheric dust loading. In both cases, temperature perturbations of several degrees below the CO2 saturation temperature are required to nucleate new cloud particles suggesting that dynamical processes are the most common initiators of carbon dioxide clouds rather than diabatic cooling. The microphysical cloud model, coupled to a two-stream radiative transfer model, is used to reexamine the impact of CO2 clouds on the surface temperature within a dense CO2 atmosphere. The formation of carbon dioxide clouds leads to a warmer surface than what would be expected for clear sky conditions. The amount of warming is sensitive to the presence of dust and water vapor in the atmosphere, both of which act to dampen cloud effects. The radiative warming associated with cloud formation, as well as latent heating, work to dissipate the clouds when present. Thus, clouds never last for periods much longer than several days, limiting their overall effectiveness for warming the surface. The time average cloud optical depth is approximately unity leading to a 5-10 K warming, depending on the surface pressure. However, the surface temperature does not rise about the freezing point of liquid water even for pressures as high as 5 bars, at a solar luminosity of 75% the current value.

  18. Re-analysis of martian gully orientation and slope for comparison with climate model predictions of freeze-thaw and dry-ice sublimation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, Susan; Harrison, Tanya; Lewis, Stephen; Balme, Matthew; Soare, Richard; Britton, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    Gullies on Mars are kilometre-scale landforms, comprising an erosional alcove and channel and a terminal debris apron/fan. These landforms are similar to features on Earth carved by the flow of liquid water, or by the action of water rich debris flows. The majority gullies on Mars are believed to be (at most) ˜5 Ma old and both erosion and deposition within these features have been observed within the last 10 years of orbital observations. At present liquid water is not thermodynamically stable at the martian surface and many of the recent changes in surface morphology occur during winter and early spring, when temperatures are too low for even metastable liquid water to be produced. Therefore, researchers have proposed an alternative mechanism for gully-formation - the sublimation of solid CO2, which is deposited on the maritan surface every winter. Previous studies have revealed that gully-density and orientation varies systematically with latitude - a fact that led to the development of many climate-based hypotheses for their formation. Here, we use the global database of martian gullies and extract the orientation and slope-angle of gully-hosting-slopes. We find that gully-orientation is more even strongly controlled by latitude than previous studies, where more sparse data were used. From ˜30-40° latitude in both hemispheres, gullies are almost never found on equator-facing slopes, and polewards of 40° gullies have a tendency to be located on equator-facing slopes. We use a 1D version of the LMD Mars climate model physics to simulate surface temperature on slopes up to 35° , oriented to face north or south, for all latitudes (5° spacing), and for orbital obliquities of 5-55° . We otherwise use current orbital conditions (ellipticity, date of perihelion) and we use a constant thermal inertia of the substrate of 1000 Jm-2K-1s-1/2and a bare soil albedo of 0.2. We extracted two pieces of information from a complete annual cycle: (i) The number of hours

  19. Scanning Martian Atmospheric Temperatures Graphic

    2013-06-12

    This graphic depicts the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter measuring the temperature of a cross section of the Martian atmosphere as the orbiter passes above the south polar region.

  20. Fluid inclusions in Martian samples: Clues to early crustal development and the hydrosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Philip E.

    1988-01-01

    Major questions about Mars that could be illuminated by examining fluid inclusions in Martian samples include: (1) the nature, extent and timing of development (and decline) of the hydrosphere that existed on the planet; and (2) the evolution of the crust. Fluid inclusion analyses of appropriate samples could provide critical data to use in comparison with data derived from analogous terrestrial studies. For this study, sample handling and return restrictions are unlikely to be as restrictive as the needs of other investigators. The main constraint is that the samples not be subjected to excessively high temperatures. An aqueous fluid inclusion trapped at elevated pressure and temperature will commonly consist of liquid water and water vapor at room temperature. Heating (such as is done in the laboratory to fix P-V-T data for the inclusion) results in moderate pressure increases up to the liquid-vapor homogenization temperature followed by a sharp increase in pressure with continued heating because the inclusion is effectively a fixed volume system. This increased pressure can rupture the inclusion; precise limits are dependent on size, shape, and composition as well as the host material.

  1. Melting in Martian Snowbanks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Sutter, B.

    2005-01-01

    Precipitation as snow is an emerging paradigm for understanding water flow on Mars, which gracefully resolves many outstanding uncertainties in climatic and geomorphic interpretation. Snowfall does not require a powerful global greenhouse to effect global precipitation. It has long been assumed that global average temperatures greater than 273K are required to sustain liquid water at the surface via rainfall and runoff. Unfortunately, the best greenhouse models to date predict global mean surface temperatures early in Mars' history that differ little from today's, unless exceptional conditions are invoked. Snowfall however, can occur at temperatures less than 273K; all that is required is saturation of the atmosphere. At global temperatures lower than 273K, H2O would have been injected into the atmosphere by impacts and volcanic eruptions during the Noachian, and by obliquity-driven climate oscillations more recently. Snow cover can accumulate for a considerable period, and be available for melting during local spring and summer, unless sublimation rates are sufficient to remove the entire snowpack. We decided to explore the physics that controls the melting of snow in the high-latitude regions of Mars to understand the frequency and drainage of snowmelt in the high martian latitudes.

  2. Unraveling the martian water cycle with high-resolution global climate simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pottier, Alizée; Forget, François; Montmessin, Franck; Navarro, Thomas; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn; Szantai, André; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste

    2017-07-01

    Global climate modeling of the Mars water cycle is usually performed at relatively coarse resolution (200 - 300km), which may not be sufficient to properly represent the impact of waves, fronts, topography effects on the detailed structure of clouds and surface ice deposits. Here, we present new numerical simulations of the annual water cycle performed at a resolution of 1° × 1° (∼ 60 km in latitude). The model includes the radiative effects of clouds, whose influence on the thermal structure and atmospheric dynamics is significant, thus we also examine simulations with inactive clouds to distinguish the direct impact of resolution on circulation and winds from the indirect impact of resolution via water ice clouds. To first order, we find that the high resolution does not dramatically change the behavior of the system, and that simulations performed at ∼ 200 km resolution capture well the behavior of the simulated water cycle and Mars climate. Nevertheless, a detailed comparison between high and low resolution simulations, with reference to observations, reveal several significant changes that impact our understanding of the water cycle active today on Mars. The key northern cap edge dynamics are affected by an increase in baroclinic wave strength, with a complication of northern summer dynamics. South polar frost deposition is modified, with a westward longitudinal shift, since southern dynamics are also influenced. Baroclinic wave mode transitions are observed. New transient phenomena appear, like spiral and streak clouds, already documented in the observations. Atmospheric circulation cells in the polar region exhibit a large variability and are fine structured, with slope winds. Most modeled phenomena affected by high resolution give a picture of a more turbulent planet, inducing further variability. This is challenging for long-period climate studies.

  3. Outflow Channels Influencing Martian Climate: Global Circulation Model Simulations with Emplaced Water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santiago, D. L.; Colaprete, A.; Haberle, R. M.; Sloan, L. C.; Asphaug, E. I.

    2005-01-01

    The existence of surface water on Mars in past geologic epochs is inferred on the basis of geomorphologic interpretation of spaceflight images, and is supported by the recent Mars Odyssey identification of ice-rich soils [1]. The Mars Exploration Rovers have provided further chemical evidence for past surface hydrologic activity [2]. One issue is whether this water-rich climate ever existed in a steady state, or whether it was triggered by catastrophic events such as large impacts [3], and/ or catastrophic outburst floods, the topic of consideration here.

  4. Exploring for Martian Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    During the next decade, robotic field science will play an essential role in advancing our understanding of Martian history. Specifically, capable rovers are needed to survey a broad range of Martian rock types for in situ chemistry and mineralogy as a basis for interpreting globally-distributed data obtained from orbit. The relationship between orbital and landed science will be fundamental in selecting a landing site for future missions aimed at probing the ancient rock record for evidence of: (1) past life or prebiotic chemistry; (2) the climate and volatile history of Mars; and (3) candidate materials for in situ resource utilization.

  5. Climate science and famine early warning.

    PubMed

    Verdin, James; Funk, Chris; Senay, Gabriel; Choularton, Richard

    2005-11-29

    Food security assessment in sub-Saharan Africa requires simultaneous consideration of multiple socio-economic and environmental variables. Early identification of populations at risk enables timely and appropriate action. Since large and widely dispersed populations depend on rainfed agriculture and pastoralism, climate monitoring and forecasting are important inputs to food security analysis. Satellite rainfall estimates (RFE) fill in gaps in station observations, and serve as input to drought index maps and crop water balance models. Gridded rainfall time-series give historical context, and provide a basis for quantitative interpretation of seasonal precipitation forecasts. RFE are also used to characterize flood hazards, in both simple indices and stream flow models. In the future, many African countries are likely to see negative impacts on subsistence agriculture due to the effects of global warming. Increased climate variability is forecast, with more frequent extreme events. Ethiopia requires special attention. Already facing a food security emergency, troubling persistent dryness has been observed in some areas, associated with a positive trend in Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures. Increased African capacity for rainfall observation, forecasting, data management and modelling applications is urgently needed. Managing climate change and increased climate variability require these fundamental technical capacities if creative coping strategies are to be devised.

  6. Climate science and famine early warning

    PubMed Central

    Verdin, James; Funk, Chris; Senay, Gabriel; Choularton, Richard

    2005-01-01

    Food security assessment in sub-Saharan Africa requires simultaneous consideration of multiple socio-economic and environmental variables. Early identification of populations at risk enables timely and appropriate action. Since large and widely dispersed populations depend on rainfed agriculture and pastoralism, climate monitoring and forecasting are important inputs to food security analysis. Satellite rainfall estimates (RFE) fill in gaps in station observations, and serve as input to drought index maps and crop water balance models. Gridded rainfall time-series give historical context, and provide a basis for quantitative interpretation of seasonal precipitation forecasts. RFE are also used to characterize flood hazards, in both simple indices and stream flow models. In the future, many African countries are likely to see negative impacts on subsistence agriculture due to the effects of global warming. Increased climate variability is forecast, with more frequent extreme events. Ethiopia requires special attention. Already facing a food security emergency, troubling persistent dryness has been observed in some areas, associated with a positive trend in Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures. Increased African capacity for rainfall observation, forecasting, data management and modelling applications is urgently needed. Managing climate change and increased climate variability require these fundamental technical capacities if creative coping strategies are to be devised. PMID:16433101

  7. Climate science and famine early warning

    Verdin, James P.; Funk, Chris; Senay, Gabriel B.; Choularton, R.

    2005-01-01

    Food security assessment in sub-Saharan Africa requires simultaneous consideration of multiple socio-economic and environmental variables. Early identification of populations at risk enables timely and appropriate action. Since large and widely dispersed populations depend on rainfed agriculture and pastoralism, climate monitoring and forecasting are important inputs to food security analysis. Satellite rainfall estimates (RFE) fill in gaps in station observations, and serve as input to drought index maps and crop water balance models. Gridded rainfall time-series give historical context, and provide a basis for quantitative interpretation of seasonal precipitation forecasts. RFE are also used to characterize flood hazards, in both simple indices and stream flow models. In the future, many African countries are likely to see negative impacts on subsistence agriculture due to the effects of global warming. Increased climate variability is forecast, with more frequent extreme events. Ethiopia requires special attention. Already facing a food security emergency, troubling persistent dryness has been observed in some areas, associated with a positive trend in Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures. Increased African capacity for rainfall observation, forecasting, data management and modelling applications is urgently needed. Managing climate change and increased climate variability require these fundamental technical capacities if creative coping strategies are to be devised.

  8. Martian Colors Provide Clues About Martian Water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars taken in visible and infrared light detail a rich geologic history and provide further evidence for water-bearing minerals on the planet's surface.

    LEFT

    This 'true-color' image of Mars shows the planet as it would look to human eyes. It is clearly more Earth-toned than usually depicted in other astronomical images, including earlier Hubble pictures. The slightly bluer shade along the edges of the disk is due to atmospheric hazes and wispy water ice clouds (like cirrus clouds) in the early morning and late evening Martian sky. The yellowish-pink color of the northern polar cap indicates the presence of small iron-bearing dust particles. These particles are covering or are suspended in the air above the blue-white water ice and carbon dioxide ice, which make up the polar cap.

    Accurate colors are needed to determine the composition and mineralogy of Mars. This can tell how water has influenced the formation of rocks and minerals found on Mars today, as well as the distribution and abundance of ice and subsurface liquid water. Confirmation of the presence of certain oxidized (rusted) minerals (processed by heat or water action) would imply the possibility of different, perhaps much more Earth-like, past Martian climate periods. Because the smallest features visible in this image are only about 14 miles (22 km) across, Hubble can track small-scale variations in the distribution of minerals that do not follow global trends. The image was generated from three separate Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 images acquired at wavelengths of 410, 502, and 673 nanometers, in March 1997.

    RIGHT

    A false-color picture taken in infrared light reveals features that cannot be seen in visible light. Hubble's unique infrared view pinpoints variations in the abundance and distribution of unknown water-bearing minerals on the planet. While it has been known for decades that small amounts of water-bearing minerals exist on the planet

  9. MARTIAN COLORS PROVIDE CLUES ABOUT MARTIAN WATER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars taken in visible and infrared light detail a rich geologic history and provide further evidence for water-bearing minerals on the planet's surface. LEFT This 'true-color' image of Mars shows the planet as it would look to human eyes. It is clearly more earth-toned than usually depicted in other astronomical images, including earlier Hubble pictures. The slightly bluer shade along the edges of the disk is due to atmospheric hazes and wispy water ice clouds (like cirrus clouds) in the early morning and late evening Martian sky. The yellowish-pink color of the northern polar cap indicates the presence of small iron-bearing dust particles. These particles are covering or are suspended in the air above the blue-white water ice and carbon dioxide ice, which make up the polar cap. Accurate colors are needed to determine the composition and mineralogy of Mars. This can tell how water has influenced the formation of rocks and minerals found on Mars today, as well as the distribution and abundance of ice and subsurface liquid water. Confirmation of the presence of certain oxidized (rusted) minerals (processed by heat or water action) would imply the possibility of different, perhaps much more Earth-like, past Martian climate periods. Because the smallest features visible in this image are only about 14 miles (22 km) across, Hubble can track small-scale variations in the distribution of minerals that do not follow global trends. The image was generated from three separate Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 images acquired at wavelengths of 410, 502, and 673 nanometers, in March 1997. RIGHT A false-color picture taken in infrared light reveals features that cannot be seen in visible light. Hubble's unique infrared view pinpoints variations in the abundance and distribution of unknown water-bearing minerals on the planet. While it has been known for decades that small amounts of water-bearing minerals exist on the planet's surface, the

  10. Early stages in the evolution of the atmosphere and climate on the Earth-group planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moroz, V. I.; Mukhin, L. M.

    1977-01-01

    The early evolution of the atmospheres and climate of the Earth, Mars and Venus is discussed, based on a concept of common initial conditions and main processes (besides known differences in chemical composition and outgassing rate). It is concluded that: (1) liquid water appeared on the surface of the earth in the first few hundred million years; the average surface temperature was near the melting point for about the first two eons; CO2 was the main component of the atmosphere in the first 100-500 million years; (2) much more temperate outgassing and low solar heating led to the much later appearance of liquid water on the Martian surface, only one to two billion years ago; the Martian era of rivers, relatively dense atmosphere and warm climate ended as a result of irreversible chemical bonding of CO2 by Urey equilibrium processes; (3) a great lack of water in the primordial material of Venus is proposed; liquid water never was present on the surface of the planet, and there was practically no chemical bonding of CO2; the surface temperature was over 600 K four billion years ago.

  11. Martian ages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neukum, G.; Hiller, K.

    1981-01-01

    Four discussions are conducted: (1) the methodology of relative age determination by impact crater statistics, (2) a comparison of proposed Martian impact chronologies for the determination of absolute ages from crater frequencies, (3) a report on work dating Martian volcanoes and erosional features by impact crater statistics, and (4) an attempt to understand the main features of Martian history through a synthesis of crater frequency data. Two cratering chronology models are presented and used for inference of absolute ages from crater frequency data, and it is shown that the interpretation of all data available and tractable by the methodology presented leads to a global Martian geological history that is characterized by two epochs of activity. It is concluded that Mars is an ancient planet with respect to its surface features.

  12. Water Ice Clouds and Dust in the Martian Atmosphere Observed by Mars Climate Sounder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, Jennifer L.; Kass, David; Heavens, Nicholas; Kleinbohl, Armin

    2011-01-01

    The water ice clouds are primarily controlled by the temperature structure and form at the water condensation level. Clouds in all regions presented show day/night differences. Cloud altitude varies between night and day in the SPH and tropics: (1) NPH water ice opacity is greater at night than day at some seasons (2) The diurnal thermal tide controls the daily variability. (3) Strong day/night changes indicate that the amount of gas in the atmosphere varies significantly. See significant mixtures of dust and ice at the same altitude planet-wide (1) Points to a complex radiative and thermal balance between dust heating (in the visible) and ice heating or cooling in the infrared. Aerosol layering: (1) Early seasons reveal a zonally banded spatial distribution (2) Some localized longitudinal structure of aerosol layers (3) Later seasons show no consistent large scale organization

  13. Temperature and dust profiles in Martian dust storm conditions retrieved from Mars Climate Sounder measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinboehl, A.; Kass, D. M.; Schofield, J. T.; McCleese, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) is a mid- and far-infrared thermal emission radiometer on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It measures radiances in limb and nadir/on-planet geometry from which vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, water vapor, dust and condensates can be retrieved in an altitude range from 0 to 80 km and with a vertical resolution of ~5 km. Due to the limb geometry used as the MCS primary observation mode, retrievals in conditions with high aerosol loading are challenging. We have developed several modifications to the MCS retrieval algorithm that will facilitate profile retrievals in high-dust conditions. Key modifications include a retrieval option that uses a surface pressure climatology if a pressure retrieval is not possible in high dust conditions, an extension of aerosol retrievals to higher altitudes, and a correction to the surface temperature climatology. In conditions of a global dust storm, surface temperatures tend to be lower compared to standard conditions. Taking this into account using an adaptive value based on atmospheric opacity leads to improved fits to the radiances measured by MCS and improves the retrieval success rate. We present first results of these improved retrievals during the global dust storm in 2007. Based on the limb opacities observed during the storm, retrievals are typically possible above ~30 km altitude. Temperatures around 240 K are observed in the middle atmosphere at mid- and high southern latitudes after the onset of the storm. Dust appears to be nearly homogeneously mixed at lower altitudes. Significant dust opacities are detected at least up to 70 km altitude. During much of the storm, in particular at higher altitudes, the retrieved dust profiles closely resemble a Conrath-profile.

  14. Could Martian Strawberries Be? -- Prebiotic Chemical Evolution on an Early Wet Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    The universality of chemical physics dictates the ubiquity of bubbles, aerosols, and droplets on planets with water and simple amphiphiles. Their ability to functionally support prebiotic chemical evolution seems critical: on the early Earth and Mars, and quite likely for Titan and Europa.

  15. The western Qaidam Basin as a potential Martian environmental analogue: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anglés, Angélica; Li, Yiliang

    2017-05-01

    The early Martian environment is interpreted as warmer and wetter, before a significant change in its global climatic conditions irreversibly led to the current hyperarid environments. This transition is one of the most intriguing processes of Martian history. The extreme climatic change is preserved in the salt deposits, desiccated landscapes, and geomorphological structures that were shaped by the evaporation of water. However, until a manned journey to Mars is feasible, many Martian materials, morphological structures, and much of its evolutionary history will continue to be poorly understood. In this regard, searching and investigating Martian analogues are still meaningful. To find an Earth environment with a whole set of Martian structures distributed at a scale comparable to Mars is even more important to test landing crafts and provide optimized working parameters for rovers. The western Qaidam Basin in North Tibetan Plateau is such a Martian analogue. The area harbors one of the most extreme hyperarid environments on Earth and contains a series of ancient lakes that evaporated at different evolutionary stages during the rise of the Tibetan Plateau. Large quantities of salts and geomorphological features formed during the transition of warmer-and-wet to colder-and-dry conditions provide unique references to study the modern Martian surface and interpret the orbital data. We present numerous similarities and results of investigations that suggest the Qaidam Basin as a potential analogue to study modern geomorphic processes on Mars, and suggest that this is an essential site to test future Mars sample return missions.

  16. Early Agriculture: Land Clearance and Climate Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruddiman, W. F.

    2013-12-01

    In the 2003 AGU Emiliani Lecture, I proposed the 'early anthropogenic hypothesis' --the idea that major anthropogenic effects on greenhouse gases and climate occurred thousands of years before the industrial era. In the decade since then, several dozen published papers have argued its pros and cons. In the 2013 Tyndall History of Global Change Lecture I will update where matters now stand. I will show figures from the 2003 Climate Change paper that laid out the initial hypothesis, and then update subsequent evidence from ice-core drilling, archeology, and land-use histories. The primary claims in the 2003 hypothesis were these: (1) the CH4 rise since 5000 years ago is anthropogenic; (2) the CO2 rise since 7000 years ago is also anthropogenic; (3) the amount of carbon emitted from preindustrial deforestation was roughly twice the amount released during the industrial era; (4) global temperature would have been cooler by about 0.8oC by the start of the industrial era if agricultural CO2 and CH4 emissions had not occurred; (5) early anthropogenic warming prevented the inception of new ice sheets at high northern latitudes; and (6) pandemics and other population catastrophes during the last 2000 years caused CO2 decreases lasting decades to centuries. The new evidence shows that these claims have held up well. The late-Holocene CO2 and CH4 rises are anomalous compared to average gas trends during previous interglaciations of the last 800,000 years. Land-use models based on historical data simulate pre-industrial CO2 carbon releases more than twice the industrial amounts. Archeological estimates of CH4 emissions from expanding rice irrigation account for much of the late Holocene CH4 rise, even without including livestock emissions or biomass burning. Model simulations show that the large pre-industrial greenhouse-gas emissions indicated by these historical and archeological estimates would have warmed global climate by more than 1oC and prevented northern glacial

  17. The Importance of Lake Overflow Floods for Early Martian Landscape Evolution: Insights From Licus Vallis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goudge, T. A.; Fassett, C. I.

    2017-01-01

    Open-basin lake outlet valleys are incised when water breaches the basin-confining topography and overflows. Outlet valleys record this flooding event and provide insight into how the lake and surrounding terrain evolved over time. Here we present a study of the paleolake outlet Licus Vallis, a >350 km long, >2 km wide, >100 m deep valley that heads at the outlet breach of an approx.30 km diameter impact crater. Multiple geomorphic features of this valley system suggest it records a more complex evolution than formation from a single lake overflow flood. This provides unique insight into the paleohydrology of lakes on early Mars, as we can make inferences beyond the most recent phase of activity..

  18. Evolution of CO2 and H2O on Mars: A cold Early History?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niles, P. B.; Michalski, J.

    2011-01-01

    The martian climate has long been thought to have evolved substantially through history from a warm and wet period to the current cold and dry conditions on the martian surface. This view has been challenged based primarily on evidence that the early Sun had a substantially reduced luminosity and that a greenhouse atmosphere would be difficult to sustain on Mars for long periods of time. In addition, the evidence for a warm, wet period of martian history is far from conclusive with many of the salient features capable of being explained by an early cold climate. An important test of the warm, wet early Mars hypothesis is the abundance of carbonates in the crust [1]. Recent high precision isotopic measurements of the martian atmosphere and discoveries of carbonates on the martian surface provide new constraints on the evolution of the martian atmosphere. This work seeks to apply these constraints to test the feasibility of the cold early scenario

  19. Distinct Chlorine Isotopic Reservoirs on Mars: Implications for Character, Extent and Relative Timing of Crustal Interaction with Mantle-Derived Magmas, Evolution of the Martian Atmosphere, and the Building Blocks of an Early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shearer, C. K.; Messenger, S.; Sharp, Z. D.; Burger, P. V.; Nguyen, N.; McCubbin, F. M.

    2017-01-01

    The style, magnitude, timing, and mixing components involved in the interaction between mantle derived Martian magmas and Martian crust have long been a point of debate. Understanding this process is fundamental to deciphering the composition of the Martian crust and its interaction with the atmosphere, the compositional diversity and oxygen fugacity variations in the Martian mantle, the bulk composition of Mars and the materials from which it accreted, and the noble gas composition of Mars and the Sun. Recent studies of the chlorine isotopic composition of Martian meteorites imply that although the variation in delta (sup 37) Cl is limited (total range of approximately14 per mille), there appears to be distinct signatures for the Martian crust and mantle. However, there are potential issues with this interpretation. New Cl isotope data from the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument on the Mars Science Lab indicate a very wide range of Cl isotopic compositions on the Martian surface. Recent measurements by [10] duplicated the results of [7,8], but placed them within the context of SAM surface data. In addition, Martian meteorite Chassigny contains trapped noble gases with isotopic ratios similar to solar abundance, and has long been considered a pristine, mantle derived sample. However, previous studies of apatite in Chassigny indicate that crustal fluids have interacted with regions interstitial to the cumulus olivine. The initial Cl isotope measurements of apatite in Chassigny suggest an addition of crustal component to this lithology, apparently contradicting the rare gas data. Here, we examine the Cl isotopic composition of multiple generations and textures of apatite in Chassigny to extricate the crustal and mantle components in this meteorite and to reveal the style and timing of the addition of crustal components to mantle-derived magmas. These data reveal distinct Martian Cl sources whose signatures have their origins linked to both the early Solar

  20. 3D climate-carbon modelling of the early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnay, B.; Le Hir, G.; Fluteau, F.; Forget, F.; Catling, D.

    2017-09-01

    We revisit the climate and carbon cycle of the early Earth at 3.8 Ga using a 3D climate-carbon model. Our resultsfavor cold or temperate climates with global mean temperatures between around 8°C (281 K) and 30°C (303 K) and with 0.1-0.36 bar of CO2 for the late Hadean and early Archean.

  1. Are Clay Minerals a Climate Constraint? A Review of Prior Data and New Insights on Martian "Weathering Sequences"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Dundar, M.

    2016-12-01

    Most clay minerals on Mars are Fe/Mg smectites or chlorites, which typically form from mafic protoliths in aqueous chemical systems that are relatively closed and thus require liquid water but not large amounts of water throughput and large-scale chemical leaching. They may thus form either in the subsurface or under select conditions at the surface. However, Al clay minerals, discovered in multiple locations on Mars (Arabia Terra, Northeast Syrtis, Libya Montes Terra Sirenum, Eridania, circum-Hellas, Valles Marineris) may provide evidence of substantial water throughput, if their protolith materials were basaltic. This is because formation of Al clays from a mafic protolith requires removal of Mg and either formation of accompanying Fe oxides or removal of Fe. Thus, the observed sequences of Al clays atop Fe/Mg clays were proposed to represent open system weathering and possibly a late climate optimum around the late Noachian/early Hesperian [1]. Later, they were comprehensively cataloged and reported to represent "weathering sequences" similar to those in terrestrial tropical environments [2]. However, key questions remain; in particular, how much water throughput over what time scale is required? The answer to this question has substantial bearing on the climate of early Mars. Recently, we employed a newly developed, non-parametric Bayesian algorithm [3,4] for semi-automatic identification of rare spectral classes on 139 CRISM images in areas with reported regional-scale occurrences of Al clays. Dozens of detections of the minerals alunite and jarosite were made with the algorithm and then verified by manual analysis. These sulfate hydroxides form only at low pHs, and thus their presence tightly constrains water chemistry. Here, we discuss the evidence for low pH surface waters associated with the weathering sequences and their implications for the cumulative duration of surface weathering. [1] Ehlmann et al., 2011, Nature | [2] Carter et al., 2015, Icarus | [3

  2. Simultaneous adsorption of CO2 and H2O under Mars-like conditions and application to the evolution of the Martian climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Quinn, Richard

    1994-01-01

    The Martian regolith is the most substantial volatile reservoir on the planet; it holds CO2 as adsorbate, and can exchange that CO2 with the atmosphere-cap system over timescales of 10(exp 5) to 10(exp 6) years. The climatic response to insolation changes caused by obliquity and eccentricity variations depends in part on the total reservoir of adsorbed CO2. Previous estimates of the adsorbate inventory have been made by measuring the adsorptive behavior of one or more Mars-analyog materials, and deriving an empirical equation that described that adsorption as a function of the partial pressure of CO2 and the temperature of the regolith. The current CO2 inventory is that which satisfies adsorptive equilibrium, observed atmospheric pressure, and no permanent CO2 caps. There is laboratory evidence that H2O poisons the CO2 adsorptive capacity of most materials. No consideration of CO2 - H2O co-adsorption was given in previous estimates of the Martian CO2 inventory, although H2O is present in the vapor phase, and so as adsorbate, throughout the regolith.

  3. Martian seismicity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Roger J.; Grimm, Robert E.

    1991-01-01

    The design and ultimate success of network seismology experiments on Mars depends on the present level of Martian seismicity. Volcanic and tectonic landforms observed from imaging experiments show that Mars must have been a seismically active planet in the past and there is no reason to discount the notion that Mars is seismically active today but at a lower level of activity. Models are explored for present day Mars seismicity. Depending on the sensitivity and geometry of a seismic network and the attenuation and scattering properties of the interior, it appears that a reasonable number of Martian seismic events would be detected over the period of a decade. The thermoelastic cooling mechanism as estimated is surely a lower bound, and a more refined estimate would take into account specifically the regional cooling of Tharsis and lead to a higher frequency of seismic events.

  4. Martian Gardens

    2016-08-15

    NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is partnering with the Florida Tech Buzz Aldrin Space Institute in Melbourne, Florida, to collaborate on research studying the performance of crop species grown in a simulated “Martian garden” — a proving ground for a potential future farm on the Red Planet. Plants were grown in a preliminary experiment comparing (left to right) potting soil, regolith simulant with added nutrients, and simulant without nutrients.

  5. The Martian Soil as a Geochemical Sink for Hydrothermally Altered Crustal Rocks and Mobile Elements: Implications of Early MER Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, H. E.; Nelson, M. J.; Shearer, C. K.; Draper, D. S.

    2005-01-01

    Hydrothermal and aqueous alteration can explain some of the exciting results from the MER team s analyses of the martian soil, including the major elements, mobile elements, and the nickel enrichment. Published results from the five lander missions lead to the following conclusions: 1) The soil appears to be globally mixed and basaltic with only small local variations in chemistry. Relative to martian basaltic meteorites and Gusev rocks the soils are depleted in the fluid-mobile element calcium, but only slightly enriched to somewhat depleted in iron oxide. 2) The presence of olivine in the soils based on M ssbauer data argues that the soil is only partly weathered and is more akin to a lunar regolith than a terrestrial soil. 3) The presence of bromine along with sulfur and chlorine in the soils is consistent with addition of a mobile element component to the soil.

  6. Mineralogy, chemistry and biological contingents of an early-middle Miocene Antarctic paleosol and its relevance as a Martian analogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, William C.; Dohm, James M.; Schwartz, Stephane; Findling, Nathaniel; Hart, Kris M.; Conway, Susan J.; Allen, Christopher C. R.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Fairén, Alberto G.

    2014-12-01

    Fossil mesofauna and bacteria recovered from a paleosol in a moraine situated adjacent to the inland ice, Antarctica, and dating to the earliest glacial event in the Antarctic Dry Valleys opens several questions. The most important relates to understanding of the mineralogy and chemistry of the weathered substrate habitat in which Coleoptera apparently thrived at some point in the Early/Middle Miocene and perhaps earlier. Here, Coleoptera remains are only located in one of six horizons in a paleosol formed in moraine deposited during the alpine glacial event (>15 Ma). A tendency for quartz to decrease upward in the section may be a detrital effect or a product of dissolution in the early stage of profile morphogenesis when climate was presumably milder and the depositing glacier of temperate type. Discontinuous distributions of smectite, laumontite, and hexahydrite may have provided nutrients and water to mesofauna and bacteria during the early stage of biotic colonization of the profile. Because the mesofauna were members of burrowing Coleoptera species, future work should assess the degree to which the organisms occupied other sites in the Dry Valleys in the past. Whereas there is no reasonable expectations of finding Coleoptera/insect remains on Mars, the chemistry and mineralogy of the paleosol is within a life expectancy window for the presence of microorganisms, principally bacteria and fungi. Thus, parameters discussed here within this Antarctic paleosol could provide an analogue to identifying similar fossil or life-bearing weathered regolith on Mars.

  7. Scaling relations for large Martian valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Som, Sanjoy M.; Montgomery, David R.; Greenberg, Harvey M.

    2009-02-01

    The dendritic morphology of Martian valley networks, particularly in the Noachian highlands, has long been argued to imply a warmer, wetter early Martian climate, but the character and extent of this period remains controversial. We analyzed scaling relations for the 10 large valley systems incised in terrain of various ages, resolvable using the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). Four of the valleys originate in point sources with negligible contributions from tributaries, three are very poorly dissected with a few large tributaries separated by long uninterrupted trunks, and three exhibit the dendritic, branching morphology typical of terrestrial channel networks. We generated width-area and slope-area relationships for each because these relations are identified as either theoretically predicted or robust terrestrial empiricisms for graded precipitation-fed, perennial channels. We also generated distance-area relationships (Hack's law) because they similarly represent robust characteristics of terrestrial channels (whether perennial or ephemeral). We find that the studied Martian valleys, even the dendritic ones, do not satisfy those empiricisms. On Mars, the width-area scaling exponent b of -0.7-4.7 contrasts with values of 0.3-0.6 typical of terrestrial channels; the slope-area scaling exponent $\\theta$ ranges from -25.6-5.5, whereas values of 0.3-0.5 are typical on Earth; the length-area, or Hack's exponent n ranges from 0.47 to 19.2, while values of 0.5-0.6 are found on Earth. None of the valleys analyzed satisfy all three relations typical of terrestrial perennial channels. As such, our analysis supports the hypotheses that ephemeral and/or immature channel morphologies provide the closest terrestrial analogs to the dendritic networks on Mars, and point source discharges provide terrestrial analogs best suited to describe the other large Martian valleys.

  8. Martian Dust Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantor, B. A.; James, P. B.

    to date. With MOC we have observed that global dust events are not individual storms but are composed of a number of local and regional storms (sources) and that they do not signify climatic changes, but are only short-term perturbations to the general interannually repeatable Martian dust storm cycle.

  9. Martian Fingerprints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    9 April 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows patterned ground on the martian northern plains. The circular features are buried meteor impact craters; the small dark dots associated with them are boulders. The dark feature at left center is a wind streak.

    Location near: 75.1oN, 303.0oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Summer

  10. Truncated Hexa-Octahedral Magnetite Crystals in Martian Meteorite ALH84001: Evidence of Biogenic Activity on Early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas-Keprta, K.; Clemett, S. J.; Schwartz, C.; McIntosh, J. R.; Bazylinski, D. A.; Kirschvink, J.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; Vali, H.; Romanek, C. S.

    2004-01-01

    The landmark paper by McKay et al. [1] cited four lines of evidence associated with the Martian meteorite ALH84001 to support the hypothesis that life existed on Mars approximately 4 Ga ago. Now, more than five years later, attention has focused on the ALH84001 magnetite grains embedded within carbonate globules in the ALH84001 meteorite. We have suggested that up to approx.25% of the ALH84001 magnetite crystals are products of biological activity [e.g., 2]. The remaining magnetites lack sufficient characteristics to constrain their origin. The papers of Thomas Keprta et al. were criticized arguing that the three dimensional structure of ALH84001 magnetite crystals can only be unambiguously determined using electron tomographic techniques. Clemett et al. [3] confirmed that magnetites produced by magnetotactic bacteria strain MV-I display a truncated hexa-octahedral geometry using electron tomography and validated the use of the multi-tilt classical transmission microscopy technique used by [2]. Recently the geometry of the purported martian biogenic magnetites was shown be identical to that for MV-1 magnetites using electron tomography [6].

  11. Possible role of oceanic heat transport in early Eocene climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sloan, L. C.; Walker, J. C.; Moore, T. C. Jr

    1995-01-01

    Increased oceanic heat transport has often been cited as a means of maintaining warm high-latitude surface temperatures in many intervals of the geologic past, including the early Eocene. Although the excess amount of oceanic heat transport required by warm high latitude sea surface temperatures can be calculated empirically, determining how additional oceanic heat transport would take place has yet to be accomplished. That the mechanisms of enhanced poleward oceanic heat transport remain undefined in paleoclimate reconstructions is an important point that is often overlooked. Using early Eocene climate as an example, we consider various ways to produce enhanced poleward heat transport and latitudinal energy redistribution of the sign and magnitude required by interpreted early Eocene conditions. Our interpolation of early Eocene paleotemperature data indicate that an approximately 30% increase in poleward heat transport would be required to maintain Eocene high-latitude temperatures. This increased heat transport appears difficult to accomplish by any means of ocean circulation if we use present ocean circulation characteristics to evaluate early Eocene rates. Either oceanic processes were very different from those of the present to produce the early Eocene climate conditions or oceanic heat transport was not the primary cause of that climate. We believe that atmospheric processes, with contributions from other factors, such as clouds, were the most likely primary cause of early Eocene climate.

  12. Simultaneous laboratory measurements of CO2 and H2O adsorption on palagonite: Implications for the Martian climate and volatile reservoir

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Quinn, R.

    1993-01-01

    We are measuring the simultaneous adsorption of H2O and CO2 on palagonite materials in order to improve the formulation of climate models for Mars. We report on the initial co-adsorption data. Models of the Martian climate and volatile inventory indicate that the regolith serves as one of the primary reservoirs of outgassed volatiles and that it exchanges H2O and CO2 with the atmosphere in response to changes in insolation associated with astronomical cycles. Physical adsorbate must exist on the surfaces of the cold particulates that constitute the regolith, and the size of that reservoir can be assessed through laboratory measurements of adsorption on terrestrial analogs. Many studies of the independent adsorption of H2O and CO2 on Mars analog were made and appear in the literature. Empirical expressions that relate the adsorptive coverage of each gas to the temperature of the soil and partial pressure have been derived based on the laboratory data. Numerical models incorporate these adsorption isotherms into climatic models, which predict how the adsorptive coverage of the regolith and hence, the pressure of each gas in the atmosphere will vary as the planet moves through its orbit. These models suggest that the regolith holds several tens to hundreds of millibars of CO2 and that during periods of high obliquity warming of the high-latitude regolith will result in desorption of the CO2, and a consequent increase in atmospheric pressure. At lower obliquities, the caps cool and the equator warms forcing the desorption of several tens of millibars of CO2, which is trapped into quasipermanent CO2 caps.

  13. The martian surface.

    PubMed

    Opik, E J

    1966-07-15

    smaller than the "saturation density" of lunar highlands. Many primeval craters, those from the last impacts which formed the planet, must have become erased, either by late impacts of preferentially surviving large asteroids or by a primeval atmosphere which rapidly escaped. The tenuous Martian atmosphere may have originated entirely from outgassing of surface rocks by asteroidal impacts, which also could have produced some molten lava. The role of genuine volcanism on Mars must have been insignificant, if any. The large amplitude in temperature indicates that the Martian upper soil, equally in the bright and the dark areas, is of a porous unconsolidated structure, with a thermal conductivity as low as that of atmospheric air. Limb darkening at full phase in green, yellow, and red light indicates absorption by atmospheric haze, aerosols, and dust. The loss of contrast in the blue and violet is caused by stronger absorptivity of the haze, which is almost as dark as soot, and not by a true decrease in contrast of the surface markings. Photometric measurementsin the blue reveal a residual contrast of 5 to 7 percent between the markings in 1958, invisible to the eye at a time when there was no "blue clearing." The surface brightness of the maria was surprisingly uniform in 1958 (late summer in the southern hemisphere), while the continentes showed considerable variation. In view of the spotty microstructure of the Martian surface as revealed by Mariner IV, and the lack of a sharp border between a mare and a continens, it seems that all the difference consists in the relative number of small dark and bright areas in the surface mosaic. If there is vegetation on Mars, it should be concentrated in the darkarea elements, measuring 10 to 100 kilometers. Vegetation is the best hypothesis to account for seasonal changes in the maria and for the persistence of these formations despite dust storms of global extent. Survival of vegetation in the extreme dryness of the Martian climate

  14. Martian Surface and Atmosphere Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuraytz, Benjamin C.

    The NASA-sponsored Martian Surface and Atmosphere Through Time Study Project convened its first major meeting at the University of Colorado in Boulder, September 23-25, 1991. The workshop, co-sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, brought together an international group of 125 scientists to discuss a variety of issues relevant to the goals of the MSATT Program. The workshop program committee included co-convenors Robert Haberle, MSATT Steering Committee Chairman NASA Ames Research Center) and Bruce Jakosky (University of Colorado), and committee members Amos Banin (NASA Ames Research Center and Hebrew University), Benjamin Schuraytz (LPI), and Kenneth Tanaka (U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz.).The purpose of the workshop was to begin exploring and defining the relationships between different aspects of Mars science—the evolution of the surface, the atmosphere, upper atmosphere, volatiles, and climate. Specific topics addressed in the 88 contributed abstracts included the current nature of the surface with respect to physical properties and photometric observations and interpretations; the history of geological processes, comprising water and ice-related geomorphology, impact cratering, and volcanism; and the geochemistry and mineralogy of the surface with emphasis on compositional and spectroscopic studies and weathering processes. Also addressed were the present atmosphere, focusing on structure and dynamics, volatile and dust distribution, and the upper atmosphere; long-term volatile evolution based on volatiles in SNC meteorites (certain meteorites thought to have come from Mars) and atmospheric evolution processes; climate history and volatile cycles in relation to early climate and the polar caps, ground ice, and regolith; and future mission concepts.

  15. Climate Cycling on Early Mars Caused by the Carbonate-Silicate Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Batalha, N. E.; Haqq-Misra, J. D.; Kopparapu, R.

    2016-12-01

    For decades, scientists have tried to explain the evidence for fluvial activity on early Mars, but a consensus has yet to emerge regarding the mechanism for producing it. One hypothesis suggests early Mars was warmed by a thick greenhouse atmosphere [1]. Another suggests early Mars was generally cold but was warmed occasionally by impacts or by episodes of enhanced volcanism [2,3], with warming possibly extended by cirrus clouds [4]. These latter hypotheses struggle to produce the amounts of rainfall needed to form the martian valleys, but are consistent with inferred low rates of weathering compared to Earth. We suggest that both schools of thought are partly correct. Mars experienced dramatic climate cycles with extended periods of glaciation punctuated by warm periods lasting up to 10 Myr [5]. Cycles of repeated glaciation and deglaciation occurred because stellar insolation was low, and because CO2 outgassing could not keep pace with CO2 consumption by silicate weathering followed by deposition of carbonates. In order to deglaciate early Mars, substantial outgassing of molecular hydrogen from Mars' reduced crust and mantle was also required, as our own climate model is unable to do this without adding some greenhouse warming from H2 [6,7]. Our hypothesis can be tested by future Mars exploration that better establishes the time scale for valley formation. References: [1] Pollack JB, Kasting JF, Richardson SM, Poliakoff K. 1987. Icarus 71: 203-24 [2] Halevy I, Head JW. 2014. Nature Geoscience 7: 865-8 [3] Segura TL, Toon OB, Colaprete A, Zahnle K. 2002. Science 298: 1977-80 [4] Urata RA, Toon OB. 2013. Icarus 226: 229-50 [5] Batalha NE, Kopparapu RK, Haqq-Misra JD, Kasting JF. submitted. Climate cycling on early Mars caused by the carbonate-silicate cycle. EPSL [6] Ramirez RM, Kopparapu R, Zugger ME, Robinson TD, Freedman R, Kasting JF. 2014. Nature Geosci 7: 59-63 [7] Batalha N, Domagal-Goldman SD, Ramirez R, Kasting JF. 2015. Icarus 258: 337-49

  16. The Early Eocene equable climate problem: can perturbations of climate model parameters identify possible solutions?

    PubMed

    Sagoo, Navjit; Valdes, Paul; Flecker, Rachel; Gregoire, Lauren J

    2013-10-28

    Geological data for the Early Eocene (56-47.8 Ma) indicate extensive global warming, with very warm temperatures at both poles. However, despite numerous attempts to simulate this warmth, there are remarkable data-model differences in the prediction of these polar surface temperatures, resulting in the so-called 'equable climate problem'. In this paper, for the first time an ensemble with a perturbed climate-sensitive model parameters approach has been applied to modelling the Early Eocene climate. We performed more than 100 simulations with perturbed physics parameters, and identified two simulations that have an optimal fit with the proxy data. We have simulated the warmth of the Early Eocene at 560 ppmv CO2, which is a much lower CO2 level than many other models. We investigate the changes in atmospheric circulation, cloud properties and ocean circulation that are common to these simulations and how they differ from the remaining simulations in order to understand what mechanisms contribute to the polar warming. The parameter set from one of the optimal Early Eocene simulations also produces a favourable fit for the last glacial maximum boundary climate and outperforms the control parameter set for the present day. Although this does not 'prove' that this model is correct, it is very encouraging that there is a parameter set that creates a climate model able to simulate well very different palaeoclimates and the present-day climate. Interestingly, to achieve the great warmth of the Early Eocene this version of the model does not have a strong future climate change Charney climate sensitivity. It produces a Charney climate sensitivity of 2.7(°)C, whereas the mean value of the 18 models in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) is 3.26(°)C±0.69(°)C. Thus, this value is within the range and below the mean of the models included in the AR4.

  17. Warming Early Mars With CH4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Justh, H. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    2002-12-01

    The nature of the ancient climate of Mars remains one of the fundamental unresolved problems in martian research. While the present environment is hostile to life, images from the Mariner, Viking and Mars Global Surveyor missions, have shown geologic features on the martian surface that seem to indicate an earlier period of hydrologic activity. The fact that ancient valley networks and degraded craters have been seen on the martian surface indicates that the early martian climate may have been more Earth-like, with a warmer surface temperature. The presence of liquid water would require a greenhouse effect much larger than needed at present, as the solar constant, S0, was 25% lower 3.8 billion years ago when the channels are thought to have formed (1,2). Previous calculations have shown that gaseous CO2 and H2O alone could not have warmed the martian surface to the temperature needed to account for the presence of liquid water (3). It has been hypothesized that a CO2-H2O atmosphere could keep early Mars warm if it was filled with CO2 ice clouds in the upper martian troposphere (4). Obtaining mean martian surface temperatures above 273 K would require nearly 100% cloud cover, a condition that is unrealistic for condensation clouds on early Mars. Any reduction in cloud cover makes it difficult to achieve warm martian surface temperatures except at high pressures and CO2 clouds could cool the martian surface if they were low and optically thick (5). CO2 and CH4 have been suggested as important greenhouse gases on the early Earth. Our research focuses on the effects of increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases on the surface temperature of early Mars, with emphasis on the reduced greenhouse gas, CH4. To investigate the possible warming effect of CH4, we modified a one-dimensional, radiative-convective climate model used in previous studies of the early martian climate (5). New cloud-free temperature profiles for various surface pressures and CH4 mixing

  18. Sporadic sampling, not climatic forcing, drives observed early hominin diversity.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Simon J; Hopley, Philip J; Upchurch, Paul; Soligo, Christophe

    2018-05-08

    The role of climate change in the origin and diversification of early hominins is hotly debated. Most accounts of early hominin evolution link observed fluctuations in species diversity to directional shifts in climate or periods of intense climatic instability. None of these hypotheses, however, have tested whether observed diversity patterns are distorted by variation in the quality of the hominin fossil record. Here, we present a detailed examination of early hominin diversity dynamics, including both taxic and phylogenetically corrected diversity estimates. Unlike past studies, we compare these estimates to sampling metrics for rock availability (hominin-, primate-, and mammal-bearing formations) and collection effort, to assess the geological and anthropogenic controls on the sampling of the early hominin fossil record. Taxic diversity, primate-bearing formations, and collection effort show strong positive correlations, demonstrating that observed patterns of early hominin taxic diversity can be explained by temporal heterogeneity in fossil sampling rather than genuine evolutionary processes. Peak taxic diversity at 1.9 million years ago (Ma) is a sampling artifact, reflecting merely maximal rock availability and collection effort. In contrast, phylogenetic diversity estimates imply peak diversity at 2.4 Ma and show little relation to sampling metrics. We find that apparent relationships between early hominin diversity and indicators of climatic instability are, in fact, driven largely by variation in suitable rock exposure and collection effort. Our results suggest that significant improvements in the quality of the fossil record are required before the role of climate in hominin evolution can be reliably determined. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  19. Meteorite constraints on Martian atmospheric loss and paleoclimate

    SciT

    Cassata, William S.

    The evolution of Mars' atmosphere to its currently thin state incapable of supporting liquid water remains poorly understood and has important implications for Martian climate history. Martian meteorites contain trapped atmospheric gases that can be used to constrain both the timing and effectiveness of atmospheric escape processes. Here in this article, measurements of xenon isotopes in two ancient Martian meteorites, ALH 84001 and NWA 7034, are reported. The data indicate an early episode of atmospheric escape that mass fractionated xenon isotopes culminated within a few hundred million years of planetary formation, and little change to the atmospheric xenon isotopic compositionmore » has occurred since this time. In contrast, on Earth atmospheric xenon fractionation continued for at least two billion years (Pujol et al., 2011). Such differences in atmospheric Xe fractionation between the two planets suggest that climate conditions on Mars may have differed significantly from those on Archean Earth. For example, the hydrogen escape flux may not have exceeded the threshold required for xenon escape on Mars after 4.2–4.3 Ga, which indicates that Mars may have been significantly drier than Earth after this time.« less

  20. Meteorite constraints on Martian atmospheric loss and paleoclimate

    DOE PAGES

    Cassata, William S.

    2017-10-06

    The evolution of Mars' atmosphere to its currently thin state incapable of supporting liquid water remains poorly understood and has important implications for Martian climate history. Martian meteorites contain trapped atmospheric gases that can be used to constrain both the timing and effectiveness of atmospheric escape processes. Here in this article, measurements of xenon isotopes in two ancient Martian meteorites, ALH 84001 and NWA 7034, are reported. The data indicate an early episode of atmospheric escape that mass fractionated xenon isotopes culminated within a few hundred million years of planetary formation, and little change to the atmospheric xenon isotopic compositionmore » has occurred since this time. In contrast, on Earth atmospheric xenon fractionation continued for at least two billion years (Pujol et al., 2011). Such differences in atmospheric Xe fractionation between the two planets suggest that climate conditions on Mars may have differed significantly from those on Archean Earth. For example, the hydrogen escape flux may not have exceeded the threshold required for xenon escape on Mars after 4.2–4.3 Ga, which indicates that Mars may have been significantly drier than Earth after this time.« less

  1. Experimental Results of Fractionation of HDO and H2O with simulated Martian Dust: Implications for the interpretation of past climate on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moores, J. E.; Smith, P.; Brown, R.; Lauretta, D.; Boynton, W.

    2009-05-01

    Climate change on Mars has been greatly debated in recent years. This has been motivated by the results from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Phoenix Lander and ground-based spectroscopic studies which have found mounting evidence that not only may Mars have had a wet and warm past, but those conditions inclement to life may also have been present more recently. On Mars, this is largely a story of water transport and, as on the Earth, isotopic analysis presents a key to understanding and decoding the Martian paleoclimate. For Mars, the major fractionation observed is in HDO, analogous to the Oxygen-18 cycle on Earth, and observations have shown that the D/H ratio of the planet is enriched by a factor of 5 to 6 from comparable terrestrial values. The conventional explanation is that a great deal of water has been lost to space over geologic time. However, previous studies have not taken into account the ability of present-day Mars to fractionate water as it moves from the polar caps to the polar layered deposits through the atmosphere, potentially masking any climate signal which may exist. In this presentation, we shall report on a series of Mars analogue experiments completed at the relevant ranges of pressure and temperature. Two different scenarios were simulated: the sublimation of dusty water ice and the sublimation of clean water ice through a simulated regolith/dust lag. In both cases, we have found that the system is dominated by adsorption of water. However, the simulant dust (JSC-1) appears to be an extremely efficient vehicle for fractionating water at cold temperatures, as different desorption rates have been recorded for HDO and H2O. This, when coupled with the relatively small amount of water exchanging today implies heavy fractionations in the current Mars system without requiring significant water losses to space.

  2. Chemical reactivity of the Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Mckay, C. P.

    1992-01-01

    The Viking life sciences experimental packages detected extraordinary chemical activity in the martian soil, probably the result of soil-surface chemistry. At least one very strong oxidant may exist in the martian soil. The electrochemical nature of the martian soil has figured prominently in discussions of future life sciences research on Mars. Putative oxidants in the martian soil may be responsible for the destruction of organic material to considerable depth, precluding the recovery of reducing material that may be relic of early biological forms. Also, there have been serious expressions of concern regarding the effect that soil oxidants may have on human health and safety. The concern here has centered on the possible irritation of the respiratory system due to dust carried into the martian habitat through the air locks.

  3. Climate and CO2 coupling in the early Cenozoic Greenhouse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rae, J. W. B.; Greenop, R.; Kaminski, M.; Sexton, P. F.; Foster, G. L.; Greene, S. E.; Littley, E.; Kirtland Turner, S.; Ridgwell, A.

    2017-12-01

    The early Cenozoic is a time of climatic extremes: hyperthermals pepper the transition from extreme global warmth to the start of Cenozoic cooling, with these evolving climate regimes accompanied by major changes in ocean chemistry and biota. The exogenic carbon cycle, and ocean-atmospheric CO2 in particular, is thought to have played a key role in these climatic changes, but the carbon chemistry of the early Cenozoic ocean remains poorly constrained. Here we present new boron isotope data from benthic foraminifera, which can be used to constrain relative changes in ocean pH. These are coupled with modelling experiments performed with the cGenie Earth system model to provide new constraints on the carbon cycle and carbonate system of the early Cenozoic. While our benthic boron isotope data do not readily provide a record of surface ocean CO2 , they do place constraints on the whole ocean-atmosphere carbonate system, alongside changes in ocean circulation and biogeochemistry, and also have relatively robust calcite tests and small `vital effects'. During the late Paleocene ascent to peak greenhouse conditions and the middle Eocene descent towards the icehouse, our boron isotope data show close coupling with benthic δ18O, demonstrating a clear link between CO2 and climate. However within the early Eocene our boron isotope data reveal more dynamic changes in deep ocean pH, which may be linked to changes in ocean circulation. Overall, our data demonstrate the ability of CO2 to regulate the climate system across varying boundary conditions, and the influence of both the long-term carbon cycle and shorter-term ocean biogeochemical cycling on Earth's climate.

  4. Climatic implications of the simultaneous presence of CO2 and H2O in the Martian regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.

    1992-01-01

    The current paradigm for quasi-periodic climate change on Mars holds that perhaps a few hundred millibars of CO2 are available for exchange between the atmosphere and regolith, and that a vast majority of that CO2 is presently absorbed into the regolith. The CO2 is partitioned between the regolith and atmosphere according to an equilibrium adsorptive relationship. If the atmospheric pressure exceeds the frost point at or near the poles, then quasi-permanent polar caps form and buffer the atmospheric pressure. This model was developed based upon laboratory studies of CO2 adsorption where no other adsorbates are present. We will conduct laboratory measurements of the simultaneous adsorption of H2O and CO2 under Mars-like conditions, and develop numerical expressions for use in climate modeling based upon our results.

  5. Magnetite Authigenesis and the Ancient Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosca, N. J.; Ahmed, I. A.; Ashpitel, A.; Hurowitz, J.

    2017-12-01

    Although the Curiosity rover has documented lacustrine sediments at Gale Crater, how liquid water became physically stable is unknown. The early Martian atmosphere is thought to have been dominated by CO2 [1], but the Curiosity rover has provided only ambiguous detections of carbonate minerals at abundances significantly less than 1 wt. % [2, 3], and climate models indicate that in the absence of additional components, multi-bar CO2 atmospheres could not have maintained surface temperatures above freezing. To constrain the composition of the ancient Martian atmosphere, we experimentally investigated the nucleation and growth kinetics of authigenic Fe(II)-minerals in Gale Crater mudstones. Experiments show that as basaltic waters experience pH increases above 8.0, a series of anoxic mineral transformations generates magnetite in days. Electrochemical and dissolved gas analyses show that one stage of this process, the conversion of Fe(OH)2 to green rust, generates H2(g). Experiments including dissolved CO2 show that, despite magnetite formation, Fe(II)-carbonate does not nucleate until significant supersaturation is reached, at PCO2 levels far above previous estimates. Our experimental observations imply that Gale Crater lakes could have been in contact with a CO2-rich atmosphere. In addition, geochemical calculations show that groundwater infiltration into lacustrine sediments triggered magnetite and H2(g) generation at Gale Crater (instead of Fe(II)-carbonate cementation). Groundwater infiltration is consistent with data from the Sheepbed member mudstones, and deep-water mudstones of the Murray formation, both of which contain abundant authigenic magnetite [2, 4]. Low temperature H2 production may have provided a globally significant but transient feedback for stabilizing liquid water on early Mars. Data collected to date by the Curiosity rover are consistent with both estimated timescales and climatic shifts associated with H2-induced warming. Low temperature H2

  6. Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles. Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. (Editor); Treiman, A. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    This volume contains papers that were presented on February 12-14, 1996 at the Evolution for Martian Volatiles Workshop. Topics in this volume include: returned Martian samples; acidic volatiles and the Mars soil; solar EUV Radiation; the ancient Mars Thermosphere; primitive methane atmospheres on Earth and Mars; the evolution of Martian water; the role of SO2 for the climate history of Mars; impact crater morphology; the formation of the Martian drainage system; atmospheric dust-water ice Interactions; volatiles and volcanos; accretion of interplanetary dust particles; Mars' ionosphere; simulations with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model; modeling the Martian water cycle; the evolution of Martian atmosphere; isotopic composition; solar occultation; magnetic fields; photochemical weathering; NASA's Mars Surveyor Program; iron formations; measurements of Martian atmospheric water vapor; and the thermal evolution Models of Mars.

  7. Exploring for Martian Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Terrestrial life appears to have arisen very quickly during late accretion, sometime between approximately 3.5 and 4.2 Ga. During this same time, liquid water appears to have been abundant at the surface of Mars and it is quite plausable that life originated there as well. We now believe that the last common ancestor of terrestrial life was a sulfur-metabolizing microbe that lived at high temperatures. Rooting of the RNA tree in thermophily probably reflects high temperature "bottle-necking" of the biosphere by giant impacts during late accretion, sometime after life had originated. If high temperature bottle-necking is a general property of early biosphere development, Martian life may have also developed in close association with hydrothermal systems. Several independent lines of evidence suggest that hydrothermal processes have played an important role during the geological history of Mars. Because hydrothermal deposits on Earth are known to capture and retain abundant microbial fossil information, they are considered prime targets in the search for an ancient Martian biosphere. An important step in planning for future landed missions to Mars is the selection of priority targets for high resolution orbital mapping. Geotectonic terranes on Mars that provide a present focus for ongoing site selection studies include channels located along the margins of impact crater melt sheets, or on the slopes of ancient Martian volcanoes, chaotic and fretted terranes where shallow subsurface heat sources are thought to have interacted with ground ice, and the floors of calderas and rifted basins. Orbital missions in 1996, 1998 and 2001 will provide opportunities for high resolution geological mapping at key sites in such terranes, as a basis for selecting targets for future landed missions for exopaleontology.

  8. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration.

    PubMed

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-06

    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50-120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106-94, 89-73, 59-47 and 45-29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  9. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-01

    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50-120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106-94, 89-73, 59-47 and 45-29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  10. Effects of primitive photosynthesis on Earth's early climate system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozaki, Kazumi; Tajika, Eiichi; Hong, Peng K.; Nakagawa, Yusuke; Reinhard, Christopher T.

    2018-01-01

    The evolution of different forms of photosynthetic life has profoundly altered the activity level of the biosphere, radically reshaping the composition of Earth's oceans and atmosphere over time. However, the mechanistic impacts of a primitive photosynthetic biosphere on Earth's early atmospheric chemistry and climate are poorly understood. Here, we use a global redox balance model to explore the biogeochemical and climatological effects of different forms of primitive photosynthesis. We find that a hybrid ecosystem of H2-based and Fe2+-based anoxygenic photoautotrophs—organisms that perform photosynthesis without producing oxygen—gives rise to a strong nonlinear amplification of Earth's methane (CH4) cycle, and would thus have represented a critical component of Earth's early climate system before the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis. Using a Monte Carlo approach, we find that a hybrid photosynthetic biosphere widens the range of geochemical conditions that allow for warm climate states well beyond either of these metabolic processes acting in isolation. Our results imply that the Earth's early climate was governed by a novel and poorly explored set of regulatory feedbacks linking the anoxic biosphere and the coupled H, C and Fe cycles. We suggest that similar processes should be considered when assessing the potential for sustained habitability on Earth-like planets with reducing atmospheres.

  11. Investigations in Martian Sedimentology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to investigate and discuss the Martian surface. This report was done in specific tasks. The tasks were: characterization of Martian fluids and chemical sediments; mass wasting and ground collapse in terrains of volatile-rich deposits; Mars Rover terrestrial field investigations; Mars Pathfinder operations support; and Martian subsurface water instrument.

  12. Evidences of Wet Climate on Early Mars from Analysis of HRSC Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaumann, Ralf; Tirschj, Daniela; Adeli, Solmaz

    2017-04-01

    Both Geomorphological and mineralogical evidence point to the episodic availability of liquid water on the surface of early Mars. However, the distribution of water was not uniform over space and time. Considerable environmental and climate variations due to latitudinal or elevation effects combined with a diverse surface geology caused distinctively different of local conditions that influenced the planet`s water content. The history of water on Mars has been constantly revised and refined during the past years. Landforms such as widespread valley networks, fluvial deposits and associated assemblages of hydrated clay minerals support the hypothesis that the Martian climate was to some extend warm and wet during the early history of Mars [e.g.,1,2]. At the boundary between the Late Noachian and the Early Hesperian, environmental and climate conditions changed significantly and resulted in a transition towards a colder and dryer climate. The intensity of aqueous activity decreased throughout the Hesperian, including a transition from long-term and repeated precipitation-induced fluvial activity towards reduced, short-term, spatially isolated and groundwater-dominated fluvial erosion [e.g.,3,4,5,6]. At the end of the Hesperian, fluvial erosion has mostly ceased and volcanic, aeolian and glacial processes are interpreted to be dominant on Mars. The Early Amazonian was characterized most likely by a cold and dry climate that was similar to the conditions on recent Mars. However, Mars' climate and aqueous history, in particular the timing of the termination of fluvial activity and the transition from precipitation-induced toward groundwater-dominated erosion as well as the temperature with time, is still subject to debate. Modeling of flow transport processes revealed that the formation of deltas on Mars geologically requires only brief timespans [7] and, based on discharge estimates, the formation of erosional valleys also needs less than a few million years and seems

  13. An early warning system for high climate sensitivity? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, R.

    2010-12-01

    The scientific case for the clear and present danger of global warming has been unassailable at least since the release of the Charney Report more than thirty years ago, if not longer. While prompt action to begin decarbonizing energy systems could still head off much of the potential warming, it is distinctly possible that emissions will continue unabated in the coming decades, leading to a doubling or more of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentrations. At present, we are in the unenviable position of not even knowing how bad things will get if this scenario comes to pass, because of the uncertainty in climate sensitivity. If climate sensitivity is high, then the consequences will be dire, perhaps even catastrophic. As the world continues to warm in response to continued carbon dioxide emissions, will we at least be able to monitor the climate and provide an early warning that the planet is on a high-sensitivity track, if such turns out to be the case? At what point will we actually know the climate sensitivity? It has long been recognized that the prime contributor to uncertainty in climate sensitivity is uncertainty in cloud feedbacks. Study of paleoclimate and climate of the past century has not been able to resolve which models do cloud feedback most correctly, because of uncertainties in radiative forcing. In this talk, I will discuss monitoring requirements, and analysis techniques, that might have the potential to determine which climate models most faithfully represent climate feedbacks, and thus determine which models provide the best estimate of climate sensitivity. The endeavor is complicated by the distinction between transient climate response and equilibrium climate sensitivity. I will discuss the particular challenges posed by this issue, particularly in light of recent indications that the pattern of ocean heat storage may lead to different cloud feedbacks in the transient warming stage than apply once the system has reached equilibrium. Apart

  14. Solubility of C-O-H volatiles in graphite-saturated martian basalts and application to martian atmospheric evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, B. D.; Hirschmann, M. M.; Withers, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The modern martian atmosphere is thin, leading to surface conditions too cold to support liquid water. Yet, there is evidence of liquid surface water early in martian history that is commonly thought to require a thick CO2 atmosphere. Our previous work follows the analysis developed by Holloway and co-workers (Holloway et al. 1992; Holloway 1998), which predicts a linear relationship between CO2 and oxygen fugacity (fO2) in graphite-saturated silicate melts. At low oxygen fugacity, the solubility of CO2 in silicate melts is therefore very low. Such low calculated solubilities under reducing conditions lead to small fluxes of CO2 associated with martian magmatism, and therefore production of a thick volcanogenic CO2 atmosphere could require a prohibitively large volume of mantle-derived magma. The key assumption in these previous calculations is that the carbonate ion is the chief soluble C-O-H species. The results of the calculations would not be affected appreciably if molecular CO2, rather than carbonate ion, were an important species, but could be entirely different if there were other appreciable C-species such as CO, carbonyl (C=O) complexes, carbide (Si-C), or CH4. Clearly, graphite-saturated experiments are required to explore how much volcanogenic C may be degassed by reduced martian lavas. A series of piston-cylinder experiments were performed on synthetic martian starting materials over a range of oxygen fugacities (IW+2.3 to IW-0.9), and at pressures of 1-3 GPa and temperatures of 1340-1600 °C in Pt-graphite double capsules. CO2 contents in experimental glasses were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and range from 0.0026-0.50 wt%. CO2 solubilities change by one order of magnitude with an order of magnitude change in oxygen fugacity, as predicted by previous work. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) determinations of C contents in glasses range from 0.0131-0.2626 wt%. C contents determined by SIMS are consistently higher

  15. Early Mars Climate Modeling and the Faint Young Sun Paradox.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. Liquid water is not stable on its surface. There are no lakes, seas, or oceans, and precipitation falls as snowfall. Yet early in its history during the Noachian epoch, there is geological and mineralogical evidence that liquid water from rainfall flowed on its surface creating drainage systems, lakes, and - possibly - seas and oceans. More recent observations by Curiosity in Gale crater hint that such conditions may have persited into the Hesperian. The implication is that early Mars had a wamer climate than it does today as a result of a thicker atmosphere with a more powerful greenhouse effect capable of producing an active hydrological cycle with rainfall, runoff, and evaporation. Since Mariner 9 began accumulating such evidence, researchers have been trying to understand what kind of a climate system could have created greenhouse conditions favorable for liquid water. Unfortunately, the problem is not yet solved.

  16. Modeling Cooling Rates of Martian Flood Basalt Columns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, D. K.; Jackson, B.; Milazzo, M. P.; Barnes, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Columnar jointing in large basalt flows have been extensively studied and can provide important clues about the emplacement conditions and cooling history of a basalt flow. The recent discovery of basalt columns on Mars in crater walls near Marte Vallis provides an opportunity to infer conditions on early Mars when the Martian basalt flows were laid down. Comparison of the Martian columns to Earth analogs allows us to gain further insight into the early Martian climate, and among the best terrestrial analogs are the basalt columns in the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) in eastern Washington. The CRBG is one of the youngest (< 17 Myrs old) and most extensively studied basalt provinces in the world, extending over 163,700 square km with total thickness exceeding 1 km in some places. The morphologies and textures of CRBG basalt columns suggest that in many places flows ~100 m thick cooled at uniform rates, even deep in the flow interior. Such cooling seems to require the presence of water in the column joints since the flow interiors should have cooled much more slowly than the flow margins if conductive cooling dominated. Secondary features, such pillow basalts, likewise suggest the basalt flows were in direct contact with standing water in many places. At the resolution provided by the orbiting HiRISE camera (0.9 m), the Martian basalt columns resemble the CRBG columns in many respects, and so, subject to important caveats, inferences linking the morphologies of the CRBG columns to their thermal histories can be extended in some respects to the Martian columns. In this presentation, we will describe our analysis of the HiRISE images of the Martian columns and what can be reasonably inferred about their thermal histories and the conditions under which they were emplaced. We will also report on a field expedition to the CRBG in eastern Washington State. During that expedition, we surveyed basalt column outcrops on the ground and from the air using Unmanned Aerial

  17. Prospects for Chronological Studies of Martian Rocks and Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Shih, C-Y.; Reese, Y. D.

    2008-01-01

    Chronological information about Martian processes comes from two sources: Crater-frequency studies and laboratory studies of Martian meteorites. Each has limitations that could be overcome by studies of returned Martian rocks and soils. Chronology of Martian volcanism: The currently accepted chronology of Martian volcanic surfaces relies on crater counts for different Martian stratigraphic units [1]. However, there is a large inherent uncertainty for intermediate ages near 2 Ga ago. The effect of differing preferences for Martian cratering chronologies [1] is shown in Fig. 1. Stoeffler and Ryder [2] summarized lunar chronology, upon which Martian cratering chronology is based. Fig. 2 shows a curve fit to their data, and compares to it a corresponding lunar curve from [3]. The radiometric ages of some lunar and Martian meteorites as well as the crater-count delimiters for Martian epochs [4] also are shown for comparison to the craterfrequency curves. Scaling the Stoeffler-Ryder curve by a Mars/Moon factor of 1.55 [5] places Martian shergottite ages into the Early Amazonian to late Hesperian epochs, whereas using the lunar curve of [3] and a Mars/Moon factor 1 consigns the shergottites to the Middle-to-Late Amazonian, a less probable result. The problem is worsened if a continually decreasing cratering rate since 3 Ga ago is accepted [6]. We prefer the adjusted St ffler-Ryder curve because it gives better agreement with the meteorite ages (Fig.

  18. Martian deltas: Morphology and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.; Scott, D. H.

    1993-01-01

    Recent detailed mapping has revealed numerous examples of Martian deltas. The location and morphology of these deltas are described. Factors that contribute to delta morphology are river regime, coastal processes, structural stability, and climate. The largest delta systems on Mars are located near the mouths of Maja, Maumee, Vedra, Ma'adim, Kasei, and Brazos Valles. There are also several smaller-scale deltas emplaced near channel mouths situated in Ismenius Lacus, Memnonia, and Arabia. Delta morphology was used to reconstruct type, quantity, and sediment load size transported by the debouching channel systems. Methods initially developed for terrestrial systems were used to gain information on the relationships between Martian delta morphology, river regime, and coastal processes.

  19. Cool episodes in Early Tertiary Arctic climate: Evidence from Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielhagen, R. F.; Tripati, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Arctic is a climatically sensitive and important region. However, very little is known about the climatic and oceanographic evolution of the area, particularly prior to the Neogene. Until recently, the Arctic was assumed to be characterized by relatively warm conditions during the early Cenozoic. The Early Tertiary sedimentary sequence on Svalbard contains several layers with coal seams and broad-leaved plants which were commonly accepted as indicators of a generally temperate-warm climate. Here we report on the intermittent occurrence of certain temperature indicators in the succession, which may represent the first northern high-latitude record of near-freezing temperatures for the early Cenozoic. Besides the findings of probably ice-rafted erratic clasts in the Paleocene and Eocene sandstones and shales, we note especially the occurrence of glendonites which are pseudomorphs of calcite after ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate). We measured the chemical composition of Svalbard glendonites which is almost identical to that of similar pseudomorphs from the Lower Cretaceaous of Northern Canada. Mass spectrometric analyses of the glendonite calcite gave very low carbon isotope values. These values suggest a provenance of the calcium carbonate from marine organic carbon and connect our glendonites to the precursor mineral ikaite which has similar low values. Since a variety of studies has demonstrated that ikaite is stable only at temperatures close to freezing point, we have to infer low temperatures also for the deepositional environment of which the sediments were deposited that now hold glendonites. These results imply the occurrence of cooling phases episodically during the warm background climate of the Paleocene and Eocene, suggesting that temperature variability was much greater than previously recognized.

  20. A major reorganization of Asian climate by the early Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Z. T.; Sun, B.; Zhang, Z. S.; Peng, S. Z.; Xiao, G. Q.; Ge, J. Y.; Hao, Q. Z.; Qiao, Y. S.; Liang, M. Y.; Liu, J. F.; Yin, Q. Z.; Wei, J. J.

    2008-08-01

    The global climate system experienced a series of drastic changes during the Cenozoic. In Asia, these include the climate transformation from a zonal pattern to a monsoon-dominated pattern, the disappearance of typical subtropical aridity, and the onset of inland deserts. Despite major advances in the last two decades in characterizing and understanding these climate phenomena, disagreements persist relative to the timing, behaviors and underlying causes. This paper addresses these issues mainly based on two lines of evidence. First, we compiled newly collected data from geological indicators of the Cenozoic environment in China as paleoenvironmental maps of ten intervals. In confirming the earlier observation that a zonal climate pattern was transformed into a monsoonal one, the maps within the Miocene indicate that this change was achieved by the early Miocene, roughly consistent with the onset of loess deposition in China. Although a monsoon-like regime would have existed in the Eocene, it was restricted to tropical-subtropical regions. The latitudinal oscillations of the climate zones during the Paleogene are likely attributable to the imbalance in evolution of polar ice-sheets between the two hemispheres. Secondly, we examine the relevant depositional and soil forming processes of the Miocene loess-soil sequences to determine the circulation characteristics with emphasis on the early Miocene. Continuous eolian deposition in the middle reaches of the Yellow River since the early Miocene firmly indicates the formation of inland deserts, which have been constantly maintained during the past 22 Ma. Grain-size gradients between loess sections indicate northerly dust-carrying winds from northern sources, a clear indication of an Asian winter monsoon system. Meanwhile, well-developed Luvisols show evidence that moisture from the oceans reached northern China. This evidence shows the coexistence of two kinds of circulations, one from the ocean carrying moisture and

  1. Managing Risks? Early Warning Systems for Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitati, A. M.; Zommers, Z. A.; Habilov, M.

    2014-12-01

    Early warning systems are a tool with which to minimize risks posed by climate related hazards. Although great strides have been made in developing early warning systems most deal with one hazard, only provide short-term warnings and do not reach the most vulnerable. This presentation will review research results of the United Nations Environment Programme's CLIM-WARN project. The project seeks to identify how governments can better communicate risks by designing multi-hazard early warning systems that deliver actionable warnings across timescales. Household surveys and focus group discussions were conducted in 36 communities in Kenya, Ghana and Burkina Faso in order to identify relevant climate related hazards, current response strategies and early warning needs. Preliminary results show significant variability in both risks and needs within and between countries. For instance, floods are more frequent in rural western parts of Kenya. Droughts are frequent in the north while populations in urban areas face a range of hazards - floods, droughts, disease outbreaks - that sometimes occur simultaneously. The majority of the rural population, especially women, the disabled and the elderly, do not have access to modern media such as radio, television, or internet. While 55% of rural populace never watches television, 64% of urban respondents watch television on a daily basis. Communities have different concepts of how to design warning systems. It will be a challenge for national governments to create systems that accommodate such diversity yet provide standard quality of service to all. There is a need for flexible and forward-looking early warning systems that deliver broader information about risks. Information disseminated through the system could not only include details of hazards, but also long-term adaptation options, general education, and health information, thus increasingly both capabilities and response options.

  2. How Do Martian Dust Devils Vary Throughout the Sol?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, R.; Lewis, S.; Balme, M. R.; Steele, L.

    2016-12-01

    Dust devils are vortices of air made visible by entrained dust particles. Dust devils have been observed on Earth and captured in many Mars lander and orbiter images. Martian dust devils may be important to the global climate and are parameterised within Mars Global Circulation Models (MGCMs). We show that the dust devil parameterisation in use within most MGCMs results in an unexpectedly high level of dust devil activity during morning hours. In contrast to expectations, based on the observed behaviour of terrestrial dust devils and the diurnal maximum thermal contrast at the surface, we find that large areas of the modelled Martian surface experience dust devil activity during the morning as well as in the afternoon, and that many locations experience a peak in dust devil activity before mid-sol. Using the UK MGCM, we study the amount of surface dust lifted by dust devils throughout the diurnal cycle as a proxy for the level of dust devil activity occurring. We compare the diurnal variation in dust devil activity with the diurnal variation of the variables included in the dust devil parameterisation. We find that the diurnal variation in dust devil activity is strongly modulated by near-surface wind speeds. Within the range of daylight hours, higher wind speeds tend to produce more dust devil activity, rather than the activity simply being governed by the availability of heat at the planet's surface, which peaks in early afternoon. We compare our results with observations of Martian dust devil timings and obtain a good match with the majority of surface-based surveys. We do not find such a good match with orbital observations, but these data tend to be biased in their temporal coverage. We propose that the generally accepted description of dust devil behaviour on Mars is incomplete, and that theories of dust devil formation may need to be modified specifically for the Martian environment. Further dust devil observations are required to support any such

  3. Potential climatic impact of organic haze on early Earth.

    PubMed

    Hasenkopf, Christa A; Freedman, Miriam A; Beaver, Melinda R; Toon, Owen B; Tolbert, Margaret A

    2011-03-01

    We have explored the direct and indirect radiative effects on climate of organic particles likely to have been present on early Earth by measuring their hygroscopicity and cloud nucleating ability. The early Earth analog aerosol particles were generated via ultraviolet photolysis of an early Earth analog gas mixture, which was designed to mimic possible atmospheric conditions before the rise of oxygen. An analog aerosol for the present-day atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan was tested for comparison. We exposed the early Earth aerosol to a range of relative humidities (RHs). Water uptake onto the aerosol was observed to occur over the entire RH range tested (RH=80-87%). To translate our measurements of hygroscopicity over a specific range of RHs into their water uptake ability at any RH < 100% and into their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) at RH > 100%, we relied on the hygroscopicity parameter κ, developed by Petters and Kreidenweis. We retrieved κ=0.22 ±0.12 for the early Earth aerosol, which indicates that the humidified aerosol (RH < 100 %) could have contributed to a larger antigreenhouse effect on the early Earth atmosphere than previously modeled with dry aerosol. Such effects would have been of significance in regions where the humidity was larger than 50%, because such high humidities are needed for significant amounts of water to be on the aerosol. Additionally, Earth organic aerosol particles could have activated into CCN at reasonable-and even low-water-vapor supersaturations (RH > 100%). In regions where the haze was dominant, it is expected that low particle concentrations, once activated into cloud droplets, would have created short-lived, optically thin clouds. Such clouds, if predominant on early Earth, would have had a lower albedo than clouds today, thereby warming the planet relative to current-day clouds. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  4. CO2 condensation and the climate of early Mars.

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1991-01-01

    A one-dimensional, radiative-convective climate model was used to reexamine the question of whether early Mars could have been kept warm by the greenhouse effect of a dense, CO2 atmosphere. The new model differs from previous models by considering the influence of CO2 clouds on the convective lapse rate and on the the planetary radiation budget. Condensation of CO2 decreases the lapse rate and, hence, reduces the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. This phenomenon becomes increasingly important at low solar luminosities and may preclude warm (0 degree C), globally averaged surface temperatures prior to approximately 2 billion years ago unless other greenhouse gases were present in addition to CO2 and H2O. Alternative mechanisms for warming early Mars and explaining channel formation are discussed.

  5. Martian Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 28 June 2004 The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog, and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth.

    Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other unusual surface forms.

    This image was acquired during early spring near the North Pole. The linear 'ripples' are transparent water-ice clouds. This linear form is typical for polar clouds. The black regions on the margins of this image are areas of saturation caused by the build up of scattered light from the bright polar material during the long image exposure.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 68.1, Longitude 147.9 East (212.1 West). 38 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS

  6. The Martian impact cratering record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strom, Robert G.; Croft, Steven K.; Barlow, Nadine G.

    1992-01-01

    A detailed analysis of the Martian impact cratering record is presented. The major differences in impact crater morphology and morphometry between Mars and the moon and Mercury are argued to be largely the result of subsurface volatiles on Mars. In general, the depth to these volatiles may decrease with increasing latitude in the southern hemisphere, but the base of this layer may be at a more or less constant depth. The Martial crustal dichotomy could have been the result of a very large impact near the end of the accretion of Mars. Monte Carlo computer simulations suggest that such an impact was not only possible, but likely. The Martian highland cratering record shows a marked paucity of craters less than about 30 km in diameter relative to the lunar highlands. This paucity of craters was probably the result of the obliteration of craters by an early period of intense erosion and deposition by aeolian, fluvial, and glacial processes.

  7. Strengths and Weaknesses of Sea Ice as a Potential Early Indicator of Climate Change,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Sea ice is examined for its potential as an early indicator of climate change by considering how well it satisfies four criteria listed as desired... climate change , sea ice is unlikely any time in the near future to be a definitive early indicator of climate change when considered by itself.

  8. Distribution of Early, Middle, and Late Noachian cratered surfaces in the Martian highlands: Implications for resurfacing events and processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irwin, Rossman P.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Robbins, Stuart J.

    2013-02-01

    Most of the geomorphic changes on Mars occurred during the Noachian Period, when the rates of impact crater degradation and valley network incision were highest. Fluvial erosion around the Noachian/Hesperian transition is better constrained than the longer-term landscape evolution throughout the Noachian Period, when the highland intercrater geomorphic surfaces developed. We interpret highland resurfacing events and processes using a new global geologic map of Mars (at 1:20,000,000 scale), a crater data set that is complete down to 1 km in diameter, and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter topography. The Early Noachian highland (eNh) unit is nearly saturated with craters of 32-128 km diameter, the Middle Noachian highland (mNh) unit has a resurfacing age of ~4 Ga, and the Late Noachian highland unit (lNh) includes younger composite surfaces of basin fill and partially buried cratered terrain. These units have statistically distinct ages, and their distribution varies with elevation. The eNh unit is concentrated in the high-standing Hellas basin annulus and in highland terrain that was thinly mantled by basin ejecta near 180° longitude. The mNh unit includes most of Arabia Terra, the Argyre vicinity, highland plateau areas between eNh outcrops, and the Thaumasia range. The lNh unit mostly occurs within highland basins. Crater depth/diameter ratios do not vary strongly between the eNh and mNh units, although crater losses to Noachian resurfacing appear greater in lower lying areas. Noachian resurfacing was spatially non-uniform, long-lived, and gravity-driven, more consistent with arid-zone fluvial and aeolian erosion and volcanism than with air fall mantling or mass wasting.

  9. Boron Enrichment in Martian Clay

    PubMed Central

    Nagashima, Kazuhide; Freeland, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration. PMID:23762242

  10. Equatorial convergence of India and early Cenozoic climate trends

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Dennis V.; Muttoni, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

    India's northward flight and collision with Asia was a major driver of global tectonics in the Cenozoic and, we argue, of atmospheric CO2 concentration (pCO2) and thus global climate. Subduction of Tethyan oceanic crust with a carpet of carbonate-rich pelagic sediments deposited during transit beneath the high-productivity equatorial belt resulted in a component flux of CO2 delivery to the atmosphere capable to maintain high pCO2 levels and warm climate conditions until the decarbonation factory shut down with the collision of Greater India with Asia at the Early Eocene climatic optimum at ≈50 Ma. At about this time, the India continent and the highly weatherable Deccan Traps drifted into the equatorial humid belt where uptake of CO2 by efficient silicate weathering further perturbed the delicate equilibrium between CO2 input to and removal from the atmosphere toward progressively lower pCO2 levels, thus marking the onset of a cooling trend over the Middle and Late Eocene that some suggest triggered the rapid expansion of Antarctic ice sheets at around the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. PMID:18809910

  11. Mountains as early warning indicators of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, M. W.

    2015-12-01

    The panoramic splendor and complexity of mountain environments have inspired and challenged humans for centuries. These areas have been variously perceived as physical structures to be conquered, as sites of spiritual inspiration, and as some of the last untamed natural places on Earth. In our time, the perception that "mountains are forever" may provide solace to those seeking stability in a rapidly changing world. However, changes in the hydrology and in the abundance and species composition of the native flora and fauna of mountain ecosystems are potential bellwethers of global change, because these systems have a propensity to amplify environmental changes within specific portions of this landscape. Mountain areas are thus sentinels of climate change. We are seeing effects today in case histories I present from the Himalaya's, Andes, Alps, and Rocky Mountains. Furthermore, these ecosystem changes are occurring in mountain areas before they occur in downstream ecosystems. Thus, mountains are early warning indicators of perturbations such as climate change. The sensitivity of mountain ecosystems begs for enhanced protection and worldwide protection. Our understanding of the processes that control mountain ecosystems—climate interactions, snowmelt runoff, biotic diversity, nutrient cycling—is much less developed compared to downstream ecosystems where human habitation and development has resulted in large investments in scientific knowledge to sustain health and agriculture. To address these deficiencies, I propose the formation of an international mountain research consortium.

  12. Equatorial convergence of India and early Cenozoic climate trends.

    PubMed

    Kent, Dennis V; Muttoni, Giovanni

    2008-10-21

    India's northward flight and collision with Asia was a major driver of global tectonics in the Cenozoic and, we argue, of atmospheric CO(2) concentration (pCO(2)) and thus global climate. Subduction of Tethyan oceanic crust with a carpet of carbonate-rich pelagic sediments deposited during transit beneath the high-productivity equatorial belt resulted in a component flux of CO(2) delivery to the atmosphere capable to maintain high pCO(2) levels and warm climate conditions until the decarbonation factory shut down with the collision of Greater India with Asia at the Early Eocene climatic optimum at approximately 50 Ma. At about this time, the India continent and the highly weatherable Deccan Traps drifted into the equatorial humid belt where uptake of CO(2) by efficient silicate weathering further perturbed the delicate equilibrium between CO(2) input to and removal from the atmosphere toward progressively lower pCO(2) levels, thus marking the onset of a cooling trend over the Middle and Late Eocene that some suggest triggered the rapid expansion of Antarctic ice sheets at around the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

  13. Early benefits of mitigation in risk of regional climate extremes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciavarella, Andrew; Stott, Peter; Lowe, Jason

    2017-04-01

    Large differences in climate outcomes are projected by the end of this century depending on whether greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase or are reduced sufficiently to limit total warming to below 2 °C (ref. ). However, it is generally thought that benefits of mitigation are hidden by internal climate variability until later in the century. Here we show that if the likelihood of extremely hot seasons is considered, the benefits of mitigation emerge more quickly than previously thought. It takes less than 20 years of emissions reductions in many regions for the likelihood of extreme seasonal warmth to reduce by more than half following initiation of mitigation. Additionally we show that the latest possible date at which the probability of extreme seasonal temperatures will be halved through emissions reductions consistent with the 2 °C target is in the 2040s. Exposure to climate risk is therefore reduced markedly and rapidly with substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrating that the early mitigation needed to limit eventual warming below potentially dangerous levels benefits societies in the nearer term not just in the longer-term future.

  14. Clouds in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Määttänen, Anni; Montmessin, Franck

    2018-01-01

    Although resembling an extremely dry desert, planet Mars hosts clouds in its atmosphere. Every day somewhere on the planet a part of the tiny amount of water vapor held by the atmosphere can condense as ice crystals to form cirrus-type clouds. The existence of water ice clouds has been known for a long time, and they have been studied for decades, leading to the establishment of a well-known climatology and understanding of their formation and properties. Despite their thinness, they have a clear impact on the atmospheric temperatures, thus affecting the Martian climate. Another, more exotic type of clouds forms as well on Mars. The atmospheric temperatures can plunge to such frigid values that the major gaseous component of the atmosphere, CO2, condenses as ice crystals. These clouds form in the cold polar night where they also contribute to the formation of the CO2 ice polar cap, and also in the mesosphere at very high altitudes, near the edge of space, analogously to the noctilucent clouds on Earth. The mesospheric clouds are a fairly recent discovery and have put our understanding of the Martian atmosphere to a test. On Mars, cloud crystals form on ice nuclei, mostly provided by the omnipresent dust. Thus, the clouds link the three major climatic cycles: those of the two major volatiles, H2O and CO2; and that of dust, which is a major climatic agent itself.

  15. CO2: Adsorption on palagonite and the Martian regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Fanale, Fraser P.; Postawko, Susan E.

    1987-01-01

    Possible scenarios for the evolution of the Martian climate are discussed. In the interest of determining an upper limit on the absorptive capacity of the Martian regolith, researchers examined the results of Fanale and Cannon (1971, 1974) for CO2 adsorption on nontronite and basalt. There appeared to be a strong proportionality between the capacity of the absorbent and its specific surface area. A model of the Martian climate is given that allows the researchers to make some estimates of exchangeable CO2 abundances.

  16. Climate Model Tests of the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vavrus, S.; Kutzbach, J.; Philippon, G.

    2008-12-01

    We test the hypothesis that greenhouse gas emissions produced by the combination of early and recent human activities, augmented by additional rises in greenhouse gases through ocean feedbacks, have kept the climate warmer than its natural level and offset an incipient glaciation. We use four different configurations of NCAR's Community Climate System Model to investigate the natural climate that should exist today if CO2 and CH4 concentrations had fallen to their average levels reached during previous interglaciations. The model simulations consist of three using a coupled atmosphere-slab ocean configuration---fixed land cover at moderate (T42) and high (T85) model resolution and interactive vegetation composition at T42 resolution--and one employing a coupled atmosphere-dynamical ocean configuration and fixed land cover at T42 resolution. With greenhouse gas concentrations lowered to their estimated natural levels, global mean temperature falls by 2.5-3.0 K in all four experiments. Of the total global cooling with fixed land cover and moderate model resolution, 38% (62%) is attributable to early agricultural activities (industrialization), while early agriculture accounts for approximately half of the expanded permanent snow cover area. The greenhouse cooling triggers widespread glacial inception in the Northern Hemisphere, where permanent snow cover expands by at least 80% and even more with the addition of enhanced model processes: 130% with the dynamical ocean, 150% with high (T85) model resolution, and 200% with vegetation feedbacks included. The regional pattern of incipient glaciation is strongly influenced by atmospheric and circulation changes, sea ice feedbacks, and model resolution. The simulation with a dynamical ocean produces a decrease in vertically integrated global ocean temperature of 1.25 K, a 20% weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning cell, and an expansion of sea ice and reduced upwelling in the Southern Ocean. Viewed from the

  17. Rover, Airbags & Martian Terrain

    1997-07-04

    This picture from Mars Pathfinder was taken at 9:30 AM in the martian morning (2:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time), after the spacecraft landed earlier today (July 4, 1997). The Sojourner rover is perched on one of three solar panels. The rover is 65 cm (26 inches) long by 18 cm (7 inches) tall; each of its wheels is about 13 cm (5 inches) high. The white material to the left of the front of the rover is part of the airbag system used to cushion the landing. Many rocks of different of different sizes can be seen, set in a background of reddish soil. The landing site is in the mouth of an ancient channel carved by water. The rocks may be primarily flood debris. The horizon is seen towards the top of the picture. The light brown hue of the sky results from suspended dust. Pathfinder, a low-cost Discovery mission, is the first of a new fleet of spacecraft that are planned to explore Mars over the next ten years. Mars Global Surveyor, already en route, arrives at Mars on September 11 to begin a two year orbital reconnaissance of the planet's composition, topography, and climate. Additional orbiters and landers will follow every 26 months. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00608

  18. Terrestrial Biomarkers for Early Life on Earth as Analogs for Possible Martian Life Forms: Examples of Minerally Replaced Bacteria and Biofilms From the 3.5 - 3.3-Ga Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; deWit, M. J.; Dann, J.; Gerneke, D.; deRonde, C. E. J.

    1998-01-01

    The search for extraterrestrial life and especially martian life hinges on a variety of methods used to identify vestiges of what we could recognize as life, including chemical signatures, morphological fossils, and biogenic precipitates. Although the possibility of extant life on Mars (subsurface) is being considered, most exploration efforts may be directed toward the search for fossil life. Geomorphological evidence points to a warmer and wetter Mars early on in its history, a scenario that encourages comparison with the early Earth. For this reason, study of the early terrestrial life forms and environment in which they lived may provide clues as to how to search for extinct martian life. As a contribution to the early Archean database of terrestrial microfossils, we present new data on morphological fossils from the 3.5-3.3-Ga Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa. This study underlines the variety of fossil types already present in some of the oldest, best-preserved terrestrial sediments, ranging from minerally replaced bacteria and bacteria molds of vaRious morphologies (coccoid, coccobacillus, bacillus) to minerally replaced biofilm. Biofilm or extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is produced by bacteria and appears to be more readily fossilisable than bacteria themselves. The BGB fossils occur in shallow water to subaerial sediments interbedded with volcanic lavas, the whole being deposited on oceanic crust. Penecontemporaneous silicification of sediments and volcanics resulted in the chertification of the rocks, which were later subjected to low-grade metamorphism (lower greenschist).

  19. Endolithic microbial model for Martian exobiology: The road to extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oscampo-Friedmann, R.; Friedmann, E. I.

    1991-01-01

    Martian exobiology is based on the assumption that on early Mars, liquid water was present and that conditions were suitable for the evolution of life. The cause for life to disappear from the surface and the recognizable fingerprints of past microbial activity preserved on Mars are addressed. The Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial ecosystem as a model for extinction in the deteriorating Martian environment is discussed.

  20. Martian paleolakes and waterways: Exobiological implications

    Scott, D.H.; Rice, J. W.; Dohm, J.M.

    1991-01-01

    The problems of how warm and wet Mars once was and when climate transitions may have occurred are not well understood. Mars may have had an early environment similar to Earth's that was conductive to the ermergence of life. In addition, increasing geologic evidence indicates that water, upon which terrestrial life depends, has been present on Mars throughout its history. This evidence suggests that life could have developed not only on early Mars but also over longer periods of time in longer lasting, more clement local environments. Indications of past or present life most likely would be found in areas where liquid water existed in sufficient quantities to provide for the needs of biological systems. We suggest that paleolakes may have provided such environments. Unlike the case on Earth, this record of the origin and evolution of life has probably not been erased by extensive deformation of the Martian surface. Our work has identified eleven prospective areas where large lacustrine basins may once have existed. These areas are important for future biological, geological, and climatological investigations. ?? 1991 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  1. Simultaneous adsorption of CO2 and H2O under Mars-like conditions and application to the evolution of the Martian climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, Aaron, P.; Quinn, Richard C.

    1995-01-01

    The Martian regolith is the most substantial volatile reservoir on the planet; estimates of its adsorbed inventory have been based on simple measurements of the adsorption of either water or CO2 in isolation. Under some conditions, H2O can poison adsorbate surfaces, such that CO2 uptake is greatly reduced. We have made the first measurements of the simultaneous adsorption of CO2 and H2O under conditions appropriate to the Martian regolith and have found that at H2O monolayer coverage above about 0.5, CO2 begins to be displaced into the gas phase. We have developed an empirical expression that describes our co-adsorption data and have applied it to standard models of the Martian regolith. We find that currently, H2O does not substantially displace CO, implying that the adsorbate inventories previously derived may be accurate, not more than 3-4 kPa (30-40 mbar). No substantial increase in atmospheric pressure is predicted at higher obliquities because high-latitude ground ice buffers the partial pressure of H2O in the pores, preventing high monolayer coverages of H2O from displacing CO2. The peak atmospheric pressure at high obliquity does increase as the total inventory of exchangeable CO2 increases.

  2. Simutaneous adsorption of CO2 and H2O under Mars-like conditions and application to the evolution of the Martian climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Quinn, Richard C.

    1995-01-01

    The Martian regolith is the most substantial volatile reservoir on the planet; estimates of its adsorbed inventory have been based on simple measurements of the adsorption of either water or CO2 in isolation. Under some conditions, H2O can poison adsorbate surfaces, such that CO2 uptake is greatly reduced. We have made the first measurements of the simultaneous adsorption of CO2 and H2O under conditions appropriate to the Martian regolith and have found that at H2O monolayer coverage above about 0.5, CO2 begins to be displaced into the gas phase. We have developed an empirical expression that describes our co-adsorption data and have applied it to standard models of the Martian regolith. We find that currently, H2O does not substantially displace CO2, implying that the adsorbate inventories previously derived may be accurate, not more than 3-4 kPa (30-40 mbar). No substantial increase in atmospheric pressure is predicted at higher obliquities because high-latitude ground ice buffers the partial pressure of H2O in the pores, preventing high monolayer coverages of H2O from displacing CO2. The peak atmospheric pressure at high obliquity does increase as the total inventory of exchangeable CO2 increases.

  3. A massive hydrogen-rich Martian greenhouse recorded in D/H

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pahlevan, K.; Schaefer, L. K.; Desch, S. J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-12-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in Martian atmospheric water ( 6x standard mean ocean water, SMOW) [1,2] is higher than that of known sources [3,4] alluding to a planetary enrichment process. A recent measurement by the Curiosity rover of Hesperian clays yields a D/H value 3x higher than SMOW [5], demonstrating that most enrichment occurred early in planetary history, buttressing the conclusions of Martian meteorite studies [6,7]. Extant models of the isotopic evolution of the Martian hydrosphere have not incorporated primordial H2, despite its likely abundance on early Mars. Here, we report the first 1D climate calculations with an atmospheric composition determined via degassing from a reducing magma ocean to study Martian climate during an early water ocean stage. A reducing Martian magma ocean is expected based on experimental petrology [8], the degassing of which gives rise to an H2-rich steam atmosphere [9] with strong attendant greenhouse warming [10,11] even after the removal of steam via condensation. At the pressures and temperatures prevailing in such a degassed greenhouse, we find that isotopic exchange in the fluid envelope is rapid, strongly concentrating deuterium in water molecules over molecular hydrogen [12]. The subsequent loss of the isotopically light H2-rich atmosphere results in a 2x D/H enrichment in the oceans via isotopic equilibration alone. These calculations suggest that most of the D/H enrichment observed in the first billion years of Martian history is produced by the evolution of a massive ( 100 bar) H2-rich greenhouse in the aftermath of magma ocean crystallization. The proposed link between early planetary process and modern isotopic observable opens a new window into the earliest history of Mars. [1] Owen, T. et al. Science 240, 1767-1770 (1988). [2] Webster, C. R. et al. Science 341, 260-263 (2013). [3] Lunine, J. I. et al. Icarus 165, 1-8, (2003). [4] Marty, B. et al. EPSL 441, 91-102, (2016). [5] Mahaffy, P. et al

  4. The Martian Dust Cycle: Observations and Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.

    2013-01-01

    The dust cycle is critically important for Mars' current climate system. Suspended atmospheric dust affects the radiative balance of the atmosphere, and thus greatly influences the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere. Evidence for the presence of dust in the Martian atmosphere can be traced back to yellow clouds telescopically observed as early as the early 19th century. The Mariner 9 orbiter arrived at Mars in November of 1971 to find a planet completely enshrouded in airborne dust. Since that time, the exchange of dust between the planet's surface and atmosphere and the role of airborne dust on Mars' weather and climate has been studied using observations and numerical models. The goal of this talk is to give an overview of the observations and to discuss the successes and challenges associated with modeling the dust cycle. Dust raising events on Mars range in size from meters to hundreds of kilometers. During some years, regional storms merge to produce hemispheric or planet encircling dust clouds that obscure the surface and raise atmospheric temperatures by tens of kelvin. The interannual variability of planet encircling dust storms is poorly understood. Although the occurrence and season of large regional and global dust storms are highly variable from one year to the next, there are many features of the dust cycle that occur year after year. A low-level dust haze is maintained during northern spring and summer, while elevated levels of atmospheric dust occur during northern autumn and winter. During years without global-scale dust storms, two peaks in total dust loading are generally observed: one peak occurs before northern winter solstice and one peak occurs after northern winter solstice. Numerical modeling studies attempting to interactively simulate the Martian dust cycle with general circulation models (GCMs) include the lifting, transport, and sedimentation of radiatively active dust. Two dust lifting processes are commonly represented in

  5. Early Cretaceous ice rafting and climate zonation in Australia

    SciT

    Frakes, L.A.; Alley, N.F.; Deynoux, M.

    1995-07-01

    Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian to Albian) strata of the southwestern Eromanga and Carpentaria basins of central and northern Australia, respectively, provide evidence of strongly seasonal climates at high paleolatitudes. These include dispersed clasts (lonestones) in fine sediments and pseudomorphs of calcite after ikaite (glendonites), the latter being known to form only at temperatures below about 7{degrees}C. Rafting is regarded as the transport mechanism for clasts up to boulder size (lonestones) enclosed within dark mudrocks; this interpretation rests on rare occurrences of penetration by clasts into substrate layers. Driftwood and large floating algae are eliminated as possible rafts because fossil wood ismore » found mainly concentrated in nearshore areas of the basins and large algal masses have not been observed. Rafting by icebergs is considered unlikely in view of the global lack of tillites and related glacial deposits of this age. Our interpretation is that seasonal ice, formed in winter along stream courses and strandlines, incorporated clasts which, during the melt season, were dropped into muddy sediments in both basins. Eromanga fine-sediment and concentrations of large clasts and associated sand lenses, both lying above local erosion surfaces. In the Carpentaria Basin, local dumping of sediment from raft surfaces resulted in accumulation of pods of small clasts. Three zones can be identified for the Early Cretaceous climate of eastern Australia: (1) a very cold southern region, at latitudes above about 72{degrees} S, characterized by meteoric waters possibly originating as Antarctic glacial meltwaters; (2) a zone of strongly seasonal climates, with freezing winters and warm summers, between about 72{degrees} and 53{degrees} S.Lat.; and (3) a mid-latitude zone (below about 50{degrees} S. Lat.), where freezing temperatures were not common. 60 refs., 7 figs.« less

  6. Seasonal Temperature Pattern Indicating Martian Dust Storms

    2016-06-09

    This graphic shows Martian atmospheric temperature data related to seasonal patterns in occurrence of large regional dust storms. The data shown here were collected by the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of one-half of a Martian year, during 2012 and 2013. The color coding indicates daytime temperatures of a layer of the atmosphere centered about 16 miles (25 kilometers) above ground level, corresponding to the color-key bar at the bottom of the graphic. Three regional dust storms indicated by increased temperatures are labeled A, B and C. A similar sequence of three large regional dust storms has been seen in atmosphere-temperature data from five other Martian years. The vertical axis is latitude on Mars, from the north pole at the top to south pole at the bottom. Each graphed data point is an average for all Martian longitudes around the planet. The horizontal axis is the time of year, spanning from the beginning of Mars' southern-hemisphere spring (on the left) to the end of southern-hemisphere summer. This is the half of the year when large Martian dust storms are most active. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20746

  7. Martian polar expeditions: problems and solutions.

    PubMed

    Cockell, C S

    2001-12-01

    The Martian polar ice caps are regions of substantial scientific interest, being the most dynamic regions of Mars. They are volatile sinks and thus closely linked to Martian climatic conditions. Because of their scale and the precedent set by the past history of polar exploration on Earth, it is likely that an age of polar exploration will emerge on the surface of Mars after the establishment of a capable support structure at lower latitudes. Expeditions might be launched either from a lower latitude base camp or from a human-tended polar base. Based on previously presented expeditionary routes to the Martian poles, in this paper a "spiral in-spiral out" unsupported transpolar assault on the Martian north geographical pole is used as a Reference expedition to propose new types of equipment for the human polar exploration of Mars. Martian polar "ball" tents and "hover" modifications to the Nansen sledge for sledging on CO2-containing water ice substrates under low atmospheric pressures are suggested as elements for the success of these endeavours. Other challenges faced by these expeditions are quantitatively and qualitatively addressed. c 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Early climate on earth-reduced gas models and early climate on Mars-reduced gas and obliquity models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toon, O. B.; Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    At high obliquity, Martian polar ground temperatures could exceed the melting point of ice for considerable periods of time (approximately 90 Earth days). Under special conditions ice itself might melt. Carbon dioxide adsorbed on the Martian regolith is not expected to buffer the seasonal pressure wave except in the unlikely event that the soil pore size is very large (50 micron). For a basaltic soil composition the maximum CO2 that could be desorbed over obliquity time scales due to thermal forces is a few millibars. At low obliquities the atmospheric pressures may drop, desorbing the soil. The only means to achieve higher CO2 pressures is to have much higher planet-wide temperatures due to some greenhouse effect, or to be at an epoch before the regolith or carbonates formed. The water ice budget between north and south polar caps was considered and summer sublimation rates imply that the ice could be exchanged between the poles during obliquity cycles. A critical factor in the polar cap water budget is the interaction of water and dust. The origin of the Martian polar laminae is probably due to variations in this interaction.

  9. The climate of early Mars: New insights from climate modeling and geological intercomparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.

    2016-12-01

    Early Mars has abundant evidence for running water 3-4 Ga, but the extent to which it was continuously warm and wet, with a northern ocean, remains a continuing source of controversy. Although large uncertainties remain, advances in orbital and rover observations and climate modeling over the last decade have led to important new insights. Here, the geological evidence for both fluvial and fluvoglacial erosion is first reviewed. A phase space approach is then taken that considers the surface H2O inventory and steady-state mean surface temperature as separate variables. Based on this, it is argued that a fairly cold climate state with limited H2O inventory provides the best fit to the geological observations. In particular, a 'top-down' hydrological cycle where ice deposits form on the south pole, equatorial highlands and Tharsis allows significant fluvial erosion via episodic melting. Importantly, it also avoids the buildup of the thick, wet-based icesheets across the southern hemisphere that would appear following the wet scenario where early Mars had a northern ocean. At the end of the talk, the most likely mechanisms to explain the episodic melting events in the mainly cold, 'icy highlands' state are also discussed.

  10. National Climate Program: Early achievements and future directions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Activities of the National Climate Program since 1978 are reviewed, and outlines new directions which should be emphasized over the next five years or so. These are discussed under the subentities of climate system research; climate impacts; and climatic data, information, and services.

  11. Hydrogen in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peslier, A. H.; Hervig, R.; Irving, T.

    2017-01-01

    Most volatile studies of Mars have targeted its surface via spacecraft and rover data, and have evidenced surficial water in polar caps and the atmosphere, in the presence of river channels, and in the detection of water bearing minerals. The other focus of Martian volatile studies has been on Martian meteorites which are all from its crust. Most of these studies are on hydrous phases like apatite, a late-stage phase, i.e. crystallizing near the end of the differentiation sequence of Martian basalts and cumulates. Moreover, calculating the water content of the magma a phosphate crystallized from is not always possible, and yet is an essential step to estimate how much water was present in a parent magma and its source. Water, however, is primarily dissolved in the interiors of differentiated planets as hydrogen in lattice defects of nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, pyroxene, feldspar) of the crust and mantle. This hydrogen has tremendous influence, even in trace quantities, on a planet's formation, geodynamics, cooling history and the origin of its volcanism and atmosphere as well as its potential for life. Studies of hydrogen in nominally anhydrous phases of Martian meteorites are rare. Measuring water contents and hydrogen isotopes in well-characterized nominally anhydrous minerals of Martian meteorites is the goal of our study. Our work aims at deciphering what influences the distribution and origin of hydrogen in Martian minerals, such as source, differentiation, degassing and shock.

  12. Climate sensitivity to Arctic seaway restriction during the early Paleogene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Christopher D.; LeGrande, Allegra N.; Tripati, Aradhna K.

    2009-09-01

    The opening and closing of ocean gateways affects the global distribution of heat, salt, and moisture, potentially driving climatic change on regional to global scales. Between 65 and 45 million years ago (Ma), during the early Paleogene, exchange between the Arctic and global oceans occurred through two narrow and shallow seaways, the Greenland-Norway seaway and the Turgai Strait. Sediments from the Arctic Ocean suggest that, during this interval, the surface ocean was warm, brackish, and episodically enabled the freshwater fern Azolla to bloom. The precise mechanisms responsible for the development of these conditions in the Paleogene Arctic remain uncertain. Here we show results from an isotope-enabled, atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, which indicate that Northern Hemisphere climate would have been very sensitive to the degree of oceanic exchange through the Arctic seaways. We also present modelled estimates of seawater and calcite δ18O for the Paleogene. By restricting these seaways, we simulate freshening of the surface Arctic Ocean to ~ 6 psu and warming of sea-surface temperatures by 2 °C in the North Atlantic and 5-10 °C in the Labrador Sea. Our results may help explain the occurrence of low-salinity tolerant taxa in the Arctic Ocean during the Eocene and provide a mechanism for enhanced warmth in the north western Atlantic. We propose that the formation of a volcanic land-bridge between Greenland and Europe could have caused increased ocean convection and warming of intermediate waters in the Atlantic. If true, this result is consistent with the theory that bathymetry changes may have caused thermal destabilisation of methane clathrates and supports a tectonic trigger hypothesis for the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

  13. Sulphur Spring: Busy Intersection and Possible Martian Analogue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nankivell, A.; Andre, N.; Thomas-Keprta, K.; Allen, C.; McKay, D.

    2000-01-01

    Life in extreme environments exhibiting conditions similar to early Earth and Mars, such as Sulphur Spring, may harbor microbiota serving as both relics from the past as well as present day Martian analogues.

  14. Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles. Part 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. (Editor); Treiman, A. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    Different aspects of martian science are discussed. Topics covered include: early Mars volatile inventory, evolution through time, geological influences, present atmospheric properties, soils, exobiology, polar volatiles, and seasonal and diurnal cycles

  15. MECA Symposium on Mars: Evolution of its Climate and Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Victor (Editor); Carr, Michael (Editor); Fanale, Fraser (Editor); Greeley, Ronald (Editor); Haberle, Robert (Editor); Leovy, Conway (Editor); Maxwell, Ted (Editor)

    1987-01-01

    The geological, atmospheric, and climatic history of Mars is explored in reviews and reports of recent observational and interpretive investigations. Topics addressed include evidence for a warm wet climate on early Mars, volatiles on Earth and on Mars, CO2 adsorption on palagonite and its implications for Martian regolith partitioning, and the effect of spatial resolution on interpretations of Martian subsurface volatiles. Consideration is given to high resolution observations of rampart craters, ring furrows in highland terrains, the interannual variability of the south polar cap, telescopic observations of the north polar cap and circumpolar clouds, and dynamical modeling of a planetary wave polar warming mechanism.

  16. Evidence for a Second Martian Dynamo from Electron Reflection Magnetometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillis, R. J.; Manga, M.; Mitchell, D. L.; Lin, R. P.; Acuna, M. H.

    2005-01-01

    Present-day Mars does not possess an active core dynamo and associated global magnetic field. However, the discovery of intensely magnetized crust in Mars Southern hemisphere implies that a Martian dynamo has existed in the past. Resolving the history of the Martian core dynamo is important for understanding the evolution of the planet's interior. Moreover, because the global magnetic field provided by an active dynamo can shield the atmosphere from erosion by the solar wind, it may have influenced past Martian climate. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  17. Martian "Swiss Cheese"

    2000-04-24

    This image is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. Looking like pieces of sliced and broken swiss cheese, the upper layer of the martian south polar residual cap has been eroded, leaving flat-topped mesas into which are set circular depressions such as those shown here. The circular features are depressions, not hills. The largest mesas here stand about 4 meters (13 feet) high and may be composed of frozen carbon dioxide and/or water. Nothing like this has ever been seen anywhere on Mars except within the south polar cap, leading to some speculation that these landforms may have something to do with the carbon dioxide thought to be frozen in the south polar region. On Earth, we know frozen carbon dioxide as "dry ice." On Mars, as this picture might be suggesting, there may be entire landforms larger than a small town and taller than 2 to 3 men and women that consist, in part, of dry ice. No one knows for certain whether frozen carbon dioxide has played a role in the creation of the "swiss cheese" and other bizarre landforms seen in this picture. The picture covers an area 3 x 9 kilometers (1.9 x 5.6 miles) near 85.6°S, 74.4°W at a resolution of 7.3 meters (24 feet) per pixel. This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during early southern spring on August 3, 1999. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02367

  18. Martian 'Swiss Cheese'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This image is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

    Looking like pieces of sliced and broken swiss cheese, the upper layer of the martian south polar residual cap has been eroded, leaving flat-topped mesas into which are set circular depressions such as those shown here. The circular features are depressions, not hills. The largest mesas here stand about 4 meters (13 feet) high and may be composed of frozen carbon dioxide and/or water. Nothing like this has ever been seen anywhere on Mars except within the south polar cap, leading to some speculation that these landforms may have something to do with the carbon dioxide thought to be frozen in the south polar region. On Earth, we know frozen carbon dioxide as 'dry ice'. On Mars, as this picture might be suggesting, there may be entire landforms larger than a small town and taller than 2 to 3 men and women that consist, in part, of dry ice.

    No one knows for certain whether frozen carbon dioxide has played a role in the creation of the 'swiss cheese' and other bizarre landforms seen in this picture. The picture covers an area 3 x 9 kilometers (1.9 x 5.6 miles) near 85.6oS, 74.4oW at a resolution of 7.3 meters (24 feet) per pixel. This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during early southern spring on August 3, 1999.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  19. Chemistry of Martian Rock Esperance

    2013-06-07

    This triangle plot shows the relative concentrations of some of the major chemical elements in the Martian rock Esperance. The compositions of average Martian crust and of montmorillonite, a common clay mineral, are shown.

  20. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  1. Clouds Sailing Above Martian Horizon, Enhanced

    2017-08-09

    Clouds drift across the sky above a Martian horizon in this accelerated sequence of enhanced images from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The rover's Navigation Camera (Navcam) took these eight images over a span of four minutes early in the morning of the mission's 1,758th Martian day, or sol (July 17, 2017), aiming toward the south horizon. They have been processed by first making a "flat field' adjustment for known differences in sensitivity among pixels and correcting for camera artifacts due to light reflecting within the camera, and then generating an "average" of all the frames and subtracting that average from each frame. This subtraction emphasizes changes whether due to movement -- such as the clouds' motion -- or due to lighting -- such as changing shadows on the ground as the morning sunlight angle changed. On the same Martian morning, Curiosity also observed clouds nearly straight overhead. The clouds resemble Earth's cirrus clouds, which are ice crystals at high altitudes. These Martian clouds are likely composed of crystals of water ice that condense onto dust grains in the cold Martian atmosphere. Cirrus wisps appear as ice crystals fall and evaporate in patterns known as "fall streaks" or "mare's tails." Such patterns have been seen before at high latitudes on Mars, for instance by the Phoenix Mars Lander in 2008, and seasonally nearer the equator, for instance by the Opportunity rover. However, Curiosity has not previously observed such clouds so clearly visible from the rover's study area about five degrees south of the equator. The Hubble Space Telescope and spacecraft orbiting Mars have observed a band of clouds to appear near the Martian equator around the time of the Martian year when the planet is farthest from the Sun. With a more elliptical orbit than Earth's, Mars experiences more annual variation than Earth in its distance from the Sun. The most distant point in an orbit around the Sun is called the aphelion. The near-equatorial Martian

  2. A Narrowing Target for Early Mars Climate Models: Which Models Survive Confrontation with Improved Hydrology Constraints?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kite, E. S.; Goldblatt, C.; Gao, P.; Mayer, D. P.; Sneed, J.; Wilson, S. A.

    2016-12-01

    The wettest climates in Mars' geologic history represent habitability optima, and also set the tightest constraints on climate models. For lake-forming climates on Early Mars, geologic data constrain discharge, duration, intermittency, and the number of lake-forming events. We synthesise new and existing data to suggest that post-Noachian lake-forming climates were widely separated in time, lasted >10^4 yr individually, were few in number, but cumulatively lasted <10^7 yr (to allow olivine to survive globally). We compare these data against existing models, set out a new model involving methane bursts, and conclude with future directions for Early Mars geologic analysis and modelling work.

  3. Martian sedimentary deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dehon, Rene

    1992-01-01

    The objectives are characterization of flow through outflow channels, sedimentation associated with Martian outflow systems, and documentation of Martian lakes. Over the period of the grant much, but not all, of the study centered on the Maja Valles outflow. Maja served as an example in which the effects of multiple channel routing and ponding could be studied. Maja Valles also served as the test case for calculating flow through an outflow system. Applying the lessons learned in Maja Valles and comparisons and contrast required a scrutiny of other channels.

  4. Martian Surface Beneath Phoenix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This is an image of the Martian surface beneath NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by Phoenix's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) on the eighth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 8 (June 2, 2008). The light feature in the middle of the image below the leg is informally called 'Holy Cow.' The dust, shown in the dark foreground, has been blown off of 'Holy Cow' by Phoenix's thruster engines.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  5. Was Early Mars Warmed by CH4?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Justh, H. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    Images from the Mariner, Viking and Mars Global Surveyor missions have shown geologic features on the Martian surface that seem to indicate an earlier period of hydrologic activity. Many researchers have suggested that the early Martian climate was more Earth-like with a Ts of 273 K or higher. The presence of liquid water would require a greenhouse effect much larger than needed at present since S0 is 25% lower 3.8 billion years ago when the channels are thought to have formed. Research into the effects of CO2 clouds upon the climate of early Mars have yielded results that would not effectively warm the surface to the temperature needed to account for the presence of liquid water. Forget and Pierrehumbert (Science, 1997) showed that large crystals of CO2 ice in clouds that form in the upper troposphere would produce a strong warming effect. Obtaining mean surface temperatures above 273 K would require 100% cloud cover, a condition that is unrealistic for early Mars. It has also been shown that any reduction in cloud cover makes it difficult to achieve warm Martian surface temperatures except at high pressures. CO2 clouds could also cool the Martian surface if they were low and optically thick. CO2 ice may be hard to nucleate, leading to the formation of very large particles (Glandorf, private communication). CH4 has been suggested as an important greenhouse gas on the early Earth. This has led us to look at CH4 as a potential solution to the early Mars climate issue. To investigate the possible warming effect of CH4, we utilized a modified, one-dimensional, radiative-convective climate model that has been used in previous studies of the early Martian climate. New calculations of the effects of CH4 upon the early Martian climate will be presented. The use of CH4 to warm the surface of early Mars does not necessarily imply the presence of life on Mars. Abiotic sources of CH4, such as serpentinization of ultramafic rocks, could supply the concentrations needed to warm

  6. Morphometric analysis of Martian valley network basins using a circularity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Wei; Howard, Alan D.

    2005-12-01

    This paper employs a circularity function to quantify the internal morphology of Martian watershed basins in Margaritifer Sinus region and to infer the primary erosional processes that led to their current geomorphologic characteristics and possible climatic conditions under which these processes operated. The circularity function describes the elongation of a watershed basin at different elevations. We have used the circularity functions of terrestrial basins that were interpreted as having been modified by (1) erosion related to primarily groundwater sapping and (2) erosion related to primarily rainfall and surface run-off, as well as the circularity functions of cratering basins on the Moon, in order to formulate discriminant functions that are able to separate the three types of landforms. The spatial pattern of the classification of Martian basins based on discriminant functions shows that basins that look morphologically similar to terrestrial fluvial basins are mostly clustered near the mainstream at low elevation, while those that look morphologically similar to terrestrial basins interpreted as groundwater sapping origin are located near the tributaries and at higher elevation. There are more of the latter than the former. This spatial distribution is inconsistent with a continuous Earth-like warm and wet climate for early Mars. Instead, it is more aligned with an overall early dry climate punctuated with episodic wet periods. Alternatively, the concentrated erosion in the mainstream could also be caused by a change of water source from rainfall to snowfall or erosion cut through a duricrust layer.

  7. MEDUSA (Martian Environmental DUst Systematic Analyser) for the monitoring of the Martian atmospheric dust and water vapour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colangeli, L.; Battaglia, R.; della Corte, V.; Esposito, F.; Ferrini, G.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Panizza, A.; Rotundi, A.

    2004-03-01

    The knowledge of Martian airborne dust properties and about mechanisms of dust settling/raising to/from the surface are important to determine climate and surface evolution on Mars. Water is an important tracer of climatic changes on long time-scales and is strictly related to the presence of life forms. The study in situ of dust and water vapour properties and evolution in Martian atmosphere is useful to trace back the planet climate, also in function of life form development. This investigation is also appropriate in preparation to future manned exploration of the planet (in relation to hazardous conditions). In this work we discuss the concept of the MEDUSA (Martian Environmental Dust Analyser) experiment that is designed to provide data on grain size and mass distribution, number density, velocity and scattering properties and on water vapour concentration. The instrument is a multisensor system based on optical and impact detection of grains, coupled with cumulative deposition sensors.

  8. The geological and climatological case for a warmer and wetter early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Craddock, Robert A.

    2018-04-01

    The climate of early Mars remains a topic of intense debate. Ancient terrains preserve landscapes consistent with stream channels, lake basins and possibly even oceans, and thus the presence of liquid water flowing on the Martian surface 4 billion years ago. However, despite the geological evidence, determining how long climatic conditions supporting liquid water lasted remains uncertain. Climate models have struggled to generate sufficiently warm surface conditions given the faint young Sun—even assuming a denser early atmosphere. A warm climate could have potentially been sustained by supplementing atmospheric CO2 and H2O warming with either secondary greenhouse gases or clouds. Alternatively, the Martian climate could have been predominantly cold and icy, with transient warming episodes triggered by meteoritic impacts, volcanic eruptions, methane bursts or limit cycles. Here, we argue that a warm and semi-arid climate capable of producing rain is most consistent with the geological and climatological evidence.

  9. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Technicians carefully maneuver the Mars Climate Orbiter toward its workstand in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2). The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  10. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Climate Orbiter is lifted clear of the top of its container in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2). The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  11. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Technicians in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) oversee the removal of the Mars Climate Orbiter from its container. The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  12. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Technicians lower the Mars Climate Orbiter onto its workstand in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2). The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  13. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Technicians in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) prepare a lifting device they will use to remove the Mars Climate Orbiter from its container (behind the workers). The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  14. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), the Mars Climate Orbiter (background) is moved toward the workstand being readied by technicians (foreground). The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  15. The Mars Climate Orbiter is prepared for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Technicians check the connections on the workstand holding the Mars Climate Orbiter in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2). The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket.

  16. Evidence of a Cooler Continental Climate in East China during the Warm Early Cenozoic.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian-Qian; Smith, Thierry; Yang, Jian; Li, Cheng-Sen

    2016-01-01

    The early Cenozoic was characterized by a very warm climate especially during the Early Eocene. To understand climatic changes in eastern Asia, we reconstructed the Early Eocene vegetation and climate based on palynological data of a borehole from Wutu coal mine, East China and evaluated the climatic differences between eastern Asia and Central Europe. The Wutu palynological assemblages indicated a warm temperate vegetation succession comprising mixed needle- and broad-leaved forests. Three periods of vegetation succession over time were recognized. The changes of palynomorph relative abundance indicated that period 1 was warm and humid, period 2 was relatively warmer and wetter, and period 3 was cooler and drier again. The climatic parameters estimated by the coexistence approach (CA) suggested that the Early Eocene climate in Wutu was warmer and wetter. Mean annual temperature (MAT) was approximately 16°C and mean annual precipitation (MAP) was 800-1400 mm. Comparison of the Early Eocene climatic parameters of Wutu with those of 39 other fossil floras of different age in East China, reveals that 1) the climate became gradually cooler during the last 65 million years, with MAT dropping by 9.3°C. This cooling trend coincided with the ocean temperature changes but with weaker amplitude; 2) the Early Eocene climate was cooler in East China than in Central Europe; 3) the cooling trend in East China (MAT dropped by 6.9°C) was gentler than in Central Europe (MAT dropped by 13°C) during the last 45 million years.

  17. Evidence of a Cooler Continental Climate in East China during the Warm Early Cenozoic

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qian-Qian; Smith, Thierry; Yang, Jian; Li, Cheng-Sen

    2016-01-01

    The early Cenozoic was characterized by a very warm climate especially during the Early Eocene. To understand climatic changes in eastern Asia, we reconstructed the Early Eocene vegetation and climate based on palynological data of a borehole from Wutu coal mine, East China and evaluated the climatic differences between eastern Asia and Central Europe. The Wutu palynological assemblages indicated a warm temperate vegetation succession comprising mixed needle- and broad-leaved forests. Three periods of vegetation succession over time were recognized. The changes of palynomorph relative abundance indicated that period 1 was warm and humid, period 2 was relatively warmer and wetter, and period 3 was cooler and drier again. The climatic parameters estimated by the coexistence approach (CA) suggested that the Early Eocene climate in Wutu was warmer and wetter. Mean annual temperature (MAT) was approximately 16°C and mean annual precipitation (MAP) was 800–1400 mm. Comparison of the Early Eocene climatic parameters of Wutu with those of 39 other fossil floras of different age in East China, reveals that 1) the climate became gradually cooler during the last 65 million years, with MAT dropping by 9.3°C. This cooling trend coincided with the ocean temperature changes but with weaker amplitude; 2) the Early Eocene climate was cooler in East China than in Central Europe; 3) the cooling trend in East China (MAT dropped by 6.9°C) was gentler than in Central Europe (MAT dropped by 13°C) during the last 45 million years. PMID:27196048

  18. Distribution and Orientation of Alluvial Fans in Martian Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kraal, E. R.; Moore, J. M.; Howard, A. D.; Asphaug, E. I.

    2005-01-01

    We present the results of the complete survey of Martian alluvial fans from 0-30 S, initiated by Moore and Howard. Nineteen impact craters contain alluvial fans. They are regionally grouped into three distinct areas. We present our initial results regarding their distribution and orientation in order to understand what controls their formation. Since alluvial fans are formed by water transport of sediment, these features record wetter episodes of Martian climate. In addition, their enigmatic distribution (in regional groups and in some craters, but not similar adjacent ones) needs to be understood, to see how regional geology, topographic characteristics, and/or climate influence their formation and distribution.

  19. Proceedings of the MECA Workshop on The Evoluation of the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. (Editor); James, P. (Editor); Conway, L. (Editor); Pepin, R. (Editor); Pollack, J. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    Topics addressed include: Mars' volatile budget; climatic implications of martian channels; bulk composition of Mars; accreted water inventory; evolution of CO2; dust storms; nonlinear frost albedo feedback on Mars; martian atmospheric evolution; effects of asteroidal and cometary impacts; and water exchange between the regolith and the atmosphere/cap system over obliquity timescales.

  20. History of Martian Atmosphere and Volatiles Derived From MAVEN Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The MAVEN spacecraft has been observing loss of volatiles from the Mars upper atmosphere to space for more than a full Mars year. By understanding the present-day loss rates and the processes that drive loss, we can extrapolate to past epochs and estimate the total amount of gas lost to space through time. The current total loss rate is more than 2 kg/s. With the increased loss rate in the past due to the greater solar EUV flux and solar-wind intensity early in history, we estimate that more than 0.5 bar of CO2 might have been lost to space. This plausibility argument is augmented by observations of the 38Ar/36Ar ratio today that provide a direct indication of the integrated loss through time; the measurements indicate that the majority of atmospheric gas has, in fact, been lost to space. Combined with the lack of carbonates on the surface that can be a reservoir for CO2 from an earlier, thick atmosphere, these results point to loss to space as having been the major process for driving the changes in the atmosphere. Loss to space appears to have been responsible for changing the Martian climate from an early, warm, wet environment to the cold, dry climate that we see today.

  1. Topical Collection: Climate-change research by early-career hydrogeologists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Re, Viviana; Maldaner, Carlos H.; Gurdak, Jason J.; Leblanc, Marc; Resende, Tales Carvalho; Stigter, Tibor Y.

    2018-05-01

    Scientific outreach, international networking, collaboration and adequate courses are needed in both developed and developing countries to enable early-career hydrogeologists to promote long-term multidisciplinary approaches to cope with climate-change issues and emphasize the importance of groundwater in a global strategy for adaptation. One such collaboration has involved the Early Career Hydrogeologists' Network of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (ECHN-IAH) and the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme's (IHP) Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Changes (GRAPHIC) project. This collaboration seeks to foster the education and involvement of the future generation of water leaders in the debate over groundwater and climate change.

  2. Unraveling the Diversity of Early Aqueous Environments and Climate on Mars Through the Phyllosilicate Record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Baker, L. L.; Fairén, A. G.; Gross, C.; Velbel, M. A.; Rampe, E. B.; Michalski, J. R.

    2017-01-01

    Were Martian phyllosilicates formed on the surface or subsurface? Was early Mars warm or cold? How long was liquid water present on the surface of Mars? These are some of the many open questions about our neighboring planet. We propose that the mineralogy of the clay-bearing outcrops on Mars can help address these questions. Abundant phyllosilicates and aqueous minerals are observed nearly everywhere we can see the ancient rocks on Mars. Most bountiful among these is Fe/Mg-smectite. In this study we evaluate the nature and stratigraphy of clay outcrops observed on Mars and the presence of mixtures of other clays or other minerals with the ubiquitous Fe/Mg-smectite.

  3. Climate Change Decouples Drought from Early Wine Grape Harvests in France

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Benjamin I.; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.

    2016-01-01

    Across the world, wine grape phenology has advanced in recent decades, in step with climate-change-induced trends in temperature - the main driver of fruit maturation - and drought. Fully understanding how climate change contributes to changes in harvest dates, however, requires analysing wine grape phenology and its relationship to climate over a longer-term context, including data predating anthropogenic interference in the climate system. Here, we investigate the climatic controls of wine grape harvest dates from 1600-2007 in France and Switzerland using historical harvest and climate data. Early harvests occur with warmer temperatures (minus 6 days per degree Centigrade) and are delayed by wet conditions (plus 0.07 days per millimeter; plus 1.68 days per PDSI (Palmer drought severity index)) during spring and summer. In recent decades (1981-2007), however, the relationship between harvest timing and drought has broken down. Historically, high summer temperatures in Western Europe, which would hasten fruit maturation, required drought conditions to generate extreme heat. The relationship between drought and temperature in this region, however, has weakened in recent decades and enhanced warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases can generate the high temperatures needed for early harvests without drought. Our results suggest that climate change has fundamentally altered the climatic drivers of early wine grape harvests in France, with possible ramifications for viticulture management and wine quality.

  4. Associations among self-concept, verbal behaviors, and group climate early in the group counseling process.

    PubMed

    Jen Der Pan, Peter; Fan, Ai Chun; Bhat, Christine Suniti; Chang, Shona Shih Hua

    2012-12-01

    In this study, relations among group members' self-concept, verbal behaviors, and group climate early in the group counseling process were assessed for college students who were randomly assigned to four counseling groups. Based on measures from the hill interaction matrix, it was observed that family, social, and action self-concepts, as well as engagement, avoidance, and conflict group climate, were correlated with several verbal behaviors. Silence and quadrant 4 (Q4), which consists of speculative and confrontative verbal behaviors at personal and relationship levels, significantly predicted and explained 43% of the variance in engagement group climate. Silence and Q3, comprised of conventional and assertive verbal behaviors at personal and relationship levels, and Q1, conventional and assertive verbal behaviors at topic and group levels, explained 66% of variance in avoidance climate. Q4 and Silence explained 33% of conflict climate variance early in the group sessions. Implications for research and counseling practice are suggested.

  5. Martian Surface & Pathfinder Airbags

    1997-07-05

    This image of the Martian surface was taken in the afternoon of Mars Pathfinder's first day on Mars. Taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP camera), the image shows a diversity of rocks strewn in the foreground. A hill is visible in the distance (the notch within the hill is an image artifact). Airbags are seen at the lower right. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00612

  6. Martian polar geological studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A. J.

    1977-01-01

    Multiple arcs of rugged mountains and adjacent plains on the surface of Mars were examined. These features, located in the southern polar region were photographed by Mariner 9. Comparisons are made with characteristics of a lunar basin and mare; Mare imbrium in particular. The martian feature is interpreted to have originated in the same way as its lunar analog- by volcanic flooding of a large impact basin. Key data and methodology leading to this conclusion are cited.

  7. Martian extratropical cyclones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, G. E.; James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    Physical properties of summer-season baroclinic waves on Mars are discussed on the basis of vidicon images and infrared thermal mapping generated by Viking Orbiter 1. The two northern-hemisphere storm systems examined here appear to be similar to terrestrial mid-latitude cyclonic storms. The Martian storm clouds are probably composed of water ice, rather than dust or CO2 ice particles.

  8. A Sustainable Early Warning System for Climate Change Impacts on Water Quality Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, T.; Tung, C.; Chung, N.

    2007-12-01

    In this era of rapid social and technological change leading to interesting life complexity and environmental displacement, both positive and negative effects among ecosystems call for a balance in which there are impacts by climate changes. Early warning systems for climate change impacts are necessary in order to allow society as a whole to properly and usefully assimilate the masses of new information and knowledge. Therefore, our research addresses to build up a sustainable early warning mechanism. The main goal is to mitigate the cumulative impacts on the environment of climate change and enhance adaptive capacities. An effective early warning system has been proven for protection. However, there is a problem that estimate future climate changes would be faced with high uncertainty. In general, take estimations for climate change impacts would use the data from General Circulation Models and take the analysis as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared. We follow the course of the method for analyzing climate change impacts and attempt to accomplish the sustainable early warning system for water quality management. Climate changes impact not only on individual situation but on short-term variation and long-term gradually changes. This kind characteristic should adopt the suitable warning system for long-term formulation and short- term operation. To continue the on-going research of the long-term early warning system for climate change impacts on water quality management, the short-term early warning system is established by using local observation data for reappraising the warning issue. The combination of long-term and short-term system can provide more circumstantial details. In Taiwan, a number of studies have revealed that climate change impacts on water quality, especially in arid period, the concentration of biological oxygen demand may turn into worse. Rapid population growth would also inflict injury on its assimilative capacity to

  9. Abrupt climate warming in East Antarctica during the early Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cremer, Holger; Heiri, Oliver; Wagner, Bernd; Wagner-Cremer, Friederike

    2007-08-01

    We report a centennial-scale warming event between 8600 and 8400 cal BP from Amery Oasis, East Antarctica, that is documented by the geochemical record in a lacustrine sediment sequence. The organic carbon content, the C/S ratio, and the sedimentation rate in this core have distinctly elevated values around 8500 y ago reflecting relatively warm and ice-free conditions that led to well-ventilated conditions in the lake and considerable sedimentation of both autochthonous and allochthonous organic matter on the lake bottom. This abrupt warming event occurred concurrently with reported warm climatic conditions in the Southern Ocean while the climate in central East Antarctic remained cold. The comparison of the spatial and temporal variability of warm climatic periods documented in various terrestrial, marine, and glacial archives from East Antarctica elucidates the uniqueness of the centennial-scale warming event in the Amery Oasis. We also discuss a possible correlation of the Amery warming event with the abrupt climatic deterioration around 8200 cal BP on the Northern Hemisphere.

  10. Martian Chronology: Goals for Investigations from a Recent Multidisciplinary Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, L.; Doran, P. T.; Cerling, T. E.; Clifford, S. M.; Forman, S. L.; Papanastassiou, D. A.; Stewart, B. W.; Sturchio, N. C.; Swindle, T. D.

    2000-01-01

    The absolute chronology of Martian rocks and events is based mainly on crater statistics and remains highly uncertain. Martian chronology will be critical to building a time scale comparable to Earth's to address questions about the early evolution of the planets and their ecosystems. In order to address issues and strategies specific to Martian chronology, a workshop was held, 4-7 June 2000, with invited participants from the planetary, geochronology, geochemistry, and astrobiology communities. The workshop focused on identifying: a) key scientific questions of Martian chronology; b) chronological techniques applicable to Mars; c) unique processes on Mars that could be exploited to obtain rates, fluxes, ages; and d) sampling issues for these techniques. This is an overview of the workshop findings and recommendations.

  11. Chlorine Abundances in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bogard, D.D.; Garrison, D.H.; Park, J.

    2009-01-01

    Chlorine measurements made in martian surface rocks by robotic spacecraft typically give Chlorine (Cl) abundances of approximately 0.1-0.8%. In contrast, Cl abundances in martian meteorites appear lower, although data is limited, and martian nakhlites were also subjected to Cl contamination by Mars surface brines. Chlorine abundances reported by one lab for whole rock (WR) samples of Shergotty, ALH77005, and EET79001 range 108-14 ppm, whereas Cl in nakhlites range 73-1900 ppm. Measurements of Cl in various martian weathering phases of nakhlites varied 0.04-4.7% and reveal significant concentration of Cl by martian brines Martian meteorites contain much lower Chlorine than those measured in martian surface rocks and give further confirmation that Cl in these surface rocks was introduced by brines and weathering. It has been argued that Cl is twice as effective as water in lowering the melting point and promoting melting at shallower martian depths, and that significant Cl in the shergottite source region would negate any need for significant water. However, this conclusion was based on experiments that utilized Cl concentrations more analogous to martian surface rocks than to shergottite meteorites, and may not be applicable to shergottites.

  12. The role of igneous sills in shaping the Martian uplands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilhelms, D. E.; Baldwin, R. J.

    1989-01-01

    Relations among geologic units and landforms suggest that igneous sills lie beneath much of the intercrater and intracrater terrain of the Martian uplands. The igneous rocks crop out along the upland-lowland front and in crater floors and other depressions that are low enough to intersect the sill's intrusion horizons. It is suggested that heat from the cooling sills melted some of the ice contained in overlying fragmental deposits, creating valley networks by subsurface flow of the meltwater. Terrains with undulatory, smooth surfaces and softened traces of valleys were created by more direct contact with the sills. Widespread subsidence following emplacement of the sills deformed both them and the nonvolcanic deposits that overlie them, accounting for the many structures that continue from ridged plains into the hilly uplands. Crater counts show that the deposit that became valleyed, softened, and ridged probably began to form (and to acquire interstitial ice) during or shortly after the Middle Noachian Epoch, and continued to form as late as the Early Hesperian Epoch. The upper layers of this deposit, many of the visible valleys, and the ridged plains and postulated sills all have similar Early Hesperian ages. Continued formation of valleys is indicated by their incision of fresh-appearing crater ejecta. The dependence of valley formation on internal processes implies that Mars did not necessarily have a dense early atmosphere or warm climate.

  13. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  14. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, B. C.

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  15. Diurnal variation in martian dust devil activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, R. M.; Lewis, S. R.; Balme, M.; Steele, L. J.

    2017-08-01

    We show that the dust devil parameterisation in use in most Mars Global Circulation Models (MGCMs) results in an unexpectedly high level of dust devil activity during morning hours. Prior expectations of the diurnal variation of Martian dust devils are based mainly upon the observed behaviour of terrestrial dust devils: i.e. that the majority occur during the afternoon. We instead find that large areas of the Martian surface experience dust devil activity during the morning in our MGCM, and that many locations experience a peak in dust devil activity before mid-sol. We find that the diurnal variation in dust devil activity is governed by near-surface wind speeds. Within the range of daylight hours, higher wind speeds tend to produce higher levels of dust devil activity, rather than the activity simply being governed by the availability of heat at the planet's surface, which peaks in early afternoon. Evidence for whether the phenomenon we observe is real or an artefact of the parameterisation is inconclusive. We compare our results with surface-based observations of Martian dust devil timings and obtain a good match with the majority of surveys. We do not find a good match with orbital observations, which identify a diurnal distribution more closely matching that of terrestrial dust devils, but orbital observations have limited temporal coverage, biased towards the early afternoon. We propose that the generally accepted description of dust devil behaviour on Mars is incomplete, and that theories of dust devil formation may need to be modified specifically for the Martian environment. Further surveys of dust devil observations are required to support any such modifications. These surveys should include both surface and orbital observations, and the range of observations must encompass the full diurnal period and consider the wider meteorological context surrounding the observations.

  16. Strategic Planning for Exploration of the Martian Subsurface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaty, D. W.; Briggs, G.; Clifford, S. M.

    2000-01-01

    Exploration of the upper 2-5 km of the martian crust (i.e. the portion that we can realistically envision physically accessing) is a tantalizing prospect. This may provide our best opportunity to advance the three current objectives of the Mars exploration program: Life, Climate, and Resources, with a common theme of water.

  17. Polygons in Martian Frost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-428, 21 July 2003

    This June 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a polygonal pattern developed in seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the martian southern hemisphere. The frost accumulated during the recent southern winter; it is now spring, and the carbon dioxide frost is subliming away. This image is located near 80.4oS, 200.2oW; it is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

  18. The Martian twilight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, R.; Goody, R.; Pollack, J.

    1981-01-01

    The changing sky brightness during the Martian twilight as measured by the Viking lander cameras is shown to be consistent with data obtained from sky brightness measurements. An exponential distribution of dust with a scale height of 10 km, equal to the atmospheric scale height, is consistent with the shape of the light curve. Multiple scattering resulting from the forward scattering peak of large particles makes a major contribution to the intensity of the twilight. The spectral distribution of light in the twilight sky may require slightly different optical properties for the scattering particles at high levels from those of the aerosol at lower levels.

  19. The Martian Oasis Detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, P. H.; tomasko, M. G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.

    2000-07-01

    The next phase of unmanned Mars missions paves the way for astronauts to land on the surface of Mars. There are lessons to be learned from the unmanned precursor missions to the Moon and the Apollo lunar surface expeditions. These unmanned missions (Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor) provided the following valuable information, useful from both a scientific and engineering perspective, which was required to prepare the way for the manned exploration of the lunar surface: (1) high resolution imagery instrumental to Apollo landing site selection also tremendously advanced the state of Nearside and Farside regional geology; (2) demonstrated precision landing (less than two kilometers from target) and soft landing capability; (3) established that the surface had sufficient bearing strength to support a spacecraft; and (4) examination of the chemical composition and mechanical properties of the surface. The search for extinct or extant life on Mars will follow the water. However, geomorphic studies have shown that Mars has had liquid water on its surface throughout its geologic history. A cornucopia of potential landing sites with water histories (lakes, floodplains, oceans, deltas, hydrothermal regions) presently exist. How will we narrow down site selection and increase the likelihood of finding the signs of life? One way to do this is to identify 'Martian oases.' It is known that the Martian surface is often highly fractured and some areas have karst structures that support underground caves. Much of the water that formed the channels and valley networks is thought to be frozen underground. All that is needed to create the potential for liquid water is a near surface source of heat; recent lava flows and Martian meteorites attest to the potential for volcanic activity. If we can locate even one spot where fracturing, ice, and underground heat are co-located then we have the potential for an oasis. Such a discovery could truly excite the imaginations of both the

  20. Martian Moon Blocks Sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This animation shows the transit of Mars' moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

  1. The New Martians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanas, Nick

    In The New Martians,the crewmembers undergo a great deal of psychological and interpersonal stress during their return home, in part prompted by the actions of a mysterious presence on board. Of course, no one knows for sure if such a presence will actually materialize during a real Mars expedition! But psychosocial issues will nevertheless affect a Mars crew due to the isolation, confinement, and long separation from family and friends that will characterize such a mission. In what follows, many of these issues will be reviewed, followed in each section by illustrations from the novel.

  2. Early Childhood Directors as Socializers of Emotional Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zinsser, Katherine M.; Denham, Susanne A.; Curby, Timothy W.; Chazan-Cohen, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    Early childhood centres are vibrant social communities where child and adult emotions are integral to learning. Previous research has focused on teaching practices that support children's social-emotional learning; fewer studies have attended to relevant centre-level factors, such as the emotional leadership practices of the centre director. The…

  3. Are fish outside their usual ranges early indicators of climate-driven range shifts?

    PubMed

    Fogarty, Hannah E; Burrows, Michael T; Pecl, Gretta T; Robinson, Lucy M; Poloczanska, Elvira S

    2017-05-01

    Shifts in species ranges are a global phenomenon, well known to occur in response to a changing climate. New species arriving in an area may become pest species, modify ecosystem structure, or represent challenges or opportunities for fisheries and recreation. Early detection of range shifts and prompt implementation of any appropriate management strategies is therefore crucial. This study investigates whether 'first sightings' of marine species outside their normal ranges could provide an early warning of impending climate-driven range shifts. We examine the relationships between first sightings and marine regions defined by patterns of local climate velocities (calculated on a 50-year timescale), while also considering the distribution of observational effort (i.e. number of sampling days recorded with biological observations in global databases). The marine trajectory regions include climate 'source' regions (areas lacking connections to warmer areas), 'corridor' regions (areas where moving isotherms converge), and 'sink' regions (areas where isotherms locally disappear). Additionally, we investigate the latitudinal band in which first sightings were recorded, and species' thermal affiliations. We found that first sightings are more likely to occur in climate sink and 'divergent' regions (areas where many rapid and diverging climate trajectories pass through) indicating a role of temperature in driving changes in marine species distributions. The majority of our fish first sightings appear to be tropical and subtropical species moving towards high latitudes, as would be expected in climate warming. Our results indicate that first sightings are likely related to longer-term climatic processes, and therefore have potential use to indicate likely climate-driven range shifts. The development of an approach to detect impending range shifts at an early stage will allow resource managers and researchers to better manage opportunities resulting from range

  4. Martian Surface & Pathfinder Airbags

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of the Martian surface was taken in the afternoon of Mars Pathfinder's first day on Mars. Taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP camera), the image shows a diversity of rocks strewn in the foreground. A hill is visible in the distance (the notch within the hill is an image artifact). Airbags are seen at the lower right.

    The IMP is a stereo imaging system with color capability provided by 24 selectable filters -- twelve filters per 'eye.' It stands 1.8 meters above the Martian surface, and has a resolution of two millimeters at a range of two meters.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  5. Classification of Martian deltas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dehon, R. A.

    1993-01-01

    Water-borne sediments in streams are deposited, upon eventual cessation of flow, either as deltas or as alluvial fans or plains. Deltas and alluvial fans share a common characteristic; both may be described as deposition Al plains at the mouth of a river or stream. A delta is formed where a stream or river deposits its sedimentary load into a standing body of water such as an ocean or lake. An alluvial fan is produced where a stream loses capacity by a greatly decreased gradient. A delta has subaerial and subaqueous components, but an alluvial fan is entirely subaerial. In terrestrial conditions, deltas and alluvial fans are reasonably distinct landforms. The juxtaposition of concomitant features composition and internal structure are sufficiently explicit as to avoid any confusion regarding their proper identification on Mars, the recognition of deltas and their distinction from alluvial fans is made difficult by low resolution imaging. Further, although it may be demonstrated that standing bodies of water existed on the surface of Mars, many of these bodies may have existed for extremely short periods of time (a few days to months); hence, distinctive shoreline features were not developed. Thus, in an attempt to derive a Martian classification of deltas, the inclusion of wholly subaerial deposits may be unavoidable. A simple, broad, morphological classification of Martian deltas, primarily on planimetric shape, includes digitate deltas, fan-shaped deltas, and re-entrant deltas. A fourth, somewhat problematical class includes featureless plains at the end of many valley systems.

  6. Rocky Martian Plain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The rocky Martian plain surrounding Viking 2 is seen in high resolution in this 85-degree panorama sweeping from north at the left to east at right during the Martian afternoon on September 5. Large blocks litter the surface. Some are porous, sponge-like rocks like the one at the left edge (size estimate: 1 1/2 to 2 feet); others are dense and fine-grained, such as the very bright rounded block (1 to 1 1/2 feet across) toward lower right. Pebbled surface between the rocks is covered in places by small drifts of very fine material similar to drifts seen at the Viking 1 landing site some 4600 miles to the southwest. The fine-grained material is banked up behind some rocks, but wind tails seen by Viking 1 are not well-developed here. On the right horizon, flat-topped ridges or hills are illuminated by the afternoon sun. Slope of the horizon is due to the 8-degree tilt of the spacecraft.

  7. Sampling Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Scientists were using the Moessbauer spectrometer on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit when something unexpected happened. The instrument's contact ring had been placed onto the ground as a reference point for placement of another instrument, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, for analyzing the soil. After Spirit removed the Moessbauer from the target, the rover's microscopic imager revealed a gap in the imprint left behind in the soil. The gap, about a centimeter wide (less than half an inch), is visible on the left side of this mosaic of images. Scientists concluded that a small chunk of soil probably adhered to the contact ring on the front surface of the Moessbauer. Before anyone saw that soil may have adhered to the Moessbauer, that instrument was placed to analyze martian dust collected by a magnet on the rover. The team plans to take images to see if any soil is still attached to the Moessbauer. Spirit took these images on the rover's 240th martian day, or sol (Sept. 4, 2004).

  8. Martian cratering 11. Utilizing decameter scale crater populations to study Martian history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Daubar, I. J.

    2017-03-01

    New information has been obtained in recent years regarding formation rates and the production size-frequency distribution (PSFD) of decameter-scale primary Martian craters formed during recent orbiter missions. Here we compare the PSFD of the currently forming small primaries (P) with new data on the PSFD of the total small crater population that includes primaries and field secondaries (P + fS), which represents an average over longer time periods. The two data sets, if used in a combined manner, have extraordinary potential for clarifying not only the evolutionary history and resurfacing episodes of small Martian geological formations (as small as one or few km2) but also possible episodes of recent climatic change. In response to recent discussions of statistical methodologies, we point out that crater counts do not produce idealized statistics, and that inherent uncertainties limit improvements that can be made by more sophisticated statistical analyses. We propose three mutually supportive procedures for interpreting crater counts of small craters in this context. Applications of these procedures support suggestions that topographic features in upper meters of mid-latitude ice-rich areas date only from the last few periods of extreme Martian obliquity, and associated predicted climate excursions.

  9. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  10. The Mars Climate Orbiter arrives at KSC to begin final preparations for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft arrives at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility aboard an Air Force C-17 cargo plane early this morning following its flight from the Lockheed Martin Astronautics plant in Denver, Colo. When the spacecraft arrives at the red planet, it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (1.8 Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Delta II 7425 rocket.

  11. On the original igneous source of Martian fines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baird, A. K.; Clark, B. C.

    1981-01-01

    The composition of the silicate portion of Martian regolith fines indicates derivation of the fines from mafic to ultramafic rocks, probably rich in pyroxene. Rock types similar in chemical and mineralogical composition include terrestrial Archean basalts and certain achondrite meteorites. If these igneous rocks weathered nearly isochemically, the nontronitic clays proposed earlier as an analog to Martian fines could be formed. Flood basalts of pyroxenitic lavas may be widespread and characteristic of early volcanism on Mars, analogous to maria flood basalts on the moon and early Precambrian basaltic komatiites on earth. Compositional differences between lunar, terrestrial, and Martian flood basalts may be related to differences in planetary sizes and mantle compositions of the respective planetary objects.

  12. California forests show early indications of both range shifts and local persistence under climate change

    Josep M. Serra-Diaz; Janet Franklin; Whalen W. Dillon; Alexandra D. Syphard; Frank W. Davis; Ross K. Meentemeyer

    2015-01-01

    Aim Forest regeneration data provide an early signal of the persistence and migration of tree species, so we investigated whether species shifts due to climate change exhibit a common signal of response or whether changes vary by species. Location California Floristic Province, United...

  13. Early Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors, Conflict Resolution Strategies, and School Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaRusso, Maria; Selman, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Drawing upon an ethnically and socio-economically diverse sample of 323 7th grade students from twelve urban schools within one school district, this mixed method study examined early adolescents' self-reported health risk behaviors as related to their conflict resolution strategies and their school's conflict resolution climate. Survey data…

  14. Early warning signals of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation collapse in a fully coupled climate model

    PubMed Central

    Boulton, Chris A.; Allison, Lesley C.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2014-01-01

    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) exhibits two stable states in models of varying complexity. Shifts between alternative AMOC states are thought to have played a role in past abrupt climate changes, but the proximity of the climate system to a threshold for future AMOC collapse is unknown. Generic early warning signals of critical slowing down before AMOC collapse have been found in climate models of low and intermediate complexity. Here we show that early warning signals of AMOC collapse are present in a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, subject to a freshwater hosing experiment. The statistical significance of signals of increasing lag-1 autocorrelation and variance vary with latitude. They give up to 250 years warning before AMOC collapse, after ~550 years of monitoring. Future work is needed to clarify suggested dynamical mechanisms driving critical slowing down as the AMOC collapse is approached. PMID:25482065

  15. Early warning signals of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation collapse in a fully coupled climate model.

    PubMed

    Boulton, Chris A; Allison, Lesley C; Lenton, Timothy M

    2014-12-08

    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) exhibits two stable states in models of varying complexity. Shifts between alternative AMOC states are thought to have played a role in past abrupt climate changes, but the proximity of the climate system to a threshold for future AMOC collapse is unknown. Generic early warning signals of critical slowing down before AMOC collapse have been found in climate models of low and intermediate complexity. Here we show that early warning signals of AMOC collapse are present in a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, subject to a freshwater hosing experiment. The statistical significance of signals of increasing lag-1 autocorrelation and variance vary with latitude. They give up to 250 years warning before AMOC collapse, after ~550 years of monitoring. Future work is needed to clarify suggested dynamical mechanisms driving critical slowing down as the AMOC collapse is approached.

  16. Early warning signals of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation collapse in a fully coupled climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulton, Chris A.; Allison, Lesley C.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2014-12-01

    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) exhibits two stable states in models of varying complexity. Shifts between alternative AMOC states are thought to have played a role in past abrupt climate changes, but the proximity of the climate system to a threshold for future AMOC collapse is unknown. Generic early warning signals of critical slowing down before AMOC collapse have been found in climate models of low and intermediate complexity. Here we show that early warning signals of AMOC collapse are present in a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, subject to a freshwater hosing experiment. The statistical significance of signals of increasing lag-1 autocorrelation and variance vary with latitude. They give up to 250 years warning before AMOC collapse, after ~550 years of monitoring. Future work is needed to clarify suggested dynamical mechanisms driving critical slowing down as the AMOC collapse is approached.

  17. Response of Late Carboniferous and Early Permian Plant Communities to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimichele, William A.; Pfefferkorn, Hermann W.; Gastaldo, Robert A.

    Late Carboniferous and Early Permian strata record the transition from a cold interval in Earth history, characterized by the repeated periods of glaciation and deglaciation of the southern pole, to a warm-climate interval. Consequently, this time period is the best available analogue to the Recent in which to study patterns of vegetational response, both to glacial-interglacial oscillation and to the appearance of warm climate. Carboniferous wetland ecosystems were dominated by spore-producing plants and early gymnospermous seed plants. Global climate changes, largely drying, forced vegetational changes, resulting in a change to a seed plant-dominated world, beginning first at high latitudes during the Carboniferous, reaching the tropics near the Permo-Carboniferous boundary. For most of this time plant assemblages were very conservative in their composition. Change in the dominant vegetation was generally a rapid process, which suggests that environmental thresholds were crossed, and involved little mixing of elements from the wet and dry floras.

  18. Evidence from Olivine-Hosted Melt Inclusions that the Martian Mantle has a Chondritic D/H Ratio and that Some Young Basalts have Assimilated Old Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Usui, Tomohiro; Alexander, O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2012-01-01

    Magmatic degassing of volatile elements affects the climate and near-surface environment of Mars. Telescopic and meteorite studies have revealed that the Martian atmosphere and near-surface materials have D/H ratios 5-6 times terrestrial values [e.g., 1, 2]. Such high D/H ratios are interpreted to result from the preferential loss of H relative to heavier D from the Martian atmosphere, assuming that the original Martian water inventory had a D/H ratio similar to terrestrial values and to H in primitive meteorites [e.g., 1, 3]. However, the primordial Martian D/H ratio has, until now, not been well constrained. The uncertainty over the Martian primordial D/H ratio has arisen both from the scarcity of primitive Martian meteorites and as a result of contamination by terrestrial and, perhaps, Martian surface waters that obscure the signature of the Martian mantle. This study reports a comprehensive dataset of magmatic volatiles and D/H ratios in Martian primary magmas based on low-contamination, in situ ion microprobe analyses of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from both depleted [Yamato 980459 (Y98)] and enriched [Larkman Nunatak 06319 (LAR06)] Martian basaltic meteorites. Analyses of these primitive melts provide definitive evidence that the Martian mantle has retained a primordial D/H ratio and that young Martian basalts have assimilated old Martian crust.

  19. Ancient oceans and Martian paleohydrology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Victor R.; Strom, Robert G.; Gulick, Virginia C.; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Komatsu, Goro; Kale, Vishwas S.

    1991-01-01

    The global model of ocean formation on Mars is discussed. The studies of impact crater densities on certain Martian landforms show that late in Martian history there could have been coincident formation of: (1) glacial features in the Southern Hemisphere; (2) ponded water and related ice features in the northern plains; (3) fluvial runoff on Martian uplands; and (4) active ice-related mass-movement. This model of transient ocean formation ties these diverse observations together in a long-term cyclic scheme of global planetary operation.

  20. Martian surface weathering studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calvin, M.

    1973-01-01

    The nature of the Martian surface was characterized by means of its reflectance properties. The Mariner 9 photography was used to establish terrain units which were crossed by the Mariner 6 and 7 paths. The IR reflectance measured by the IR spectrometers on these spacecraft was to be used to indicate the nature of the surface within these units. There is an indication of physical size and/or compositional variation between units but too many natural parameters can vary (size, shape, composition, adsorbed phases, reradiation, atmospheric absorbtion, temperature gradients, etc.) to be certain what effect is causing those variations observed. It is suggested that the characterization could be fruitfully pursued by a group which was dedicated to peeling back the layers of minutia affecting IR reflectance.

  1. Martian Meteorological Lander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorontsov, V.; Pichkhadze, K.; Polyakov, A.

    2002-01-01

    Martian meteorological lander (MML) is dedicated for landing onto the Mars surface with the purpose to carry on the monitoring of Mars atmosphere condition at a landing point during one Martian year. MML is supposed to become the basic element of a global net of meteorological mini stations and will permit to observe the dynamics of Martian atmosphere parameters changes during a long time duration. The main scientific tasks of MML are as follows: -study of vertical structure of Mars atmosphere during MML descending; -meteorological observations on Mars surface during one Martian year. One of the essential factor influencing to the lander design is descent trajectory design. During the preliminary phase of development five (5) options of MML were considered. In our opinion, these variants provide the accomplishment of the above-mentioned tasks with a high effectiveness. Joined into the first group, variants with parachute system and with Inflatable Air Brakes+Inflatable Airbag are similar in arranging of pre-landing braking stage and completely analogous in landing by means of airbags. The usage of additional Inflatable Braking Unit (IBU) in the second variant does not affect the procedure of braking - decreasing of velocity by the moment of touching the surface due to decreasing of ballistic parameter Px. A distinctive feature of MML development variants of other three concepts is the presence of Inflatable Braking Unit (IBU) in their configurations (IBU is rigidly joined with landing module up to the moment of its touching the surface). Besides, in variant with the tore-shaped IBU it acts as a shock- absorbing unit. In two options, Inflatable Braking Shock-Absorbing Unit (IBSAU) (or IBU) releases the surface module after its landing at the moment of IBSAU (or IBU) elastic recoil. Variants of this concept are equal in terms of mass (approximately 15 kg). For variants of concepts with IBU the landing velocity is up to50-70 m/s. Stations of last three options are

  2. Martian atmospheric radiation budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

    A computer model is used to study the radiative transfer of the martian winter-polar atmosphere. Solar heating at winter-polar latitudes is provided predominately by dust. For normal, low-dust conditions, CO2 provides almost as much heating as dust. Most heating by CO2 in the winter polar atmosphere is provided by the 2.7 micron band between 10 km and 30 km altitude, and by the 2.0 micron band below 10 km. The weak 1.3 micron band provides some significant heating near the surface. The minor CO2 bands at 1.4, 1.6, 4.8 and 5.2 micron are all optically thin, and produce negligible heating. O3 provides less than 10 percent of the total heating. Atmospheric cooling is predominantly thermal emission by dust, although CO2 15 micron band emission is important above 20 km altitude.

  3. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments.

  4. Trajectories of Martian Habitability

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Beginning from two plausible starting points—an uninhabited or inhabited Mars—this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments. Key Words: Mars—Habitability—Liquid water—Planetary science. Astrobiology 14, 182–203. PMID:24506485

  5. Martian City Map

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    30 May 2004 Seasonal frost can enhance the view from orbit of polar polygonal patterns on the surface of Mars. Sometimes these patterns look something like a city map, or the view from above a city lit-up at night. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example from the south polar region near 80.7oS, 70.6oW. Polar polygons on Mars are generally believed, though not proven, to be the result of freeze/thaw cycles of ice occurring within the upper few meters (several yards) of the martian subsurface. The image shown here covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across; sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  6. Isotopic Evidence for a Martian Regolith Component in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, M. N.; Nyquist, L. E.; Bogard, D. D.; Garrison, D. H.; Sutton, S.

    2009-01-01

    Noble gas measurements in gas-rich impact-melt (GRIM) glasses in EET79001 shergottite showed that their elemental and isotopic composition is similar to that of the Martian atmosphere [1-3]. The GRIM glasses contain large amounts of Martian atmospheric gases. Those measurements further suggested that the Kr isotopic composition of Martian atmosphere is approximately similar to that of solar Kr. The (80)Kr(sub n) - (80)Kr(sub M) mixing ratio in the Martian atmosphere reported here is approximately 3%. These neutron-capture reactions presumably occurred in the glass-precursor regolith materials containing Sm- and Br- bearing mineral phases near the EET79001/ Shergotty sites on Mars. The irradiated materials were mobilized into host rock voids either during shock-melting or possibly by earlier aeolian / fluvial activity.

  7. Composition and Mineralogy of Martian Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, J. F.

    2007-05-01

    The soils of Mars--the fine-grained, porous, uppermost layer of the planet's regolith--appear to have been created by a combination of physical and chemical weathering processes that can provide insights about the evolution of the martian surface and climate. Remote sensing and in situ measurements and analyses of soils from five different landing sites have revealed both surprising similarities and important (sometimes unexpected) differences among soils across the planet. Among the similarities are the ubiquitous presence and homogeneity of "dust" at widely-separated landing sites. Dust is the finest-grained (less than 5 microns) fraction of the soil, and the fact that it is easily suspended and transported by dust devils and dust storms explains its ubiquity. The reddish color and small size of dust particles had been cited as evidence for its origin as perhaps physically or chemically comminuted and heavily-oxidized (ferric) secondary weathering products. New results from the MER Sprit and Opportunity missions, however, indicate that dust grains may instead be volumetrically mostly unoxidized (ferrous) material, with visual color properties imparted by only a thin rind or coating of ferric oxides/oxyhydroxides. Another fine-grained global-scale unit is dark, silt- to sand-sized soils that occur in dunes, drifts, and ripples. Dark sands exhibit rather homogeneous composition and mineralogy (dominated by olivine and pyroxene) across the landing sites, suggesting that they, too, are globally-transported materials. Examples of the kinds of variability detected in martian soils are the hematite-rich spherules, sulfur/jarosite-rich outcrop- derived soils, and basaltic clastic fragments encountered in Meridiani Planum, the hematite, goethite, and ferric- sulfate bearing soils encountered in Gusev crater, and crusted/armored soils and rinds encountered at both Viking and both MER sites. Much of the observed martian soil variability may result from the action of local

  8. Martian Central Pit Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hillman, E.; Barlow, N. G.

    2005-01-01

    Impact craters containing central pits are rare on the terrestrial planets but common on icy bodies. Mars is the exception among the terrestrial planets, where central pits are seen on crater floors ( floor pits ) as well as on top of central peaks ( summit pits ). Wood et al. [1] proposed that degassing of subsurface volatiles during crater formation produced central pits. Croft [2] argued instead that central pits might form during the impact of volatile-rich comets. Although central pits are seen in impact craters on icy moons such as Ganymede, they do show some significant differences from their martian counterparts: (a) only floor pits are seen on Ganymede, and (b) central pits begin to occur at crater diameters where the peak ring interior morphology begins to appear in terrestrial planet craters [3]. A study of craters containing central pits was conducted by Barlow and Bradley [4] using Viking imagery. They found that 28% of craters displaying an interior morphology on Mars contain central pits. Diameters of craters containing central pits ranged from 16 to 64 km. Barlow and Bradley noted that summit pit craters tended to be smaller than craters containing floor pits. They also noted a correlation of central pit craters with the proposed rings of large impact basins. They argued that basin ring formation fractured the martian crust and allowed subsurface volatiles to concentrate in these locations. They favored the model that degassing of the substrate during crater formation was responsible for central pit formation due to the preferential location of central pit craters along these basin rings.

  9. Early effects of climate change: do they include changes in vector-borne disease?

    PubMed Central

    Kovats, R S; Campbell-Lendrum, D H; McMichael, A J; Woodward, A; Cox, J S

    2001-01-01

    The world's climate appears now to be changing at an unprecedented rate. Shifts in the distribution and behaviour of insect and bird species indicate that biological systems are already responding to this change. It is well established that climate is an important determinant of the spatial and temporal distribution of vectors and pathogens. In theory, a change in climate would be expected to cause changes in the geographical range, seasonality (intra-annual variability), and in the incidence rate (with or without changes in geographical or seasonal patterns). The detection and then attribution of such changes to climate change is an emerging task for scientists. We discuss the evidence required to attribute changes in disease and vectors to the early effects of anthropogenic climate change. The literature to date indicates that there is a lack of strong evidence of the impact of climate change on vector-borne diseases (i.e. malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, tick-borne diseases). New approaches to monitoring, such as frequent and long-term sampling along transects to monitor the full latitudinal and altitudinal range of specific vector species, are necessary in order to provide convincing direct evidence of climate change effects. There is a need to reassess the appropriate levels of evidence, including dealing with the uncertainties attached to detecting the health impacts of global change. PMID:11516383

  10. Climate change implications and use of early warning systems for global dust storms

    Harriman, Lindsey M.

    2014-01-01

    With increased changes in land cover and global climate, early detection and warning of dust storms in conjunction with effective and widespread information broadcasts will be essential to the prevention and mitigation of future risks and impacts. Human activities, seasonal variations and long-term climatic patterns influence dust storms. More research is needed to analyse these factors of dust mobilisation to create more certainty for the fate of vulnerable populations and ecosystems in the future. Early warning and communication systems, when in place and effectively implemented, can offer some relief to these vulnerable areas. As an issue that affects many regions of the world, there is a profound need to understand the potential changes and ultimately create better early warning systems for dust storms.

  11. Implantation of Martian Materials in the Inner Solar System by a Mega Impact on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyodo, Ryuki; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-04-01

    Observations and meteorites indicate that the Martian materials are enigmatically distributed within the inner solar system. A mega impact on Mars creating a Martian hemispheric dichotomy and the Martian moons can potentially eject Martian materials. A recent work has shown that the mega-impact-induced debris is potentially captured as the Martian Trojans and implanted in the asteroid belt. However, the amount, distribution, and composition of the debris has not been studied. Here, using hydrodynamic simulations, we report that a large amount of debris (∼1% of Mars’ mass), including Martian crust/mantle and the impactor’s materials (∼20:80), are ejected by a dichotomy-forming impact, and distributed between ∼0.5–3.0 au. Our result indicates that unmelted Martian mantle debris (∼0.02% of Mars’ mass) can be the source of Martian Trojans, olivine-rich asteroids in the Hungarian region and the main asteroid belt, and some even hit the early Earth. The evidence of a mega impact on Mars would be recorded as a spike of 40Ar–39Ar ages in meteorites. A mega impact can naturally implant Martian mantle materials within the inner solar system.

  12. Relative chronology of Martian volcanoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landheim, R.; Barlow, N. G.

    1991-01-01

    Impact cratering is one of the major geological processes that has affected the Martian surface throughout the planet's history. The frequency of craters within particular size ranges provides information about the formation ages and obliterative episodes of Martian geologic units. The Barlow chronology was extended by measuring small craters on the volcanoes and a number of standard terrain units. Inclusions of smaller craters in units previously analyzed by Barlow allowed for a more direct comparison between the size-frequency distribution data for volcanoes and established chronology. During this study, 11,486 craters were mapped and identified in the 1.5 to 8 km diameter range in selected regions of Mars. The results are summarized in this three page report and give a more precise estimate of the relative chronology of the Martian volcanoes. Also, the results of this study lend further support to the increasing evidence that volcanism has been a dominant geologic force throughout Martian history.

  13. Experimental Evidence for Weathering and Martian Sulfate Formation Under Extremely Cold Weather-Limited Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niles, Paul B.; Golden, D. C.; Michalski, J.

    2013-01-01

    High resolution photography and spectroscopy of the martian surface (MOC, HiRISE) from orbit has revolutionized our view of Mars with one of the most important discoveries being wide-spread layered sedimentary deposits associated with sulfate minerals across the low to mid latitude regions of Mars [1, 2]. The mechanism for sulfate formation on Mars has been frequently attributed to playa-like evaporative environments under prolonged warm conditions [3]. However, there are several problems with the presence of prolonged surface temperatures on Mars above 273 K during the Noachian including the faint young Sun [4] and the presence of suitable greenhouse gases [5]. The geomorphic evidence for early warm conditions may instead be explained by periodic episodes of warming rather than long term prolonged warm temperatures [6]. An alternate view of the ancient martian climate contends that prolonged warm temperatures were never present and that the atmosphere and climate has been similar to modern conditions throughout most of its history [6]. This view is more consistent with the climate models, but has had a difficult time explaining the sedimentary history of Mars and in particular the presence of sulfate minerals. We suggest here that mixtures of atmospheric aerosols, ice, and dust have the potential for creating small films of cryo-concentrated acidic solutions that may represent an important unexamined environment for understanding weathering processes on Mars [7, 8]. This study seeks to test whether sulfate formation may be possible at temperatures well below 0 C in water limited environments removing the need for prolonged warm periods to form sulfates on early Mars.

  14. Constraining Hesperian martian PCO2 from mineral analysis at Gale crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, T.; Haberle, R. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Siebach, K. L.; Des Marais, D. J.; Rampe, E. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Sutter, B.; Fairén, A. G.; Mischna, M.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2016-12-01

    Carbon dioxide is an essential atmospheric component in martian climate models that attempt to reconcile a faint young sun with widespread evidence of liquid water at the planet's surface in the Noachian and Early Hesperian. Current estimates of ancient martian CO2 levels, derived from global inventories of carbon, and orbital detections of Noachian and Early Hesperian clay mineral-bearing terrains indicate CO2 levels that are unable to support warm and wet conditions. These estimates are subject to various sources of uncertainty however. Mineral and contextual sedimentary environmental data collected by the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in Gale Crater provide a more direct means of estimating the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 (PCO2) coinciding with a long-lived lake system in Gale crater at 3.5 Ga. Results from a reaction-transport model, which simulates mineralogy observed within the Sheepbed member at Yellowknife Bay by coupling mineral equilibria with carbonate precipitation kinetics and rates of sedimentation, indicate atmospheric levels in the 10's mbar range. At such low PCO2 levels, climate models are unable to warm Hesperian Mars anywhere near the freezing point of water and other gases are required to raise atmospheric pressure to prevent lakes from boiling away. Thus, lacustrine features of Gale formed in a cold environment by a mechanism yet to be determined, or the climate models lack an essential component that would serve to elevate surface temperatures, at least temporally and/or locally, on Hesperian Mars. Our results also impose restrictions on the potential role of atmospheric CO2 in inferred warmer conditions of the Noachian.

  15. P21C-2113: Constraining Hesperian Martian PCO2 from Mineral Analysis at Gale Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bristow, Thomas; Haberle, Robert Michael; Blake, David Frederick; Vaniman, David T.; Grotzinger, John P.; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Des Marais, David J.; Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Sutter, Brad; hide

    2016-01-01

    Carbon dioxide is an essential atmospheric component in martian climate models that attempt to reconcile a faint young sun with widespread evidence of liquid water at the planet's surface in the Noachian and Early Hesperian. Current estimates of ancient martian CO levels, derived from global inventories of carbon, and orbital detections of Noachian and Early Hesperian clay mineralbearing terrains indicate CO levels that are unable to support warm and wet conditions. These estimates are subject to various sources of uncertainty however. Mineral and contextual sedimentary environmental data collected by the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in Gale Crater provide a more direct means of estimating the atmospheric partial pressure of CO (P ) coinciding with a long-lived lake system in Gale crater at approximately 3.5 Ga. Results from a reaction transport model, which simulates mineralogy observed within the Sheepbed member at Yellowknife Bay by coupling mineral equilibria with carbonate precipitation kinetics and rates of sedimentation, indicate atmospheric levels in the 10's mbar range. At such low P levels, climate models are unable to warm Hesperian Mars anywhere near the freezing point of water and other gases are required to raise atmospheric pressure to prevent lakes from boiling away. Thus, lacustrine features of Gale formed in a cold environment by a mechanism yet to be determined, or the climate models lack an essential component that would serve to elevate surface temperatures, at least temporally and/or locally, on Hesperian Mars. Our results also impose restrictions on the potential role of atmospheric CO in inferred warmer conditions of the Noachian.

  16. Global situational awareness and early warning of high-consequence climate change.

    SciT

    Backus, George A.; Carr, Martin J.; Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick

    2009-08-01

    Global monitoring systems that have high spatial and temporal resolution, with long observational baselines, are needed to provide situational awareness of the Earth's climate system. Continuous monitoring is required for early warning of high-consequence climate change and to help anticipate and minimize the threat. Global climate has changed abruptly in the past and will almost certainly do so again, even in the absence of anthropogenic interference. It is possible that the Earth's climate could change dramatically and suddenly within a few years. An unexpected loss of climate stability would be equivalent to the failure of an engineered system on amore » grand scale, and would affect billions of people by causing agricultural, economic, and environmental collapses that would cascade throughout the world. The probability of such an abrupt change happening in the near future may be small, but it is nonzero. Because the consequences would be catastrophic, we argue that the problem should be treated with science-informed engineering conservatism, which focuses on various ways a system can fail and emphasizes inspection and early detection. Such an approach will require high-fidelity continuous global monitoring, informed by scientific modeling.« less

  17. Martian cratering. II - Asteroid impact history.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1971-01-01

    This paper considers the extent to which Martian craters can be explained by considering asteroidal impact. Sections I, II, and III of this paper derive the diameter distribution of hypothetical asteroidal craters on Mars from recent Palomar-Leiden asteroid statistics and show that the observed Martian craters correspond to a bombardment by roughly 100 times the present number of Mars-crossing asteroids. Section IV discusses the early bombardment history of Mars, based on the capture theory of Opik and probable orbital parameters of early planetesimals. These results show that the visible craters and surface of Mars should not be identified with the initial, accreted surface. A backward extrapolation of the impact rates based on surviving Mars-crossing asteroids can account for the majority of Mars craters over an interval of several aeons, indicating that we see back in time no further than part-way into a period of intense bombardment. An early period of erosion and deposition is thus suggested. Section V presents a comparison with results and terminology of other authors.

  18. Informing climate change adaptation with insights from famine early warning (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, C. C.; Verdin, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    Famine early warning systems provide a unique viewpoint for understanding the implications of climate change on food security, identifying the locations and seasons where millions of food insecure people are dependent upon climate-sensitive agricultural systems. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is a decision support system sponsored by the Office of Food for Peace of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which distributes over two billion dollars of food aid to more than 40 countries each year. FEWS NET identifies the times and places where food aid is required by the most climatically sensitive and consequently food insecure populations of the developing world. As result, FEWS NET has developed its own "climate service", implemented by USGS, NOAA, and NASA, to support its decision making processes. The foundation of this climate service is the monitoring of current growing conditions for early identification of agricultural drought that might impact food security. Since station networks are sparse in the countries monitored, FEWS NET has a tradition (dating back to 1985) of reliance on satellite remote sensing of vegetation and rainfall. In the last ten years, climate forecasts have become an additional tool for food security assessment, extending the early warning perspective to include expected agricultural outcomes for the season ahead. More recently, research has expanded to include detailed analyses of recent observed climate trends, combined with diagnostic ocean-atmosphere studies. These studies are then used to develop interpretations of GCM scenarios and their implications for future patterns of precipitation and temperature, revealing trends towards warmer/drier climate conditions and increases in the relative frequency of drought. In some regions, like Eastern Africa, such changes seem to be already occurring, with an associated increase in food insecurity. Sub-national analyses for Kenya, for example, point to the

  19. Impact of climate changes on population vital activities in Russia in the early 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zolotokrylin, A. N.; Vinogradova, V. V.; Titkova, T. B.; Cherenkova, E. A.; Bokuchava, D. D.; Sokolov, I. A.; Vinogradov, A. V.; Babina, E. D.

    2018-01-01

    The study substantiates the approach to the assessment of impact of climate change on vital activities of population in Russia in the face of increasing climate extremes. The obtained results reveal the occurrence of the essential climate extreme events over the period 1991-2013 in Russia that are vital for population activities. Annual amounts of interdiurnal temperature differences and pressure were calculated. Propagation of heat and cold waves, trends and frequencies of daily precipitation extremes were evaluated. The map “Zoning the territory of the Russian Federation by natural living conditions of the population” adapted for modern climate (2001-2010), illustrates the climate changes in the early 21st century. The modern warming of climate has led to a significant easing of discomfort in the territory of Russia. The steady decline of the absolutely unfavorable zone resulted from the expansion of less unfavorable areas is observed, especially in the Northern and Arctic regions. In the south the boundary of unfavorable territories shifts toward the north. It results in the expansion of the conditionally unfavorable area in West Siberia and in the south of East Siberia. In European Russia the favorable area expands and shifts far to the northern regions.

  20. Martian 'Kitchen Sponge'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This picture is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. It shows a tiny 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer (0.62 x 0.62 mile) area of the martian north polar residual ice cap as it appears in summertime.

    The surface looks somewhat like that of a kitchen sponge--it is flat on top and has many closely-spaced pits of no more than 2 meters (5.5 ft) depth. The upper, flat surface in this image has a medium-gray tone, while the pit interiors are darker gray. Each pit is generally 10 to 20 meters (33-66 feet) across. The pits probably form as water ice sublimes--going directly from solid to vapor--during the martian northern summer seasons. The pits probably develop over thousands of years. This texture is very different from what is seen in the south polar cap, where considerably larger and more circular depressions are found to resemble slices of swiss cheese rather than a kitchen sponge.

    This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during northern summer on March 8, 1999. It was one of the very last 'calibration' images taken before the start of the Mapping Phase of the MGS mission, and its goal was to determine whether the MOC was properly focused. The crisp appearance of the edges of the pits confirmed that the instrument was focused and ready for its 1-Mars Year mapping mission. The scene is located near 86.9oN, 207.5oW, and has a resolution of about 1.4 meters (4 ft, 7 in) per pixel.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  1. Astronomical Constraints on the Duration of Early Jurassic Stages and Global Carbon Cycle and Climatic Perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruhl, M.; Hesselbo, S. P.; Hinnov, L.; Jenkyns, H. C.; Storm, M.; Xu, W.; Riding, J. B.; Ullmann, C. V.

    2015-12-01

    The Early Jurassic (201.3 to 174.1 Ma) is bracketed by the end-Triassic mass extinction and global warming event, and the Toarcian-Aalenian shift to (global) icehouse conditions (McElwain et al., 1999; Hesselbo et al., 2002; Ruhl et al., 2011; Korte et al., in review). It is further marked by the early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE), with possibly the largest exogenic carbon cycle perturbation of the Mesozoic and related perturbations in global geochemical cycles, climate and the environment, which are linked to large igneous province emplacement in the Karoo-Ferrar region (Jenkyns, 2010; Burgess et al., 2015). Furthermore, Early Jurassic continental rifting and the break-up of Pangaea and subsequent Early Jurassic opening of the Hispanic Corridor and Viking Strait respectively linked the equatorial Tethys Ocean to Eastern Panthalassa and the high-latitude Arctic Boreal realm. This initiated changes in (global) ocean currents and Earth's heat distribution and ultimately was followed by the opening of the proto-North Atlantic (Porter et al., 2013; Korte et al., in review). Here, we present high-resolution (sub-precession scale) elemental concentration data from the Mochras borehole (UK), which represents ~1300m of possibly the most complete and expanded lower Jurassic hemi-pelagic marine sedimentary archive known. We construct a floating ~9 Myr astronomical time-scale for the complete Early Jurassic Pliensbachian stage and biozones. Combined with radiometric and astrochronological constraints on early Jurassic stage boundaries, we construct a new Early Jurassic Time-Scale. With this we assess the duration and rate of change of early Jurassic global carbon cycle and climatic perturbations and we asses fundamental changes in the nature and expression of Early Jurassic long (100 - 1000 kyr) eccentricity cycles.

  2. Martian neutron leakage spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, D. M.; Feldman, W. C.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1988-06-01

    A high-energy nucleon-meson transport code is used to calculate energy spectra of Martian leakage neutrons. Four calculations are used to simulate a uniform surface layer containing various amounts of water, different burial depths of a 50 percent water layer underneath a 1 percent water layer, changing atmospheric pressure, and a thick carbon dioxide ice sheet overlying a "dirty" water ice sheet. Calculated spectra at energies less than about 1000 eV were fitted by a superposition of thermal and epithermal functions having four free parameters, two of which (thermal and epithermal amplitudes) were found to vary systematically and to specify uniquely the configuration in each of the series. Parameter variations depend on the composition of the assumed surface layers through the average atomic mass and the macroscopic scattering and absorption cross sections. It is concluded that measurements of leakage neutron spectra should allow determination of the hydrogen content of surface layers buried to depths up to about 100 g/sq. cm and determination of the thickness of a polar dry ice cap up to a thickness of about 250 g/sq. cm.

  3. Putting Martian Tribulation Behind

    2017-05-15

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity worked for 30 months on a raised segment of Endeavour Crater's rim called "Cape Tribulation" until departing that segment in mid-April 2017, southbound toward a new destination. This view looks back at the southern end of Cape Tribulation from about two football fields' distance away. The component images were taken by the rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) on April 21, during the 4,707th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's mission on Mars. Wheel tracks can be traced back to see the rover's route as it descended and departed Cape Tribulation. For scale, the distance between the two parallel tracks is about 3.3 feet (1 meter). The rover drove from the foot of Cape Tribulation to the head of "Perseverance Valley" in seven drives totaling about one-fifth of a mile (one-third of a kilometer). The elevation difference between the highest point visible in this scene and the rover's location when the images were taken is about 180 feet (55 meters). This view looks northward. It merges exposures taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). It is presented in approximately true color. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21497

  4. The history of Martian volatiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Jones, John H.

    The behavior of water and other volatiles on Mars is key to understanding the evolution of the climate. The early climate played a fundamental role in producing the observed surface morphology and possibly in enabling the existence of an early biosphere. Geochemical and isotopic data can be used to infer the history of volatiles. On the basis of the isotopic data from the atmosphere and from components of the surface (as measured in meteorites that come from Mars), there appear to be at least two reservoirs of volatiles, one that has undergone exchange with the atmosphere and has been isotopically fractionated, and a second that is unfractionated and may represent juvenile gases. The fractionation of the atmospheric component has occurred primarily through the escape of gas to space. In addition, the atmospheric gases have mixed substantially with crustal reservoirs of volatiles. Such exchange may have occurred in aqueous or hydrothermal environments. The history of escape to space, as driven by the properties of the Sun through time, is consistent with the surface geomorphology. Together, they suggest an early environment that was substantially different from the present one and the evolution through time to a colder, dryer climate.

  5. Late Glacial to Early Holocene socio-ecological responses to climatic instability within the Mediterranean basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Jones, Samantha E.; Burjachs, Francesc

    2018-03-01

    The period spanning the Late Glacial and the Early Holocene (≈19-8.2 ka) witnessed a dramatic sequence of climate and palaeoenvironmental changes (Rasmussen et al., 2014). Interestingly, some of the most significant transformations ever documented in human Prehistory took place during this period such as the intensification of hunter-gatherer economic systems, the domestication process of wild plants and animals, and the spread of farming across Eurasia. Understanding the role of climate and environmental dynamics on long-term cultural and economic trajectories, as well as specific human responses to episodes of rapid climate change, still remains as one of the main challenges of archaeological research (Kintigh et al., 2014).

  6. The Evolution of the Martian Hydrosphere.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clifford, S. M.; Parker, T. J.

    2001-12-01

    The Martian outflow channels provide persuasive evidence that Mars is water-rich. The elevation of the channel source regions (which average several km above the northern plains) also indicates that, at the time the channels formed, much of this inventory of H2O was stored in the subsurface in disequilibrium with the global topography. The preservation of a reservoir of groundwater under disequilibrium conditions can be explained if it is confined beneath a thick layer of frozen ground, a hydraulic barrier whose existence is consistent with the climatic and geothermal conditions that are thought to have characterized the planet at this time ( ~2-3 Ga). However, earlier in the planet's history, a higher geothermal heat flux would have resulted in a considerably thinner cryosphere - precluding confinement and resulting in a distribution of H2O that was essentially in a state of hydrostatic equilibrium. If so, then it suggests that, following the development of the global dichotomy, an ice-covered ocean may have occupied the northern plains, with numerous lakes and seas residing in low-lying elevations elsewhere on the planet. The progressive crustal assimilation of these early surface reservoirs of water appears to have been a natural consequence of the planet's subsequent climatic and geothermal evolution, with the thermodynamic instability of H2O at low-latitudes leading to its sublimation and ultimate cold-trapping at the poles. Eventually, this process would have resulted in polar deposits that were thick enough to undergo basal melting - introducing the water, originally associated with the northern ocean and other low-latitude reservoirs, into the subsurface at both poles. In response to the planet's declining internal heat flow, the progressive cold-trapping of water into the growing cryosphere would have significantly depleted the remaining inventory of groundwater - a process that could well explain the apparent decline in outflow channel activity during the

  7. Similar millennial climate variability on the Iberian margin during two early Pleistocene glacials and MIS 3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birner, B.; Hodell, D. A.; Tzedakis, P. C.; Skinner, L. C.

    2016-01-01

    Although millennial-scale climate variability (<10 ka) has been well studied during the last glacial cycles, little is known about this important aspect of climate in the early Pleistocene, prior to the Middle Pleistocene Transition. Here we present an early Pleistocene climate record at centennial resolution for two representative glacials (marine isotope stages (MIS) 37-41 from approximately 1235 to 1320 ka) during the "41 ka world" at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1385 (the "Shackleton Site") on the southwest Iberian margin. Millennial-scale climate variability was suppressed during interglacial periods (MIS 37, MIS 39, and MIS 41) and activated during glacial inceptions when benthic δ18O exceeded 3.2‰. Millennial variability during glacials MIS 38 and MIS 40 closely resembled Dansgaard-Oeschger events from the last glacial (MIS 3) in amplitude, shape, and pacing. The phasing of oxygen and carbon isotope variability is consistent with an active oceanic thermal bipolar see-saw between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during most of the prominent stadials. Surface cooling was associated with systematic decreases in benthic carbon isotopes, indicating concomitant changes in the meridional overturning circulation. A comparison to other North Atlantic records of ice rafting during the early Pleistocene suggests that freshwater forcing, as proposed for the late Pleistocene, was involved in triggering or amplifying perturbations of the North Atlantic circulation that elicited a bipolar see-saw response. Our findings support similarities in the operation of the climate system occurring on millennial time scales before and after the Middle Pleistocene Transition despite the increases in global ice volume and duration of the glacial cycles.

  8. Phenological behaviour of early spring flowering trees in Spain in response to recent climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidalgo-Galvez, M. D.; García-Mozo, H.; Oteros, J.; Mestre, A.; Botey, R.; Galán, C.

    2018-04-01

    This research reports the phenological trends of four early spring and late winter flowering trees in Spain (south Europe) from a recent period (1986-2012). The studied species were deciduous trees growing in different climatic areas: hazel ( Corylus avellana L.), willow ( Salix alba L.), ash ( Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl.) and white mulberry ( Morus alba L.). We analysed the response to climate and the trends of the following phenophases observed at the field: budburst, leaf unfolding, flowering, fruit ripening, fruit harvesting, leaf colour change and leaf-fall. The study was carried out in 17 sampling sites in the country with the aim of detecting the recent phenological response to the climate of these species, and the possible effect of climate change. We have observed differences in the phenological response to climate depending on each species. Sixty-one percent of studied sites suffered an advance of early spring phenophases, especially budburst on average by -0.67 days and flowering on average by -0.15 days during the studied period, and also in the subsequent fruit ripening and harvesting phases on average by -1.06 days. By contrast, it has been detected that 63% of sampling sites showed a delay in autumn vegetative phases, especially leaf-fall events on average by +1.15 days. The statistic correlation analysis shows in the 55% of the studied localities that phenological advances are the consequence of the increasing trend detected for temperature—being minimum temperature the most influential factor—and in the 52% of them, phenological advances occurred by rainfall variations. In general, leaf unfolding and flowering from these species showed negative correlations in relation to temperature and rainfall, whereas that leaf colour change and leaf-fall presented positive correlations. The results obtained have a great relevance due to the fact that they can be considered as reliable bio-indicators of the impact of the recent climate changes in southern

  9. Physiological-based modelling of marine fish early life stages provides process knowledge on climate impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, M. A.

    2016-02-01

    Gaining a cause-and-effect understanding of climate-driven changes in marine fish populations at appropriate spatial scales is important for providing robust advice for ecosystem-based fisheries management. Coupling long-term, retrospective analyses and 3-d biophysical, individual-based models (IBMs) shows great potential to reveal mechanism underlying historical changes and to project future changes in marine fishes. IBMs created for marine fish early life stages integrate organismal-level physiological responses and climate-driven changes in marine habitats (from ocean physics to lower trophic level productivity) to test and reveal processes affecting marine fish recruitment. Case studies are provided for hindcasts and future (A1 and B2 projection) simulations performed on some of the most ecologically- and commercially-important pelagic and demersal fishes in the North Sea including European anchovy, Atlantic herring, European sprat and Atlantic cod. We discuss the utility of coupling biophysical IBMs to size-spectrum models to better project indirect (trophodynamic) pathways of climate influence on the early life stages of these and other fishes. Opportunities and challenges are discussed regarding the ability of these physiological-based tools to capture climate-driven changes in living marine resources and food web dynamics of shelf seas.

  10. A technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter in SAEF-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter which is scheduled to launch on Dec. 10, 1998, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface.

  11. Martian Igneous Geochemistry: The Nature of the Martian Mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Peng, Z. X.; Herrin, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Mafic igneous rocks probe the interiors of their parent objects, reflecting the compositions and mineralogies of their source regions, and the magmatic processes that engendered them. Incompatible trace element contents of mafic igneous rocks are widely used to constrain the petrologic evolution of planets. We focus on incompatible element ratios of martian meteorites to constrain the petrologic evolution of Mars in the context of magma ocean/cumulate overturn models [1]. Most martian meteorites contain some cumulus grains, but regardless, their incompatible element ratios are close to those of their parent magmas. Martian meteorites form two main petrologic/ age groupings; a 1.3 Ga group composed of clinopyroxenites (nakhlites) and dunites (chassignites), and a <1 Ga group composed of basalts and lherzolites (shergottites).

  12. Iterative management of heat early warning systems in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Hess, Jeremy J; Ebi, Kristie L

    2016-10-01

    Extreme heat is a leading weather-related cause of morbidity and mortality, with heat exposure becoming more widespread, frequent, and intense as climates change. The use of heat early warning and response systems (HEWSs) that integrate weather forecasts with risk assessment, communication, and reduction activities is increasingly widespread. HEWSs are frequently touted as an adaptation to climate change, but little attention has been paid to the question of how best to ensure effectiveness of HEWSs as climates change further. In this paper, we discuss findings showing that HEWSs satisfy the tenets of an intervention that facilitates adaptation, but climate change poses challenges infrequently addressed in heat action plans, particularly changes in the onset, duration, and intensity of dangerously warm temperatures, and changes over time in the relationships between temperature and health outcomes. Iterative management should be central to a HEWS, and iteration cycles should be of 5 years or less. Climate change adaptation and implementation science research frameworks can be used to identify HEWS modifications to improve their effectiveness as temperature continues to rise, incorporating scientific insights and new understanding of effective interventions. We conclude that, at a minimum, iterative management activities should involve planned reassessment at least every 5 years of hazard distribution, population-level vulnerability, and HEWS effectiveness. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  13. Holocene climate and cultural evolution in late prehistoric-early historic West Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staubwasser, Michael; Weiss, Harvey

    2006-11-01

    The precipitation climatology and the underlying climate mechanisms of the eastern Mediterranean, West Asia, and the Indian subcontinent are reviewed, with emphasis on upper and middle tropospheric flow in the subtropics and its steering of precipitation. Holocene climate change of the region is summarized from proxy records. The Indian monsoon weakened during the Holocene over its northernmost region, the Ganges and Indus catchments and the western Arabian Sea. Southern regions, the Indian Peninsula, do not show a reduction, but an increase of summer monsoon rain across the Holocene. The long-term trend towards drier conditions in the eastern Mediterranean can be linked to a regionally complex monsoon evolution. Abrupt climate change events, such as the widespread droughts around 8200, 5200 and 4200 cal yr BP, are suggested to be the result of altered subtropical upper-level flow over the eastern Mediterranean and Asia. The abrupt climate change events of the Holocene radically altered precipitation, fundamental for cereal agriculture, across the expanse of late prehistoric-early historic cultures known from the archaeological record in these regions. Social adaptations to reduced agro-production, in both dry-farming and irrigation agriculture regions, are visible in the archaeological record during each abrupt climate change event in West Asia. Chronological refinement, in both the paleoclimate and archaeological records, and transfer functions for both precipitation and agro-production are needed to understand precisely the evident causal linkages.

  14. Nature of the Martian Uplands and Martian Meteorite Age Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Barlow, N. G.

    2005-12-01

    Martian meteorites have been launched from some 4 to 8 sites on Mars within the last 20 My. Some 75% to 88% of the sites ejected igneous rocks < 1.3 Gy old. Thus 75% to 88% of the rock-launching sites represent only 29% of Martian time. We hypothesize this imbalance arises not merely from poor statistics, but because much of the older Martian surface is inefficient in launching rocks during impacts. There are three lines of evidence. First, intense Noachian cratering must have produced surface layers with > 100 m of regolith, which reduces launch efficiency due to dominance of fines and possible effects of ice in the regolith. Second, both Mars Exploration Rovers in 2004, found that some older coherent strata are weak sediments, 1-2 orders of magnitude weaker than Martian igneous rocks. Low strength favors low launch efficiency, and even if launched, such rocks may produce recognizable meteorites on Earth. Third, the smaller fresh impact craters in Martian upland sites are rarely surrounded by secondary impact crater fields (cf. Barlow and Block, 2004). In a survey of 200 craters, the smallest Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian craters with fields of secondaries are ˜ 45 km, ˜ 24 km, and ˜ 10 km, respectively. With 40% of Mars being Noachian, and 74% being either Noachian or Hesperian, these effects could play an important role in the statistics of recognized Martian meteorites and production rates of secondary crater populations. Reference: Barlow N.G., Block, K.M. (2004), DPS abstract 47.04.

  15. Fluvial valleys on Martian volcanoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Victor R.; Gulick, Virginia C.

    1987-01-01

    Channels and valleys were known on the Martian volcanoes since their discovery by the Mariner 9 mission. Their analysis has generally centered on interpretation of possible origins by fluvial, lava, or viscous flows. The possible fluvial dissection of Martian volcanoes has received scant attention in comparison to that afforded outflow, runoff, and fretted channels. Photointerpretative, mapping, and morphometric studies of three Martian volcanoes were initiated: Ceraunius Tholus, Hecate Tholus, and Alba Patera. Preliminary morphometric results indicate that, for these three volcanoes, valley junction angles increase with decreasing slope. Drainage densities are quite variable, apparently reflecting complex interactions in the landscape-forming factors described. Ages of the Martian volcanoes were recently reinterpreted. This refined dating provides a time sequence in which to evaluate the degradational forms. An anomaly has appeared from the initial study: fluvial valleys seem to be present on some Martian volcanoes, but not on others of the same age. Volcanic surfaces characterized only by high permeability lava flows may have persisted without fluvial dissection.

  16. Cleaning a Martian Meteoritean Meteorite

    2018-02-13

    A slice of a meteorite scientists have determined came from Mars placed inside an oxygen plasma cleaner, which removes organics from the outside of surfaces. This slice will likely be used here on Earth for testing a laser instrument for NASA's Mars 2020 rover; a separate slice will go to Mars on the rover. Martian meteorites are believed to be the result of impacts to the Red Planet's surface, resulting in rock being blasted into the atmosphere. After traveling through space for eons, some of these rocks entered Earth's atmosphere. Scientists determine whether they are true Martian meteorites based on their rock and noble gas chemistry and mineralogy. The gases trapped in these meteorites bear the unique fingerprint of the Martian atmosphere, as recorded by NASA's Viking mission in 1976. The rock types also show clear signs of igneous processing not possible on smaller bodies, such as asteroids. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22247

  17. Martian geomorphology and its relation to subsurface volatiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, Stephen M. (Editor); Rossbacher, Lisa A. (Editor); Zimbelman, James R. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Martian volatile inventory, planetary climatic and atmospheric evolution, and the interpretation of various remote sensing data were discussed. A number of morphologies that were cited as potential indicators of subsurface volatiles were reviewed. Rampart craters and terrain softening were the focus of more in-depth discussion because of the popular attention they have received and the fact that their areal distributions are by far the most extensive of all the proposed indicators.

  18. Martian paleolakes and waterways - Exobiological implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, David H.; Rice, James W., Jr.; Dohm, James M.

    1991-01-01

    Mars may have had an early environment similar to earth's that was conductive to the emergence of life. In addition, increasing geologic evidence indicates that water, upon which terrestrial life depends, has been present on Mars throughout its history. This evidence suggests that life could have developed not only on early Mars but also over longer periods of time in longer lasting, more element local environments. It is suggested that paleolakes may have provided such environments. Unlike the case on earth, this record of the origin and evolution of life has probably not been erased by extensive deformation of the Martian surface. The work reported in this paper has identified eleven prospective areas where large lacustrine basins may once have existed.

  19. Evidence From Svalbard for Cool Episodes in Early Tertiary Arctic Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielhagen, R. F.; Tripati, A.; Mac Niocaill, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Arctic is a climatically sensitive and important region. However, very little is known about the climatic and oceanographic evolution of the area, particularly prior to the Neogene. Until recently, the Arctic was assumed to be characterized by relatively warm conditions during the early Cenozoic. The Early Tertiary sedimentary sequence on Svalbard contains several layers with coal seams and broad-leaved plants which were commonly accepted as indicators of a generally temperate-warm climate. Here we report on the intermittent occurrence of certain temperature indicators in the succession, which may represent the first northern high- latitude record of near-freezing temperatures for the early Cenozoic. Besides the findings of probably ice- rafted erratic clasts in the Paleocene and Eocene sandstones and shales, we note especially the occurrence of glendonites which are pseudomorphs of calcite after ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate). Stratigraphic control for the most important glendonite layers was improved by paleomagnetic investigations on the host sediment. We measured the chemical composition of Svalbard glendonites which is almost identical to that of similar pseudomorphs from the Lower Cretaceaous of Northern Canada. Mass spectrometric analyses of the glendonite calcite gave very low carbon isotope values. These values suggest a provenance of the calcium carbonate from marine organic carbon and connect our glendonites to the precursor mineral ikaite which has similar low values. Since a variety of studies has demonstrated that ikaite is stable only at temperatures close to freezing point, we have to infer low temperatures also for the deepositional environment of which the sediments were deposited that now hold glendonites. These results imply the occurrence of cooling phases episodically during the warm background climate of the Paleocene and Eocene, suggesting that temperature variability was much greater than previously recognized.

  20. Reconstructing the past climate at Gale crater, Mars, from hydrological modeling of late-stage lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horvath, David G.; Andrews-Hanna, Jeffrey C.

    2017-08-01

    The sedimentary deposits in Gale crater may preserve one of the best records of the early Martian climate during the Late Noachian and Early Hesperian. Surface and orbital observations support the presence of two periods of lake stability in Gale crater—prior to the formation of the sedimentary mound during the Late Noachian and after the formation and erosion of the mound to its present state in the Early Hesperian. Here we use hydrological models and late-stage lake levels at Gale, to reconstruct the climate of Mars after mound formation and erosion to its present state. Using Earth analog climates, we show that the late-stage lakes require wetter interludes characterized by semiarid climates after the transition to arid conditions in the Hesperian. These climates are much wetter than is thought to characterize much of the Hesperian and are more similar to estimates of the Late Noachian climate.

  1. 3D modelling of the climatic impact of outflow channel formation events on early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turbet, Martin; Forget, Francois; Head, James W.; Wordsworth, Robin

    2017-05-01

    of ice deposits by precipitation (0.65% of the initial outflow volume) and can be responsible for the melting of ∼80 km3 (0.008% of the initial outflow volume; 1% of the deposited precipitation). Furthermore, these quantities decrease drastically (faster than linearly) for lower volumes of released water. Over the long term, we find that the presence of the ice-covered lake has a climatic impact similar to a simple body of water ice located in the Northern Plains. For an obliquity of ∼45° and atmospheric pressures > 80 mbar, we find that the lake ice is transported progressively southward through the mechanisms of sublimation and adiabatic cooling. At the same time, and as long as the initial water reservoir is not entirely sublimated (a lifetime of 105 martian years for the outflow channel event described above), ice deposits remain in the West Echus Chasma Plateau region where hints of hydrological activity contemporaneous with outflow channel formation events have been observed. However, because the high albedo of ice drives Mars to even colder temperatures, snowmelt produced by seasonal solar forcing is difficult to attain.

  2. Climate hazards, adaptation and "resilience" of societies (early Little Ice Age, west of France).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Athimon, Emmanuelle; Maanan, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Over the past ten to fifteen years, climate hazards and adaptation have received more attention due to the current climate change. Climate historians have gathered strong evidence that the world's climate has evolved over the past millennium and one of the most significant changes took place during the Little Ice Age. Recently, a set of questions has emerged: what were the effects of the Little Ice Age on human's societies? How did humans adapt to these climate changes? How did they react to extreme weather-related events? Using examples of climate hazards from the West of France during the beginning of the Little Ice Age (xivth-xviith centuries) such as storms, flooding, drought, harsh winters, the poster aims at showing how the past societies can constitute a source of inspiration for present ones. Through schemas, this research exposes the system's rebound capacity, points out the importance of the historical depth in research on human's adaptation and resilience and shows the value of integrating a historical approach. It reveals that History contributes to the knowledge of the relationship between societies and climate hazards. Data on climate hazards and adaptation of societies stem from historical sources such as chronicles, diaries, books of accounts, records of cities repairs. To protect themselves and their goods, medieval and modern societies had developed specific skills, practices and strategies. From the xivth to the xviiith century, there is an increase of defense by dikes in the low Loire, as for example the construction of those amongst Longué and Ponts-de-Cé between the early xivth century and 1407. The French kingdom's authorities also tried increasingly to provide technical, material, logistical and fiscal support: for instance, during the winter 1564-1565, several bridges have been destroyed by a river flooding in Nantes. The King Charles IX then offered to people of Nantes part of the funds from taxes on the main activities such as the

  3. The Role of Atmospheric Pressure on Surface Thermal Inertia for Early Mars Climate Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mischna, M.; Piqueux, S.

    2017-12-01

    On rocky bodies such as Mars, diurnal surface temperatures are controlled by the surface thermal inertia, which is a measure of the ability of the surface to store heat during the day and re-radiate it at night. Thermal inertia is a compound function of the near-surface regolith thermal conductivity, density and specific heat, with the regolith thermal conductivity being strongly controlled by the atmospheric pressure. For Mars, current best maps of global thermal inertia are derived from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft using bolometric brightness temperatures of the surface. Thermal inertia is widely used in the atmospheric modeling community to determine surface temperatures and to establish lower boundary conditions for the atmosphere. Infrared radiation emitted from the surface is key in regulating lower atmospheric temperatures and driving overall global circulation. An accurate map of surface thermal inertia is thus required to produce reasonable results of the present-day atmosphere using numerical Mars climate models. Not surprisingly, thermal inertia is also a necessary input into climate models of early Mars, which assume a thicker atmosphere, by as much as one to two orders of magnitude above the present-day 6 mb mean value. Early Mars climate models broadly, but incorrectly, assume the present day thermal inertia surface distribution. Here, we demonstrate that, on early Mars, when pressures were larger than today's, the surface layer thermal inertia was globally higher because of the increased thermal conductivity driven by the higher gas pressure in interstitial pore spaces within the soil. Larger thermal inertia reduces the diurnal range of surface temperature and will affect the size and timing of the modeled seasonal polar ice caps. Additionally, it will globally alter the frequency of when surface temperatures are modeled to exceed the liquid water melting point, and so results may

  4. Impact of a drier Early-Mid-Holocene climate upon Amazonian forests.

    PubMed

    Mayle, Francis E; Power, Mitchell J

    2008-05-27

    This paper uses a palaeoecological approach to examine the impact of drier climatic conditions of the Early-Mid-Holocene (ca 8000-4000 years ago) upon Amazonia's forests and their fire regimes. Palaeovegetation (pollen data) and palaeofire (charcoal) records are synthesized from 20 sites within the present tropical forest biome, and the underlying causes of any emergent patterns or changes are explored by reference to independent palaeoclimate data and present-day patterns of precipitation, forest cover and fire activity across Amazonia. During the Early-Mid-Holocene, Andean cloud forest taxa were replaced by lowland tree taxa as the cloud base rose while lowland ecotonal areas, which are presently covered by evergreen rainforest, were instead dominated by savannahs and/or semi-deciduous dry forests. Elsewhere in the Amazon Basin there is considerable spatial and temporal variation in patterns of vegetation disturbance and fire, which probably reflects the complex heterogeneous patterns in precipitation and seasonality across the basin, and the interactions between climate change, drought- and fire susceptibility of the forests, and Palaeo-Indian land use. Our analysis shows that the forest biome in most parts of Amazonia appears to have been remarkably resilient to climatic conditions significantly drier than those of today, despite widespread evidence of forest burning. Only in ecotonal areas is there evidence of biome replacement in the Holocene. From this palaeoecological perspective, we argue against the Amazon forest 'dieback' scenario simulated for the future.

  5. Science of Global Climate Modeling: Confirmation from Discoveries on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, William K.

    2012-10-01

    As early as 1993, analysis of obliquity changes on Mars revealed irregular cycles of high excursion, over 45°1. Further obliquity analyses indicated that insolation and climatic conditions vary with time, with the four most recent episodes of obliquity >45° occurring about 5.5, 8, 9, and 15 My.2 Various researchers applied global climate models, using Martian parameters and obliquity changes. The models (independent of Martian geomorphological observations) indicate exceptional climate conditions during the high-obliquity episodes at >45°3,4, with localized massive ice deposition effects east of Hellas and on the west slopes of Tharsis.5 At last year’s DPS my co-authors and I detailed evidence of unusual active glaciation in Greg crater, near the center of the predicted area of ice accumulation during high obliquity.6 We found that the timescale of glacial surface layer activity matches the general 5-15 My timescale of the last episodes of high obliquity and ice deposition. Radar results confirm ice deposits in debris aprons concentrated in the same area.7 Less direct evidence has also been found for glacial ice deposits in the west Tharsis region.8 Here I emphasize that if the models can be adjusted to Mars and then successfully indicate unusual, specific features that we see there, it is an argument for the robustness of climate modeling in general. In recent years we have see various public figures casting doubt on the validity of terrestrial global modeling. The successful match of Martian climate modeling with direct Martian geological and chronometric observations provides an interesting and teachable refutation of the attacks on climate science. References: 1. Science 259:1294-1297; 2. LPSC XXXV, Abs. 1600; 3. Nature 412:411-413; 4. Science 295:110-113; 5. Science 311:368-371; 6. EPSC-DPS Abs. 1394; 7. Science 322:1235-1238; 8. Nature 434:346-351.

  6. The Martian Water Cycle Based on 3-D Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, H.; Haberle, R. M.; Joshi, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of Martian water is a major goal of the Mars Surveyor program. However, until the bulk of the data from the nominal missions of TES, PMIRR, GRS, MVACS, and the DS2 probes are available, we are bound to be in a state where much of our knowledge of the seasonal behavior of water is based on theoretical modeling. We therefore summarize the results of this modeling at the present time. The most complete calculations come from a somewhat simplified treatment of the Martian climate system which is capable of simulating many decades of weather. More elaborate meteorological models are now being applied to study of the problem. The results show a high degree of consistency with observations of aspects of the Martian water cycle made by Viking MAWD, a large number of ground-based measurements of atmospheric column water vapor, studies of Martian frosts, and the widespread occurrence of water ice clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  7. Modeling the development of martian sublimation thermokarst landforms

    Dundas, Colin M.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2015-01-01

    Sublimation-thermokarst landforms result from collapse of the surface when ice is lost from the subsurface. On Mars, scalloped landforms with scales of decameters to kilometers are observed in the mid-latitudes and considered likely thermokarst features. We describe a landscape evolution model that couples diffusive mass movement and subsurface ice loss due to sublimation. Over periods of tens of thousands of Mars years under conditions similar to the present, the model produces scallop-like features similar to those on the Martian surface, starting from much smaller initial disturbances. The model also indicates crater expansion when impacts occur in surfaces underlain by excess ice to some depth, with morphologies similar to observed landforms on the Martian northern plains. In order to produce these landforms by sublimation, substantial quantities of excess ice are required, at least comparable to the vertical extent of the landform, and such ice must remain in adjacent terrain to support the non-deflated surface. We suggest that Martian thermokarst features are consistent with formation by sublimation, without melting, and that significant thicknesses of very clean excess ice (up to many tens of meters, the depth of some scalloped depressions) are locally present in the Martian mid-latitudes. Climate conditions leading to melting at significant depth are not required.

  8. The Martian, Part 2: Mawrth Valles

    2015-10-13

    All this week, the THEMIS Image of the Day is following on the real Mars the path taken by fictional astronaut Mark Watney, stranded on the Red Planet in the book and movie, The Martian. Today's image shows part of Mawrth Valles, a channel carved by giant floods billions of years ago. The highlands lying to the south and west of the channel are under consideration as a potential landing site for NASA's Mars 2020 rover. Remote-sensing observations from orbit show widespread exposures of clay minerals, indicating alteration by water early in Martian history. These might preserve traces of ancient life, if there was any. For astronaut Mark Watney, driving in a pressurized and solar-powered rover vehicle, Mawrth Valles offers a gentle slope and an easy-to-follow route up from Acidalia's low-lying plains into the Arabia Terra highlands. At this point in his journey, he has driven about 750 kilometers (470 miles). Orbit Number: 38563 Latitude: 24.4297 Longitude: 341.726 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2010-08-24 14:56 http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19797

  9. Early Paleogene evolution of terrestrial climate in the SW Pacific, Southern New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pancost, Richard D.; Taylor, Kyle W. R.; Inglis, Gordon N.; Kennedy, Elizabeth M.; Handley, Luke; Hollis, Christopher J.; Crouch, Erica M.; Pross, Jörg; Huber, Matthew; Schouten, Stefan; Pearson, Paul N.; Morgans, Hugh E. G.; Raine, J. Ian

    2013-12-01

    We present a long-term record of terrestrial climate change for the Early Paleogene of the Southern Hemisphere that complements previously reported marine temperature records. Using the MBT'-CBT proxy, based on the distribution of soil bacterial glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids, we reconstructed mean annual air temperature (MAT) from the Middle Paleocene to Middle Eocene (62-42 Ma) for southern New Zealand. This record is consistent with temperature estimates derived from leaf fossils and palynology, as well as previously published MBT'-CBT records, which provides confidence in absolute temperature estimates. Our record indicates that through this interval, temperatures were typically 5°C warmer than those of today at such latitudes, with more pronounced warming during the Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO; ˜50 Ma) when MAT was ˜20°C. Moreover, the EECO MATs are similar to those determined for Antarctica, with a weak high-latitude terrestrial temperature gradient (˜5°C) developing by the Middle Eocene. We also document a short-lived cooling episode in the early Late Paleocene when MAT was comparable to present. This record corroborates the trends documented by sea surface temperature (SST) proxies, although absolute SSTs are up to 6°C warmer than MATs. Although the high-calibration error of the MBT'-CBT proxy dictates caution, the good match between our MAT results and modeled temperatures supports the suggestion that SST records suffer from a warm (summer?) bias, particularly during times of peak warming.

  10. The contrasting effects of short-term climate change on the early recruitment of tree species.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Inés; Katz, Daniel S W; Lee, Benjamin R

    2017-07-01

    Predictions of plant responses to climate change are frequently based on organisms' presence in warmer locations, which are then assumed to reflect future performance in cooler areas. However, as plant life stages may be affected differently by environmental changes, there is little empirical evidence that this approach provides reliable estimates of short-term responses to global warming. Under this premise, we analyzed 8 years of early recruitment data, seed production and seedling establishment and survival, collected for two tree species at two latitudes. We quantified recruitment to a wide range of environmental conditions, temperature, soil moisture and light, and simulated recruitment under two forecasted climatic scenarios. Annual demographic transitions were affected by the particular conditions taking place during their onset, but the effects of similar environmental shifts differed among the recruitment stages; seed production was higher in warmer years, while seedling establishment and survival peaked during cold years. Within a species, these effects also varied between latitudes; increasing temperatures at the southern location will have stronger detrimental effects on recruitment than similar changes at the northern locations. Our simulations illustrate that warmer temperatures may increase seed production, but they will have a negative effect on establishment and survival. When the three early recruitment processes were simultaneously considered, simulations showed little change in recruitment dynamics at the northern site and a slight decrease at the southern site. It is only when we considered these three stages that we were able to assess likely changes in early recruitment under the predicted conditions.

  11. Fossil palm beetles refine upland winter temperatures in the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum

    PubMed Central

    Archibald, S. Bruce; Morse, Geoffrey E.; Greenwood, David R.; Mathewes, Rolf W.

    2014-01-01

    Eocene climate and associated biotic patterns provide an analog system to understand their modern interactions. The relationship between mean annual temperatures and winter temperatures—temperature seasonality—may be an important factor in this dynamic. Fossils of frost-intolerant palms imply low Eocene temperature seasonality into high latitudes, constraining average winter temperatures there to >8 °C. However, their presence in a paleocommunity may be obscured by taphonomic and identification factors for macrofossils and pollen. We circumvented these problems by establishing the presence of obligate palm-feeding beetles (Chrysomelidae: Pachymerina) at three localities (a fourth, tentatively) in microthermal to lower mesothermal Early Eocene upland communities in Washington and British Columbia. This provides support for warmer winter Eocene climates extending northward into cooler Canadian uplands. PMID:24821798

  12. Fossil palm beetles refine upland winter temperatures in the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum.

    PubMed

    Archibald, S Bruce; Morse, Geoffrey E; Greenwood, David R; Mathewes, Rolf W

    2014-06-03

    Eocene climate and associated biotic patterns provide an analog system to understand their modern interactions. The relationship between mean annual temperatures and winter temperatures-temperature seasonality-may be an important factor in this dynamic. Fossils of frost-intolerant palms imply low Eocene temperature seasonality into high latitudes, constraining average winter temperatures there to >8 °C. However, their presence in a paleocommunity may be obscured by taphonomic and identification factors for macrofossils and pollen. We circumvented these problems by establishing the presence of obligate palm-feeding beetles (Chrysomelidae: Pachymerina) at three localities (a fourth, tentatively) in microthermal to lower mesothermal Early Eocene upland communities in Washington and British Columbia. This provides support for warmer winter Eocene climates extending northward into cooler Canadian uplands.

  13. History of Martian Surface Changes Observed by Mars Global Surveyor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, P. E.; Enga, M.; Mukherjee, P.

    2009-12-01

    The changing appearance of Mars has fascinated observers for centuries, yet much is still unknown about the winds and sediments that alter the albedo of vast areas of the planet’s surface. A variety of aeolian processes contribute to the deposition and erosion of dust on Mars, with distinct causes and timescales that vary with season and location. Over decadal timescales, these processes act to alter the planetary albedo distribution enough to significantly impact the climate and global circulation of winds on Mars (Geissler, JGR 110, E02001, 2005; Fenton et al., Nature 446, 646, 2007). We are documenting the extent and frequency of Martian surface changes by analyzing the rich record of observations made by the Mars Global Surveyor mission. We are currently completing a time-series of global mosaics produced from wide angle MOC images showing in detail how the planet’s surface changed in appearance between early 1999 and late 2006, a period of 4 Martian years. The MOC mosaics reveal a surprising range of temporal behavior among variable features in different regions of Mars. Episodic dust deposition followed by episodic clearing can be seen in Syrtis Major. Gradual erosion by persistent seasonal winds can be seen in many equatorial areas such as southern Alcyonius. Gradual erosion by dust-devils is prevalent at higher latitudes and notably in Nilosyrtis, where the albedo boundary dividing the high albedo tropics from the dark terrain to the north is slowly advancing southwards onto brighter terrain. Solis Planum, a high plateau south of the Valles Marineris, changes on a nearly continuous basis. Many of the moving albedo boundaries (such as those at Oxia Palus and the Southern tropical dark band) display high albedo margins that may be aprons of dust swept away by the advancing erosion. The data also show clear evidence for dust deposition onto already dust-covered regions, a phenomenon that was suspected but not demonstrated by Geissler (2005). The final MOC

  14. Spirit Begins Third Martian Year

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    As it finished its second Martian year on Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was beginning to examine a group of angular rocks given informal names corresponding to peaks in the Colorado Rockies. A Martian year the amount of time it takes Mars to complete one orbit around the sun lasts for 687 Earth days. Spirit completed its second Martian year on the rover's 1,338th Martian day, or sol, corresponding to Oct. 8, 2007.

    Two days later, on sol 1,340 (Oct. 10, 2007), Spirit used its front hazard-identification camera to capture this wide-angle view of its robotic arm extended to a rock informally named 'Humboldt Peak.' For the rocks at this site on the southern edge of the 'Home Plate' platform in the inner basin of the Columbia Hills inside Gusev Crater, the rover team decided to use names of Colorado peaks higher than 14,000 feet. The Colorado Rockies team of the National League is the connection to the baseball-theme nomenclature being used for features around Home Plate.

    The tool facing Spirit on the turret at the end of the robotic arm is the Moessbauer spectrometer.

  15. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  16. Changing atmospheric CO2 concentration was the primary driver of early Cenozoic climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anagnostou, Eleni; John, Eleanor H.; Edgar, Kirsty M.; Foster, Gavin L.; Ridgwell, Andy; Inglis, Gordon N.; Pancost, Richard D.; Lunt, Daniel J.; Pearson, Paul N.

    2016-05-01

    The Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO, which occurred about 51 to 53 million years ago), was the warmest interval of the past 65 million years, with mean annual surface air temperature over ten degrees Celsius warmer than during the pre-industrial period. Subsequent global cooling in the middle and late Eocene epoch, especially at high latitudes, eventually led to continental ice sheet development in Antarctica in the early Oligocene epoch (about 33.6 million years ago). However, existing estimates place atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels during the Eocene at 500-3,000 parts per million, and in the absence of tighter constraints carbon-climate interactions over this interval remain uncertain. Here we use recent analytical and methodological developments to generate a new high-fidelity record of CO2 concentrations using the boron isotope (δ11B) composition of well preserved planktonic foraminifera from the Tanzania Drilling Project, revising previous estimates. Although species-level uncertainties make absolute values difficult to constrain, CO2 concentrations during the EECO were around 1,400 parts per million. The relative decline in CO2 concentration through the Eocene is more robustly constrained at about fifty per cent, with a further decline into the Oligocene. Provided the latitudinal dependency of sea surface temperature change for a given climate forcing in the Eocene was similar to that of the late Quaternary period, this CO2 decline was sufficient to drive the well documented high- and low-latitude cooling that occurred through the Eocene. Once the change in global temperature between the pre-industrial period and the Eocene caused by the action of all known slow feedbacks (apart from those associated with the carbon cycle) is removed, both the EECO and the late Eocene exhibit an equilibrium climate sensitivity relative to the pre-industrial period of 2.1 to 4.6 degrees Celsius per CO2 doubling (66 per cent confidence), which is similar to the

  17. Climate Change in Lowland Central America During the Late Deglacial and Early Holocene

    SciT

    Hillesheim, M B; Hodell, D A; Leyden, B W

    2005-02-08

    The transition from arid glacial to moist early Holocene conditions represented a profound change in northern lowland Neotropical climate. Here we report a detailed record of changes in moisture availability during the latter part of this transition ({approx}11,250 to 7,500 cal yr BP) inferred from sediment cores retrieved in Lake Peten Itza, northern Guatemala. Pollen assemblages demonstrate that a mesic forest had been largely established by {approx}11,250 cal yr BP, but sediment properties indicate that lake level was more than 35 m below modern stage. From 11,250 to 10,350 cal yr BP, during the Preboreal period, lithologic changes in sedimentsmore » from deep-water cores (>50 m below modern water level) indicate several wet-dry cycles that suggest distinct changes in effective moisture. Four dry events (designated PBE1-4) occurred at 11,200, 10,900, 10,700, and 10,400 cal yr BP and correlate with similar variability observed in the Cariaco Basin titanium record and glacial meltwater pulses into the Gulf of Mexico. After 10,350 cal yr BP, multiple sediment proxies suggest a shift to a more persistently moist early Holocene climate. Comparison of results from Lake Peten Itza with other records from the circum-Caribbean demonstrates a coherent climate response during the entire span of our record. Furthermore, lowland Neotropical climate during the late deglacial and early Holocene period appears to be tightly linked to climate change in the high-latitude North Atlantic. We speculate that the observed changes in lowland Neotropical precipitation were related to the intensity of the annual cycle and associated displacements in the mean latitudinal position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and Azores-Bermuda high-pressure system. This mechanism operated on millennial-to-submillennial timescales and may have responded to changes in solar radiation, glacial meltwater, North Atlantic sea ice, and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC).« less

  18. Martian atmospheric O3 retrieval development for the NOMAD-UVIS spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewson, W.; Mason, J. P.; Leese, M.; Hathi, B.; Holmes, J.; Lewis, S. R.; Iriwin, P. G. J.; Patel, M. R.

    2017-09-01

    The composition of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols is a highly variable and poorly constrained component of the martian atmosphere, and by affecting martian climate and UV surface dose, represents a key parameter in the assessment of suitability for martian habitability. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) carries the Open University (OU) designed Ultraviolet and VIsible Spectrometer (UVIS) instrument as part of the Belgian-led Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) spectrometer suite. NOMAD will begin transmitting science observations of martian surface and atmosphere back-scattered UltraViolet (UV) and visible radiation in Spring 2018, which will be processed to derive spatially and temporally averaged atmospheric trace gas and aerosol concentrations, intended to provide a better understanding of martian atmospheric photo-chemistry and dynamics, and will also improve models of martian atmospheric chemistry, climate and habitability. Work presented here illustrates initial development and testing of the OU's new retrieval algorithm for determining O3 and aerosol concentrations from the UVIS instrument.

  19. Quantifying the Benefit of Early Climate Change Mitigation in Avoiding Biodiversity Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, R.; Vanderwal, J.; Price, J.; Welbergen, J.; Atkinson, I. M.; Ramirez-Villegas, J.; Osborn, T.; Shoo, L.; Jarvis, A.; Williams, S.; Lowe, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Quantitative simulations of the global-scale benefits of climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss are presented. Previous studies have projected widespread global and regional impacts of climate change on biodiversity. However, these have focused on analysis of business-as-usual scenarios, with no explicit mitigation policy included. This study finds that early, stringent mitigation would avoid a large proportion of the impacts of climate change induced biodiversity loss projected for the 2080s. Furthermore, despite the large number of studies addressing extinction risks in particular species groups, few studies have explored the issue of potential range loss in common and widespread species. Our study is a comprehensive global scale analysis of 48,786 common and widespread species. We show that without climate change mitigation, 57+/-6% of the plants and 34+/-7% of the animals studied are likely to lose over 50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s. This estimate incorporates realistic, taxon-specific dispersal rates. With stringent mitigation, in which emissions peak in 2016 and are reduced by 5% annually thereafter, these losses are reduced by 60%. Furthermore, with stringent mitigation, global temperature rises more slowly, allowing an additional three decades for biodiversity to adapt to a temperature rise of 2C above pre-industrial levels. The work also shows that even with mitigation not all the impacts can now be avoided, and ecosystems and biodiversity generally has a very limited capacity to adapt. Delay in mitigation substantially reduces the percentage of impacts that can be avoided, for example if emissions do not peak until 2030, the percentage of losses that can be avoided declines to 40%. Since even small declines in common and widespread species can disrupt ecosystem function and services, these results indicate that without mitigation, globally widespread losses in ecosystem service provision are to be expected.

  20. Millennial-scale Climate Variations Recorded As Far Back As The Early Pliocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steenbrink, J.; Hilgen, F. J.; Lourens, L. J.

    Quaternary climate proxy records show compelling evidence for climate variability on time scales of a few thousand years. The causes for these millennial-scale or sub- Milankovitch cycles are yet poorly understood, not in the least due to the complex feedback mechanisms of large ice-sheets during the Quaternary. We present evidence of millennial-scale climate variability in Early Pliocene lacustrine sediments from the intramontane Ptolemais Basin in northwestern Greece. The sediments are well ex- posed in a series of open-pit lignite mines and exhibit a distinct m-scale sedimentary cyclicity of alternating lignites and lacustrine marl beds that result from precession- induced variations in climate. A higher-frequency cyclicity is particular prominent within the marl segment of individual cycles. A stratigraphic interval of~115 kyr, cov- ering five precession-induced sedimentary cycles, was studied in nine parallel sections from two quarries located several km apart. Colour reflectance records were used to quantify the within-cycle variability and to determine its lateral continuity. Much of the within-cycle variability could be correlated between the parallel sections, even in fine detail, which suggests that these changes reflect basin-wide variations in environ- mental conditions related to (regional) climate fluctuations. Interbedded volcanic ash beds demonstrate the synchronicity of these fluctuations and spectral analysis of the reflectance time series shows a significant concentration of variability at periods of ~11,~5.5 and~2 kyr. Their occurrence at times before the intensification of the North- ern Hemisphere glaciation suggests that they cannot solely have resulted from internal ice-sheet dynamics. Possible candidates include harmonics or combination tones of the main orbital cycles, variations in solar output or periodic motions of the Earth and moon.

  1. Empathy and Effortful Control Effects on Early Adolescents' Aggression: When Do Students' Perceptions of Their School Climate Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batanova, Milena; Loukas, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Guided by the social emotional learning framework, this study examined whether early adolescents' social awareness (empathic concern, perspective taking) and self-management (effortful control) would uniquely contribute to early adolescents' subsequent forms of aggression, and whether perceptions of their school climate (friction, cohesion,…

  2. Evolution of the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pepin, R. O.

    1993-01-01

    Evolution of Mars' noble gases through two stages of hydrodynamic escape early in planetary history has been proposed previously by the author. In the first evolutionary stage of this earlier model, beginning at a solar age of approximately 50 m.y., fractionating escape of a H2-rich primordial atmosphere containing CO2, N2, and the noble gases in roughly the proportions found in primitive carbonaceous (CI) chondrites is driven by intense extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) leads to a long (approximately 80 m.y.) period of quiescence, followed by an abrupt degassing of remnant H2, CO2, and N2 from the mantle and of solar-composition noble gases lighter than Xe from the planet's volatile-rich accretional core. Degassed H refuels hydrodynamic loss in a waning but still potent solar EUV flux. Atmospheric Xe, Kr, and Ar remaining at the end of this second escape stage, approximately 4.2 G.y. ago, have evolved to their present-day abundances and compositions. Residual Ne continues to be modified by accretion of solar wind gases throughout the later history of the planet. This model does not address a number of processes that now appear germane to Martian atmospheric history. One, gas loss and fractionation by sputtering, has recently been shown to be relevant. Another, atmospheric erosion, appears increasingly important. In the absence then of a plausible mechanism, the model did not consider the possibility of isotopic evolution of noble gases heavier than Ne after the termination of hydrodynamic escape. Subsequent non-thermal loss of N was assumed, in an unspecified way, to account for the elevation of N from the model value of approximately 250 percent at the end of the second escape stage to approximately 620 percent today. Only qualitative attention was paid to the eroding effects of impact on abundances of all atmophilic species prior to the end of heavy bombardment approximately 3.8 G.y. ago. No attempt was made to include precipitation and recycling of carbonates in

  3. A warm or a cold early Earth? New insights from a 3-D climate-carbon model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnay, Benjamin; Le Hir, Guillaume; Fluteau, Frédéric; Forget, François; Catling, David C.

    2017-09-01

    Oxygen isotopes in marine cherts have been used to infer hot oceans during the Archean with temperatures between 60 °C (333 K) and 80 °C (353 K). Such climates are challenging for the early Earth warmed by the faint young Sun. The interpretation of the data has therefore been controversial. 1D climate modeling inferred that such hot climates would require very high levels of CO2 (2-6 bars). Previous carbon cycle modeling concluded that such stable hot climates were impossible and that the carbon cycle should lead to cold climates during the Hadean and the Archean. Here, we revisit the climate and carbon cycle of the early Earth at 3.8 Ga using a 3D climate-carbon model. We find that CO2 partial pressures of around 1 bar could have produced hot climates given a low land fraction and cloud feedback effects. However, such high CO2 partial pressures should not have been stable because of the weathering of terrestrial and oceanic basalts, producing an efficient stabilizing feedback. Moreover, the weathering of impact ejecta during the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) would have strongly reduced the CO2 partial pressure leading to cold climates and potentially snowball Earth events after large impacts. Our results therefore favor cold or temperate climates with global mean temperatures between around 8 °C (281 K) and 30 °C (303 K) and with 0.1-0.36 bar of CO2 for the late Hadean and early Archean. Finally, our model suggests that the carbon cycle was efficient for preserving clement conditions on the early Earth without necessarily requiring any other greenhouse gas or warming process.

  4. Key science questions from the second conference on early Mars: geologic, hydrologic, and climatic evolution and the implications for life.

    PubMed

    Beaty, David W; Clifford, Stephen M; Borg, Lars E; Catling, David C; Craddock, Robert A; Des Marais, David J; Farmer, Jack D; Frey, Herbert V; Haberle, Robert M; McKay, Christopher P; Newsom, Horton E; Parker, Timothy J; Segura, Teresa; Tanaka, Kenneth L

    2005-12-01

    In October 2004, more than 130 terrestrial and planetary scientists met in Jackson Hole, WY, to discuss early Mars. The first billion years of martian geologic history is of particular interest because it is a period during which the planet was most active, after which a less dynamic period ensued that extends to the present day. The early activity left a fascinating geological record, which we are only beginning to unravel through direct observation and modeling. In considering this time period, questions outnumber answers, and one of the purposes of the meeting was to gather some of the best experts in the field to consider the current state of knowledge, ascertain which questions remain to be addressed, and identify the most promising approaches to addressing those questions. The purpose of this report is to document that discussion. Throughout the planet's first billion years, planetary-scale processes-including differentiation, hydrodynamic escape, volcanism, large impacts, erosion, and sedimentation-rapidly modified the atmosphere and crust. How did these processes operate, and what were their rates and interdependencies? The early environment was also characterized by both abundant liquid water and plentiful sources of energy, two of the most important conditions considered necessary for the origin of life. Where and when did the most habitable environments occur? Did life actually occupy them, and if so, has life persisted on Mars to the present? Our understanding of early Mars is critical to understanding how the planet we see today came to be.

  5. Producing Martian Lithologies with Geophysically-Constrained Martian Mantle Compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minitti, M. E.; Fei, Y.; Bertka, C. M.

    2008-12-01

    The Martian meteorites, rocks measured by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) and lithologies detected by orbital assets represent a diversity of igneous rocks that collectively provide insight into the formation and evolution of Mars. Experimental studies aimed at reproducing the observed igneous lithologies have met with varying degrees of success [e.g., 1,2,3], No study has yet been able to reproduce both Martian meteorite parent magmas and the basalts measured by MER at Gusev Crater [e.g., 1,3]. We attempted a different approach to successfully reproducing Martian igneous lithologies by using geophysical constraints on Martian bulk Fe (wt.%), Fe/Si and mantle Mg# [4,5] to identify mixtures of chondrite compositions that formed plausible Martian mantle compositions. We identified two candidate chondrite mixtures for Mars, CM+L and H+L. We synthesized the CM+L and H+L compositions from oxide, carbonate and phosphate powders and fixed them at an oxygen fugacity below the magnetite-wüstite buffer (MW-1). We conducted experiments at 2 GPa (corresponding to ~150 km in the Martian mantle) between 1300-1600 °C for 4-48 hours in the end-loaded piston cylinder apparatus at the Geophysical Laboratory. Thusfar, we have also conducted experiments at 4 GPa (corresponding to ~320 km in the Martian mantle) between 1425-1475 °C for 210-240 minutes in a Walker-type multi-anvil apparatus at the Geophysical Laboratory. We utilized an 18/11 (octahedron edge length/truncated edge length, in mm) assembly. In both assembly types, the sample was contained within a graphite capsule welded into a Pt tube. We analyzed the experiment products in electron probes at either the Geophysical Laboratory or Arizona State University. Fe and Mg contents of olivine, orthopyroxene and melt were used to assess the attainment of equilibrium for each run product. No significant difference exists between the CM+L and H+L experiment products. The near-solidus phase assemblage of the 2-GPa experiments is

  6. The chronology of the martian volcanoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plescia, J. B.; Saunders, R. S.

    1979-01-01

    The volcanoes of Mars have been divided into three groups based on morphology: basaltic shields, domes and composite cones, and highland patera. A fourth group can be added to include the volcano-tectonic depressions. Using crater counts and the absolute chronology of Soderblom, an attempt is made to estimate the history of the volcanoes. Early in the martian history, about 2.5 b.y. ago, all three styles of volcanoes were active at various locations on the surface. At approximately 1.7-1.8 b.y. ago a transition occurred in the style and loci of volcanic construction. Volcanoes of younger age appear to be only of the basaltic shield group and are restricted to the Tharsis region. This same transition was noted by a change in the style of the basaltic shield group. Older shields were small low features, while the younger shields are significantly broader and taller.

  7. Slowing down as an early warning signal for abrupt climate change.

    PubMed

    Dakos, Vasilis; Scheffer, Marten; van Nes, Egbert H; Brovkin, Victor; Petoukhov, Vladimir; Held, Hermann

    2008-09-23

    In the Earth's history, periods of relatively stable climate have often been interrupted by sharp transitions to a contrasting state. One explanation for such events of abrupt change is that they happened when the earth system reached a critical tipping point. However, this remains hard to prove for events in the remote past, and it is even more difficult to predict if and when we might reach a tipping point for abrupt climate change in the future. Here, we analyze eight ancient abrupt climate shifts and show that they were all preceded by a characteristic slowing down of the fluctuations starting well before the actual shift. Such slowing down, measured as increased autocorrelation, can be mathematically shown to be a hallmark of tipping points. Therefore, our results imply independent empirical evidence for the idea that past abrupt shifts were associated with the passing of critical thresholds. Because the mechanism causing slowing down is fundamentally inherent to tipping points, it follows that our way to detect slowing down might be used as a universal early warning signal for upcoming catastrophic change. Because tipping points in ecosystems and other complex systems are notoriously hard to predict in other ways, this is a promising perspective.

  8. Slowing down as an early warning signal for abrupt climate change

    PubMed Central

    Dakos, Vasilis; Scheffer, Marten; van Nes, Egbert H.; Brovkin, Victor; Petoukhov, Vladimir; Held, Hermann

    2008-01-01

    In the Earth's history, periods of relatively stable climate have often been interrupted by sharp transitions to a contrasting state. One explanation for such events of abrupt change is that they happened when the earth system reached a critical tipping point. However, this remains hard to prove for events in the remote past, and it is even more difficult to predict if and when we might reach a tipping point for abrupt climate change in the future. Here, we analyze eight ancient abrupt climate shifts and show that they were all preceded by a characteristic slowing down of the fluctuations starting well before the actual shift. Such slowing down, measured as increased autocorrelation, can be mathematically shown to be a hallmark of tipping points. Therefore, our results imply independent empirical evidence for the idea that past abrupt shifts were associated with the passing of critical thresholds. Because the mechanism causing slowing down is fundamentally inherent to tipping points, it follows that our way to detect slowing down might be used as a universal early warning signal for upcoming catastrophic change. Because tipping points in ecosystems and other complex systems are notoriously hard to predict in other ways, this is a promising perspective. PMID:18787119

  9. Climatic and environmental conditions favoring the crossing of the Carpathians by early Neolithic populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perşoiu, Ioana; Perşoiu, Aurel

    2015-04-01

    The study of the origin and spread of Neolithic has been the subject of heated debate since the early studies of Childe (1942). To what extent the dispersal process was influenced by environmental factors is still debated, one of the issues being whether climatic conditions influencing agricultural practices, could have influenced the dispersal route, "blocking" some of the Neolithic societies in front of ecological barriers. Data from Neolithic sites in SE Europe shows that a continuous stream of people and cultures flowed through the Danube's Iron Gates towards Central Europe, while in the eastern part of Europe this process was delayed, people and cultures "moving" around the Carpathians and crossing them with a delay of ca. 1000 years. One of the possible avenues for this crossing is the floodplain of Someşu Mic River (Transylvanian depression), home to the oldest (~8500 cal. BP) Neolithic settlement in Romania. In this paper, we review the climatic and environmental changes that affected the region at the time of Neolithic dispersal. Pollen and stable isotopes in cave ice indicate an early Holocene rapid warming during summer months, peaking around 7 ka cal. BP; and a delayed warming for autumn and winter months, peaking at 5 ka cal. BP, both followed by a continuous cooling trend towards the present. Someşu Mic River developed and maintained a narrow sinuous channel during the Holocene, with local development of meanders and anabranches, in response to both climatic and geologic controlling factors. Archaeological finds in the floodplain and the lower terraces suggest that human societies in the region responded in sensitive manner to these climatic and environmental changes. During warm and dry periods, with low fluvial activity, the number of settlements increased in the floodplain's perimeter, while during the short cold and humid periods, the number of settlements rapidly increased on the lower terraces and on the valley slopes, disappearing from the

  10. Carbon Cycle Dynamics through the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum: Orbital Couplings to Lacustrine Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosengard, S. Z.; Grogan, D. S.; Whiteside, J. H.; van Keuren, M.; Musher, D.

    2010-12-01

    The early Eocene represents the most recent hothouse climate state of Earth history, a period during which Earth’s surface temperatures warmed and reached a steady peak at the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO), 53.5-50 Ma. Interspersed through the primary warming interval were several hyperthermals, or rapid peaks in surface temperature and pulses of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, followed by rapid declines, lasting 10^4 to 10^5 years. Various hypotheses have been offered to explain the climatic triggers during the hothouse interval, including changes in ocean circulation, methane release from hydrates, volcanism, and turnover of terrestrial organic matter, implicating various couplings and feedbacks in the global carbon cycle. The present study investigates the prevailing changes in carbon cycle dynamics that occurred during a specific subinterval of the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum. We sampled a carbon-rich 300-ft ( 1100 kyr) section of lacustrine Green River Formation sediments from the TOSCO core in the Uinta Basin at a one-foot resolution for organic carbon content and δ^{13}C. The compiled data comprise a high-resolution profile of total organic carbon and isotopic organic carbon composition through the section, showing cyclic patterns that we hypothesize reflect orbital signals. Bulk isotopic carbon and shale oil measurements from an earlier Fischer Assay across TOSCO’s entire 1030-ft core were then filtered using the expected frequency of a 23-kyr precession cycle. The overlaid cycles reveal δ^{13}C and oil content to be anti-phase through the 300-ft section, except for an interval of 50 feet (180 kyr) from the Mahogany Zone to the B-groove of the core, where the two measurements are in-phase. Given that shale oil, a proxy for lake primary productivity and carbon burial, and δ^{13}C typically correlate inversely, this short, 180-kyr interval of in-phase variation suggests a significant alteration in the local carbon cycle. These preliminary

  11. Early human speciation, brain expansion and dispersal influenced by African climate pulses.

    PubMed

    Shultz, Susanne; Maslin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration.

  12. Early Human Speciation, Brain Expansion and Dispersal Influenced by African Climate Pulses

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Maslin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration. PMID:24146922

  13. Financialization impedes climate change mitigation: Evidence from the early American solar industry.

    PubMed

    Jerneck, Max

    2017-03-01

    The article investigates how financialization impedes climate change mitigation by examining its effects on the early history of one low-carbon industry, solar photovoltaics in the United States. The industry grew rapidly in the 1970s, as large financial conglomerates acquired independent firms. While providing needed financial support, conglomerates changed the focus from existing markets in consumer applications toward a future utility market that never materialized. Concentration of the industry also left it vulnerable to the corporate restructuring of the 1980s, when the conglomerates were dismantled and solar divisions were pared back or sold off to foreign firms. Both the move toward conglomeration, when corporations became managed as stock portfolios, and its subsequent reversal were the result of increased financial dominance over corporate governance. The American case is contrasted with the more successful case of Japan, where these changes to corporate governance did not occur. Insulated from shareholder pressure and financial turbulence, Japanese photovoltaics manufacturers continued to expand investment throughout the 1980s when their American rivals were cutting back. The study is informed by Joseph Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction and Hyman Minsky's theory of financialization, along with economic sociology. By highlighting the tenuous and conflicting relation between finance and production that shaped the early history of the photovoltaics industry, the article raises doubts about the prevailing approach to mitigate climate change through carbon pricing. Given the uncertainty of innovation and the ease of speculation, it will do little to spur low-carbon technology development without financial structures supporting patient capital.

  14. Exogenous carbonaceous matter in ancient martian sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mojzsis, S. J.; Abramov, O.; Kereszturi, A.

    2015-12-01

    We re-evaluate the early evolution of an organic-matter rich (~10 wt. %) interplanetary dust particle flux to early Mars. Our work builds upon physical models that rely on plausible sources of exogenous debris and their dynamical rates of decay, the martian cratering record, and preservation of Noachian-Hesperian sedimentary units that have the potential to host organics. Post primary-accretionary scenarios that would have delivered abundant exogenous carbon to Mars can be imagined in two ways: a simple exponential decay with an approximately 100 Myr half-life, or as a "Sawtooth" timeline characterized by both faster-than-exponential decay from primary accretion and reduced total delivered mass. Indications are that a late bombardment spike was superposed on an otherwise broadly monotonic decline from primary accretion, of which two types are explored: a classical "Late Heavy Bombardment" (LHB) peak of impactors centered at ca. 3950 Ma and lasting 100 Myr, and a protracted bombardment typified by a sudden increase in impactor flux at ca. 4240-4100 Ma with a correspondingly longer decay time (400 Myr). Numerical models for each of the four bombardment scenarios explored in this work shows that exogenous organic matter could be a significant component of Noachian (ca. 4200-3700 Ma) and pre-Noachian (4500-4200 Ma) sediments. The discovery of organic-matter in martian sediments will be obfuscated by material of extra-areological origin. We predict that an earmark for the origin of this carbon would be correlated siderophile element abundances (e.g. Ni, Cr, and the platinoids). A time-dependent compositional relationship of C:HSEs would allow us to derive a chemochronology for pre-Hesperian (pre-3700 Ma) sedimentary units.

  15. Not Just the 8.2 event: Dynamic Early Holocene Climate in Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Briner, J. P.; Miller, G. H.; Francis, D. R.

    2006-12-01

    Temperature reconstructions from a lake in the eastern Canadian Arctic indicate that peak warmth in the early Holocene was interrupted by two abrupt, short-lived temperature reversals at ~9.l and ~8.5 ka. Summer temperatures at Lake CF8, Baffin Island (~500 km west of Greenland) are inferred from subfossil midge (Chironomidae) assemblages. Our results indicate that the site, like others on Baffin Island, experienced exceptionally warm summers (almost 5°C warmer than present) through much of the early Holocene, presumably in response to enhanced summer insolation. After 1000 years of very warm, stable climate, warmth was interrupted by two discrete cold reversals at ~9.1 and ~8.5 ka, during which multiple cold-stenothermous midge taxa appeared in the lake and summer temperatures dropped more than 3°C. These two clearly-defined reversals, well beyond the range of background variability, were of similar amplitude and duration, and were separated by several centuries of near-peak warmth. The only Holocene events of comparable amplitude at this site are the rapid onset of Holocene warmth, and the more gradual Neoglacial cooling after 8 ka. Abrupt cooling events over the Baffin region are consistent with model simulations of the impacts of freshwater outbursts into the Labrador Sea, such as the Lake Agassiz outburst flood that occurred ~8.4 ka. That there are two discrete events recorded at this site indicates that the "8.2 event" was not uniquely significant in this region; rather, the period between approximately ~9.2 and 8 ka was characterized by repeated climate fluctuations forced by multiple outburst floods or other mechanisms. Thus global correlations among paleoclimate records need not assume that climate perturbations during this time period necessarily correlate with the draining of Lake Agassiz or the 8.2 ka cooling in central Greenland.

  16. The Martian valley networks: Origin by niveo-fluvial processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The valley networks may hold the key to unlocking the paleoclimatic history of Mars. These enigmatic landforms may be regarded as the Martian equivalent of the Rosetta Stone. Therefore, a more thorough understanding of their origin and evolution is required. However, there is still no consensus among investigators regarding the formation (runoff vs. sapping) of these features. Recent climatic modeling precludes warm (0 degrees C) globally averaged surface temperatures prior to 2 b.y. when solar luminosity was 25-30 percent less than present levels. This paper advocates snowmelt as the dominant process responsible for the formation of the dendritic valley networks. Evidence for Martian snowfall and subsequent melt has been discussed in previous studies.

  17. Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dundas, Colin M.; Bramson, Ali M.; Ojha, Lujendra; Wray, James J.; Mellon, Michael T.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Viola, Donna; Sutton, Sarah; Clark, Erin; Holt, John W.

    2018-01-01

    Thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle; erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle. We investigated eight of these locations and found that they expose deposits of water ice that can be >100 meters thick, extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface. The scarps are actively retreating because of sublimation of the exposed water ice. The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars’ high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice. We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate.

  18. Effects of varying obliquity on Martian sublimation thermokarst landforms

    Dundas, Colin M.

    2017-01-01

    Scalloped depressions in the Martian mid-latitudes are likely formed by sublimation of ice-rich ground. The stability of subsurface ice changes with the planetary obliquity, generally becoming less stable at lower axial tilt. As a result, the relative rates of sublimation and creep change over time. A landscape evolution model shows that these variations produce internal structure in scalloped depressions, commonly in the form of arcuate ridges, which emerge as depressions resume growth after pausing or slowing. In other scenarios, the formation of internal structure is minimal. Significant uncertainties in past climate and model parameters permit a range of scenarios. Ridges observed in some Martian scalloped depressions could date from obliquity lows or periods of low ice stability occurring <5 Ma, suggesting that the pits are young features and may be actively evolving.

  19. Formation Timescales of the Martian Valley Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoke, M. T.; Hynek, B. M.

    2010-12-01

    The presence of valley networks across much of the ancient surface of Mars [e.g. 1] together with the locations and morphologies of the Martian deltas [e.g. 2] and ancient paleolakes [e.g. 3, 4], provides strong evidence that the Martian surface environment was once capable of sustaining long-lived flowing water. Many of the larger Martian valley networks exhibit characteristics consistent with their formation primarily from surface runoff of precipitated water [5-7]. Their formation likely followed similar processes as those that formed terrestrial river valleys, including the gradual erosion and transport of sediment downstream by bed load, suspended load, and wash load processes. When quantifying flow rates on Mars, some researchers have modified the Manning equation for depth- and width-averaged flow velocity in an attempt to better-fit Martian conditions [e.g. 3, 8-10]. These attempts, however, often result in flow velocities on Mars that are overestimated by up to a factor of two [10]. An alternative to the Manning equation that is often overlooked in the planetary science community is the Darcy-Weisbach (D-W) equation [11], which, unlike the Manning equation, maintains a dependence on the acceleration due to gravity. Although the D-W equation relies on a dimensionless friction function that has been fitted to terrestrial data, it is not a constant like the Manning coefficient. Rather, the D-W friction factor is a function of bed slope, flow depth, and median grain size [e.g. 8, 10, 12-14], and therefore it is better suited to model flow velocity on Mars. In this work, we investigate the formation timescales of the Martian valley networks through the use of four different sediment transport models [14], the D-W equation for average flow velocity, and a variety of parameters to encompass a range of possible formation conditions. This is done specific to each of eight large valley networks, all of which have crater densities that place their formation in the

  20. Environmental Suitability of Vibrio Infections in a Warming Climate: An Early Warning System.

    PubMed

    Semenza, Jan C; Trinanes, Joaquin; Lohr, Wolfgang; Sudre, Bertrand; Löfdahl, Margareta; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime; Nichols, Gordon L; Rocklöv, Joacim

    2017-10-10

    Some Vibrio spp. are pathogenic and ubiquitous in marine waters with low to moderate salinity and thrive with elevated sea surface temperature (SST). Our objective was to monitor and project the suitability of marine conditions for Vibrio infections under climate change scenarios. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) developed a platform (the ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer) to monitor the environmental suitability of coastal waters for Vibrio spp. using remotely sensed SST and salinity. A case-crossover study of Swedish cases was conducted to ascertain the relationship between SST and Vibrio infection through a conditional logistic regression. Climate change projections for Vibrio infections were developed for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. The ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer detected environmentally suitable areas for Vibrio spp. in the Baltic Sea in July 2014 that were accompanied by a spike in cases and one death in Sweden. The estimated exposure-response relationship for Vibrio infections at a threshold of 16°C revealed a relative risk (RR)=1.14 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.27; p=0.024) for a lag of 2 wk; the estimated risk increased successively beyond this SST threshold. Climate change projections for SST under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios indicate a marked upward trend during the summer months and an increase in the relative risk of these infections in the coming decades. This platform can serve as an early warning system as the risk of further Vibrio infections increases in the 21st century due to climate change. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2198.

  1. Environmental Suitability of Vibrio Infections in a Warming Climate: An Early Warning System

    PubMed Central

    Trinanes, Joaquin; Lohr, Wolfgang; Sudre, Bertrand; Löfdahl, Margareta; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime; Nichols, Gordon L.; Rocklöv, Joacim

    2017-01-01

    Background: Some Vibrio spp. are pathogenic and ubiquitous in marine waters with low to moderate salinity and thrive with elevated sea surface temperature (SST). Objectives: Our objective was to monitor and project the suitability of marine conditions for Vibrio infections under climate change scenarios. Methods: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) developed a platform (the ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer) to monitor the environmental suitability of coastal waters for Vibrio spp. using remotely sensed SST and salinity. A case-crossover study of Swedish cases was conducted to ascertain the relationship between SST and Vibrio infection through a conditional logistic regression. Climate change projections for Vibrio infections were developed for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. Results: The ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer detected environmentally suitable areas for Vibrio spp. in the Baltic Sea in July 2014 that were accompanied by a spike in cases and one death in Sweden. The estimated exposure–response relationship for Vibrio infections at a threshold of 16°C revealed a relative risk (RR)=1.14 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.27; p=0.024) for a lag of 2 wk; the estimated risk increased successively beyond this SST threshold. Climate change projections for SST under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios indicate a marked upward trend during the summer months and an increase in the relative risk of these infections in the coming decades. Conclusions: This platform can serve as an early warning system as the risk of further Vibrio infections increases in the 21st century due to climate change. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2198 PMID:29017986

  2. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, B. C.; Baird, A. K.; Weldon, R. J.; Tsusaki, D. M.; Schnabel, L.; Candelaria, M. P.

    1982-01-01

    Of the 21 samples acquired for the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 17 were analyzed to high precision. Compared to typical terrestrial continental soils and lunar mare fines, the Martian fines are lower in Al, higher in Fe, and much higher in S and Cl concentrations. Protected fines at the two lander sites are almost indistinguishable, but concentration of the element S is somewhat higher at Utopia. Duricrust fragments, successfully acquired only at the Chryse site, invariably contained about 50% higher S than fines. No elements correlate positively with S, except Cl and possibly Mg. A sympathetic variation is found among the triad Si, Al, Ca; positive correlation occurs between Ti and Fe. Sample variabilities are as great within a few meters as between lander locations (4500 km apart), implying the existence of a universal Martian regolith component of constant average composition. The nature of the source materials for the regolith fines must be mafic to ultramafic.

  3. Dust Mitigation for Martian Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Blakeley Shay

    2011-01-01

    One of the efforts of the In-Situ Resource Utilization project is to extract oxygen, fuel, and water from the Martian air. However, the surface of Mars is covered in a layer of dust, which is uploaded into the atmosphere by dust devils and dust storms. This atmospheric dust would be collected along with the air during the conversion process. Thus, it is essential to extract the dust from the air prior to commencing the conversion. An electrostatic precipitator is a commonly used dust removal technology on earth. Using this technology, dust particles that pass through receive an electrostatic charge by means of a corona discharge. The particles are then driven to a collector in a region of high electric field at the center of the precipitator. Experiments were conducted to develop a precipitator that will function properly in the Martian atmosphere, which has a very low pressure and is made up . of primarily carbon dioxide.

  4. Early to mid Cretaceous vegetation of northern Gondwana - the onset of angiosperm radiation and climatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coiffard, Clément; Mohr, Barbara

    2014-05-01

    Early Cretaceous Northern Gondwana seems to be the cradle of many early flowering plants, especially mesangiosperms that include magnoliids and monocots and basal eudicots. So far our knowledge was based mostly on dispersed pollen and small flowering structures. New fossil finds from Brazil include more complete plants with attached roots, leaves and flowers. Taxonomic studies show that these fossils belonged to clades which are, based on macroscopic characters and molecular data, also considered to be rather basal, such as several members of Nymphaeales, Piperales, Laurales, Magnoliales, monocots (Araliaceae) and Ranunculales. Various parameters can be used in order to understand the physiology and habitat of these plants. Adaptations to climate and habitat are partly mirrored in their root anatomy (evidence of tap roots), leaf size and shape, leaf anatomy including presence of glands, and distribution of stomata. An important ecophysiolocical parameter is vein density as an indicator for the plants' cabability to pump water, and the stomatal pore index, representing the proportion of stomatal pore area on the leaf surface, which is related to the water vapor resistance of the leaf epidermis. During the mid-Cretaceous leaf vein density started to surpass that of gymnosperms, one factor that made angiosperms very successful in conquering many kinds of new environments. Using data on these parameters we deduce that during the late Early to mid Cretaceous angiosperms were already diverse, being represented as both herbs, with aquatic members, such as Nymphaeles, helophytes (e.g. some monocots) and plants that may have grown in shady locations. Other life forms included shrubs and perhaps already small trees (e.g. Magnoliales). These flowering plants occupied various habitats, ranging from xeric (e.g. some Magnoliales) to mesic and shady (e.g. Piperales) or aquatic (e.g. Araceae, Nymphaeales). Overall, it seems that several of these plants clearly exhibited some

  5. Forecasting weed distributions using climate data: a GIS early warning tool

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Barnett, David T.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Kartesz, John T.

    2010-01-01

    The number of invasive exotic plant species establishing in the United States is continuing to rise. When prevention of exotic species from entering into a country fails at the national level and the species establishes, reproduces, spreads, and becomes invasive, the most successful action at a local level is early detection followed eradication. We have developed a simple geographic information system (GIS) analysis for developing watch lists for early detection of invasive exotic plants that relies upon currently available species distribution data coupled with environmental data to aid in describing coarse-scale potential distributions. This GIS analysis tool develops environmental envelopes for species based upon the known distribution of a species thought to be invasive and represents the first approximation of its potential habitat while the necessary data are collected to perform more in­-depth analyses. To validate this method we looked at a time series of species distributions for 66 species in Pacific Northwest, and northern Rocky Mountain counties. The time series analysis presented here did select counties that the invasive exotic weeds invaded in subsequent years, showing that this technique could be useful in developing watch lists for the spread of particular exotic species. We applied this same habitat-matching model based upon bioclimaric envelopes to 100 invasive exotics with various levels of known distributions within continental U.S. counties. For species with climatically limited distributions, county watch lists describe county-specific vulnerability to invasion. Species with matching habitats in a county would be added to that county's list. These watch lists can influence management decisions for early warning, control prioritization, and targeted research to determine specific locations within vulnerable counties. This tool provides useful information for rapid assessment of the potential distribution based upon climate envelopes of

  6. Mineral Abundances in Martian Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2011-01-01

    Using traditional geochemical calculations with in situ Martian cosmochemical data researchers Harry (Hap) McSween Jr. and Ian McGlynn (University of Tennessee) and Deanne Rogers (SUNY at Stony Brook) have developed a method for identifying the major and minor minerals in soils at the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landing sites. The team used information from the MER Athena instrument package operating on Mars since January, 2004. They created two models using MiniTES spectra, Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) data, and Mossbauer spectrometer data to calculate the mineralogy of average dark soils on the Gusev crater plains and on Meridiani Planum, located on opposite sides of Mars. Soils at both locations are similarly composed of minerals derived from the comminution of basalts (about three quarters by weight) and other minerals derived from rocks altered by chemical weathering (about one quarter by weight). This mixture of possibly unrelated materials (primary and altered) might mean that the alteration of soil did not occur in place and that the basaltic and alteration suites of minerals came from different sources. The nearly identical modal mineralogy at two widely-separated locations on the planet supports a previous hypothesis based on comparable chemical compositions that soils have been homogenized, if not globally then at least over large areas of the Martian surface. Yet, global maps of orbital remote sensing data have not shown surface abundances of alteration minerals as high as those in the Martian soils.

  7. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  8. Electrodynamics of the Martian Ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledvina, S. A.; Brecht, S. H.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of the Martian crustal magnetic fields makes a significant modification to the interaction between the solar wind/IMF and the ionosphere of the planet. This paper presents the results of 3-D hybrid simulations of Martian solar wind interaction containing the Martian crustal fields., self-consistent ionospheric chemistry and planetary rotation. It has already been reported that the addition of the crustal fields and planetary rotation makes a significant modification of the ionospheric loss from Mars, Brecht et al., 2016. This paper focuses on two other aspects of the interaction, the electric fields and the current systems created by the solar wind interaction. The results of several simulations will be analyzed and compared. The electric fields around Mars due to its interaction with the solar wind will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the electric field constituents (∇ X B, ∇Pe, ηJ). Regions where the electric field is parallel to the magnetic field will be found and the implications of these regions will be discussed. Current systems for each ion species will be shown. Finally the effects on the electric fields and the current systems due to the rotation of Mars will be examined.

  9. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-07-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  10. Early warning of climate tipping points from critical slowing down: comparing methods to improve robustness

    PubMed Central

    Lenton, T. M.; Livina, V. N.; Dakos, V.; Van Nes, E. H.; Scheffer, M.

    2012-01-01

    We address whether robust early warning signals can, in principle, be provided before a climate tipping point is reached, focusing on methods that seek to detect critical slowing down as a precursor of bifurcation. As a test bed, six previously analysed datasets are reconsidered, three palaeoclimate records approaching abrupt transitions at the end of the last ice age and three models of varying complexity forced through a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Approaches based on examining the lag-1 autocorrelation function or on detrended fluctuation analysis are applied together and compared. The effects of aggregating the data, detrending method, sliding window length and filtering bandwidth are examined. Robust indicators of critical slowing down are found prior to the abrupt warming event at the end of the Younger Dryas, but the indicators are less clear prior to the Bølling-Allerød warming, or glacial termination in Antarctica. Early warnings of thermohaline circulation collapse can be masked by inter-annual variability driven by atmospheric dynamics. However, rapidly decaying modes can be successfully filtered out by using a long bandwidth or by aggregating data. The two methods have complementary strengths and weaknesses and we recommend applying them together to improve the robustness of early warnings. PMID:22291229

  11. Astronomical constraints on the duration of the Early Jurassic Pliensbachian Stage and global climatic fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruhl, Micha; Hesselbo, Stephen P.; Hinnov, Linda; Jenkyns, Hugh C.; Xu, Weimu; Riding, James B.; Storm, Marisa; Minisini, Daniel; Ullmann, Clemens V.; Leng, Melanie J.

    2016-12-01

    The Early Jurassic was marked by multiple periods of major global climatic and palaeoceanographic change, biotic turnover and perturbed global geochemical cycles, commonly linked to large igneous province volcanism. This epoch was also characterised by the initial break-up of the super-continent Pangaea and the opening and formation of shallow-marine basins and ocean gateways, the timing of which are poorly constrained. Here, we show that the Pliensbachian Stage and the Sinemurian-Pliensbachian global carbon-cycle perturbation (marked by a negative shift in δ13 C of 2- 4 ‰), have respective durations of ∼8.7 and ∼2 Myr. We astronomically tune the floating Pliensbachian time scale to the 405 Kyr eccentricity solution (La2010d), and propose a revised Early Jurassic time scale with a significantly shortened Sinemurian Stage duration of 6.9 ± 0.4 Myr. When calibrated against the new time scale, the existing Pliensbachian seawater 87Sr/86Sr record shows relatively stable values during the first ∼2 Myr of the Pliensbachian, superimposed on the long-term Early Jurassic decline in 87Sr/86Sr. This plateau in 87Sr/86Sr values coincides with the Sinemurian-Pliensbachian boundary carbon-cycle perturbation. It is possibly linked to a late phase of Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) volcanism that induced enhanced global weathering of continental crustal materials, leading to an elevated radiogenic strontium flux to the global ocean.

  12. Climate Change Implications and Use of Early Warning Systems for Global Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harriman, L.

    2014-12-01

    Increased changes in land cover and global climate have led to increased frequency and/or intensity of dust storms in some regions of the world. Early detection and warning of dust storms, in conjunction with effective and widespread information broadcasts, will be essential to the prevention and mitigation of future risks and impacts to people and the environment. Since frequency and intensity of dust storms can vary from region to region, there is a demonstrated need for more research to be conducted over longer periods of time to analyze trends of dust storm events [1]. Dust storms impact their origin area, but also land, water and people a great distance away from where dust finally settles [2, 3]. These transboundary movements and accompanying impacts further warrant the need for global collaboration to help predict the onset, duration and path of a dust storm. Early warning systems can help communicate when a dust storm is occurring, the projected intensity of the dust storm and its anticipated physical impact over a particular geographic area. Development of regional dust storm models, such as CUACE/Dust for East Asia, and monitoring networks, like the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Network operated by the World Meteorological Organization, and the use of remote sensing and satellite imagery derived products [4], including MODIS, are currently being incorporated into early warning and monitoring initiatives. However, to increase future certainty of impacts of dust storms on vulnerable populations and ecosystems, more research is needed to analyze the influences of human activities, seasonal variations and long-term climatic patterns on dust storm generation, movement and impact. Sources: [1] Goudie, A.S. (2009), Dust storms: recent developments, J Environ. Manage., 90. [2] Lee, H., and Liu, C. (2004), Coping with dust storm events: information, impacts, and policymaking in Taiwan, TAO, 15(5). [3] Marx, S.K., McGowan, H.A., and Balz, K.S. (2009), Long-range dust

  13. Yamato 980459: Crystallization of Martian Magnesian Magma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; McKay, G.; Monkawa, A.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M.

    2004-01-01

    Recently, several basaltic shergottites have been found that include magnesian olivines as a major minerals. These have been called olivinephyric shergottites. Yamato 980459, which is a new martian meteorite recovered from the Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic expedition, is one of them. This meteorite is different from other olivine-phyric shergottites in several key features and will give us important clues to understand crystallization of martian meteorites and the evolution of Martian magma.

  14. A Genetic Cluster of Martian Trojan Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christou, Apostolos

    2013-10-01

    Trojan asteroids lead 60 degrees ahead (L4) or trail 60 degrees behind (L5) a planet's position along its orbit. The Trojans of Jupiter and Neptune are thought to be primordial remnants from the solar system's early evolution (Shoemaker et al., 1989; Sheppard et al., 2006). Mars is the only terrestrial planet known to host stable Trojans (Scholl et al., 2005) with ~50 km-sized objects expected to exist (Tabachnik and Evans, 1999). I identified 6 additional candidate Martian Trojans within the Minor Planet Center database, including three with multi-opposition orbits. 100 dynamical clones for each of the three asteroids were integrated for 100 Myr under a force model that included the Yarkovsky effect. All clones persisted as L5 Trojans of Mars, implying that their residence time is longer still. This is further supported by recent Gyr numerical integrations (de la Fuente Marcos and de la Fuente Marcos, 2013). The number of stable Martian Trojans is thus raised to 7, 6 of which are at L5. To investigate this asymmetry, I apply a clustering test to their orbits and compare them with the Trojan population of Jupiter. I find that, while Jupiter Trojans are spread throughout the domain where long-term stability is expected, L5 martian Trojans are far more concentrated. The implication is that these objects may be genetically related to each other and to the largest member of the group, 5261 Eureka. If so, it represents the closest such group to the Earth's orbit, still recognizable due to the absence of planetary close encounters which quickly scatter NEO families (Schunova et al., 2012). I explore the origin and nature of this `Eureka cluster', including the thesis that its members are products of the collisional fragmentation and/or rotational fission of Trojan progenitors. I constrain the cluster's age under these scenarios and argue that collisions may be responsible for the observed paucity of km-sized objects. Finally, I discuss how the hypothesis of a genetic

  15. Magnetism of Tissint Martian meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochette, P.; Gattacceca, J.; Hewins, R.; Lagroix, F.; Uehara, M.; Cournede, C.; Chennaoui Aoudjehane, H.; Zanda, B.; Bernstein Scorzelli, R.

    2012-12-01

    The Tissint meteorite, an olivine-phyric shergottite that fell in July 2010 in Morocco, is only the fifth Martian meteorite fall. It offers the opportunity to study the magnetic mineralogy and the paleomagnetic signal of a pristine sample from Mars. We have performed such a magnetic study of 35 samples from the Tissint meteorite, with mass ranging from 30 mg to 30 g. We have measured a variety of magnetic properties (natural remanence an its behaviour upon thermal and alternating field demagnetization, hysteresis parameters at room and low temperatures, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility, unblocking temperature spectrum etc). Less conventional experiments include magneto-optical imaging (coupled with electron microprobe analyses) and Mössbauer spectroscopy. The magnetic mineralogy of Tissint consists of 0.6 wt.% of metastable hexagonal ferrimagnetic pyrrhotite, and 0.1 wt.% of low Ti titanomagnetite formed by oxidation/exsolution of ulvöspinel grains. The magnetic mineralogy of Tissint consists of 0.6 wt.% of metastable hexagonal ferrimagnetic pyrrhotite, and 0.1 wt.% of low Ti titanomagnetite formed by oxidation/exsolution of ulvöspinel grains, for those minerals that are ferromagnetic at temperatures encountered at the Martian surface. Chromite (with a Curie temperature of 70K) is present with an abundance of 0.5 wt.%. Overall, these properties are in broad agreement with the other pyrrhotite-bearing basaltic shergottites, but the presence of magnetite exsolution in ulvöspinel has rarely been documented in other shergottites. We show for the first time that the magnetic fabric is homogeneous in direction in the meteorite, and may well be a proxy to the Martian paleohorizontal at the time of crystallization. The natural remanent magnetization of Tissint was acquired during post-impact cooling in a stable ambient field of about 1 μT of crustal origin. It is noteworthy that the oxides in Tissint are not magnetized, indicating that they were formed at low

  16. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by the energetic EUV solar radiation. The ionosphere of Mars is subject to an important variability induced by changes in its forcing mechanisms (e.g., the UV solar flux) and by variations in the neutral atmosphere (e.g., the presence of global dust storms, atmospheric waves and tides, changes in atmospheric composition, etc.). Its vertical structure is dominated by a maximum in the electron concentration placed at about 120–140 km of altitude, coincident with the peak of the ionization rate. Below, a secondary peak produced by solar X-rays and photoelectron-impact ionization is observed. A sporadic third layer, possibly of meteoric origin, has been also detected below. The most abundant ion in the Martian ionosphere is O2+, although O+ can become more abundant in the upper ionospheric layers. While below about 180–200 km the Martian ionosphere is dominated by photochemical processes, above those altitudes the dynamics of the plasma become more important. The ionosphere is also an important source of escaping particles via processes such as dissociative recombination of ions or ion pickup. So, characterization of the ionosphere provides or can provide information about such disparate systems and processes as the solar radiation getting to the planet, the neutral atmosphere, the meteoric influx, the atmospheric escape to space, or the interaction of the planet with the solar wind. It is thus not surprising that the interest about this region dates from the beginning of the space era. From the first measurements provided by the Mariner 4 mission in the 1960s to the contemporaneous observations, still ongoing, by the Mars Express and MAVEN orbiters, our current knowledge of this atmospheric region is the consequence of the accumulation of more than 50 years of discontinuous

  17. Evolution of the martian mantle as recorded by igneous rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balta, J. B.; McSween, H. Y.

    2013-12-01

    Martian igneous rocks provide our best window into the current state of the martian mantle and its evolution after accretion and differentiation. Currently, those rocks have been examined in situ by rovers, characterized in general from orbiting spacecraft, and analyzed in terrestrial laboratories when found as meteorites. However, these data have the potential to bias our understanding of martian magmatism, as most of the available meteorites and rover-analyzed rocks come from the Amazonian (<2 Ga) and Hesperian (~3.65 Ga) periods respectively, while igneous rocks from the Noachian (>3.8 Ga) have only been examined by orbiters and as the unique meteorite ALH 84001. After initial differentiation, the main planetary-scale changes in the structure of Mars which impact igneous compositions are cooling of the planet and thickening of the crust with time. As the shergottite meteorites give ages <500 Ma1, they might be expected to represent thick-crust, recent volcanism. Using spacecraft measurements of volcanic compositions and whole rock compositions of meteorites, we demonstrate that the shergottite meteorites do not match the composition of the igneous rocks composing the young volcanoes on Mars, particularly in their silica content, and no crystallization or crustal contamination trend reproduces the volcanoes from a shergottite-like parent magma. However, we show that the shergottite magmas do resemble older martian rocks in composition and mineralogy. The Noachian-aged meteorite ALH 84001 has similar radiogenic-element signatures to the shergottites and may derive from a similar mantle source despite the age difference2. Thus, shergottite-like magmas may represent melting of mantle sources that were much more abundant early in martian history. We propose that the shergottites represent the melting products of an originally-hydrous martian mantle, containing at least several hundred ppm H2O. Dissolved water can increase the silica content of magmas and thus

  18. The impact of radiatively active water-ice clouds on Martian mesoscale atmospheric circulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, A.; Madeleine, J.-B.; Hinson, D.; Navarro, T.; Forget, F.

    2014-04-01

    Background and Goals Water ice clouds are a key component of the Martian climate [1]. Understanding the properties of the Martian water ice clouds is crucial to constrain the Red Planet's climate and hydrological cycle both in the present and in the past [2]. In recent years, this statement have become all the more true as it was shown that the radiative effects of water ice clouds is far from being as negligible as hitherto believed; water ice clouds plays instead a key role in the large-scale thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere [3, 4, 5]. Nevertheless, the radiative effect of water ice clouds at lower scales than the large synoptic scale (the so-called meso-scales) is still left to be explored. Here we use for the first time mesoscale modeling with radiatively active water ice clouds to address this open question.

  19. Workshop on early Mars: How warm and how wet, part 2?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. (Editor); Kasting, J. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    In 1992 the MSATT program conducted a workshop on modeling of the Martian climate. At that workshop it became clear that a serious problem had arisen concerning the early climate of Mars. Based on the evidence for smallscale fluvial activity, the view had been widely held that early in its history Mars had a climate that was much warmer and wetter than today's. However, most plausible recent climate models have fallen far short of the warm temperatures often inferred from the geologic evidence. Moreover, recent geophysical work has suggested that early geothermal warming may also have played a significant role in allowing fluvial activity. In order to address the issue of just how warm and how wet early Mars was, a workshop was convened in July of 1993, in Breckenridge, Colorado. The results of the workshop are reported here.

  20. Plio-Pleistocene vegetation response on orbitally forced climatic cycles in Southern Europe - implications for early human environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruch, Angela; Bertini, Adele

    2013-04-01

    The pace and causes of the early human colonization, in one or several migratory waves from Africa in new environments of the Eurasian continent during the Early Pleistocene, are still a matter of debate. However, climate change is considered a major driving factor of hominin evolution and dispersal patterns. In fact directly or indirectly by its severe influence on vegetation, physiography of landscape, and animal distribution, climate modulates the availability of resources. Plant fossils usually are rare or even absent at hominin sites. Thus, direct evidence on local vegetation and environment is generally missing. Independent from such localities, pollen profiles from the Mediterranean realm show the response of regional vegetation on global climate changes and cyclicity, with distinct spatial and temporal differences. Furthermore, plant fossils provide proxies for climate quantification that can be compared to the global signal, and add data to understanding the regional differentiation of Mediterranean environments. In this presentation we will discuss various palaeobotanical data from Southern Europe to assess Early Pleistocene climate and vegetation in time and space as part of the environment during the first expansions of early humans out of Africa.

  1. Early Holocene vegetation - climate interactions in the central part of European Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novenko, Elena; Olchev, Alexander

    2017-04-01

    The new Early Holocene vegetation and climate reconstruction (approximately 10100 -7800 cal. yr. BP) for the forest zone the central European Russia are based on pollen records from three key regions located in taiga, mixed coniferous-broadleaved and broadleaved forest zones. The climatic parameters (the mean annual temperature and precipitation) and total forest coverage during the early Holocene were reconstructed using the Best Modern Analogue technique. Information about moistening conditions was revealed from reconstructions of actual evapotranspiration (ET) and potential evaporation (PET). For calculation of the annual ET and PET rates of the forest landscapes a regression model was applied. The model is based on nonlinear approximations of annual values of ET and PET provided by the Levenberg-Marquardt method using the results of numerical simulations of ET and PET carried out by a Mixfor-SVAT model for the forests with different species compositions under various thermal and moistening conditions. Mixfor-SVAT is an one-dimensional model of the energy, H2O and CO2 exchange between vertically structured mono- and multi-specific forest stands and the atmosphere (Olchev et al., 2002). Obtained results showed that the considered period was characterized by relatively low air temperatures and high precipitation compared with modern conditions. Analysis of the long-term pattern of the mean annual temperature for all three regions reveal two synchronous significant cooling periods observed in 9100-9300 cal. yr. BP and 8100-8500 cal. yr. BP as well as rapid growth of the air temperature in 8100-7800 cal. yr. BP, when the annual temperatures increased by 3°C during about 300 years. The cooling phase of 8100-8500 cal. yr. BP could be corresponded to the distinct "8.2 ka event" widely recorded across Europe. Periods of climate warming are coincided with periods of precipitation rise whereas the cool phases are characterized by its decrease. The lowest ET and PET rates

  2. Climatic implications of reconstructed early - Mid Pliocene equilibrium-line altitudes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Krusic, A.G.; Prentice, M.L.; Licciardi, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Early-mid Pliocene moraines in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are more extensive than the present alpine glaciers in this region, indicating substantial climatic differences between the early-mid Pliocene and the present. To quantify this difference in the glacier-climate regime, we estimated the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) change since the early-mid Pliocene by calculating the modern ELA and reconstructing the ELAs of four alpine glaciers in Wright and Taylor Valleys at their early-mid Pliocene maxima. The area-altitude balance ratio method was used on modern and reconstructed early-mid Pliocene hypsometry. In Wright and Victoria Valleys, mass-balance data identify present-day ELAs of 800-1600 m a.s.l. and an average balance ratio of 1.1. The estimated ELAs of the much larger early-mid Pliocene glaciers in Wright and Taylor Valleys range from 600 to 950 ?? 170 m a.s.l., and thus are 250-600 ??170 m lower than modern ELAs in these valleys. The depressed ELAs during the early-mid-Pliocene most likely indicate a wetter and therefore warmer climate in the Dry Valleys during this period than previous studies have recognized.

  3. Spatial Models for Prediction and Early Warning of Aedes aegypti Proliferation from Data on Climate Change and Variability in Cuba.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Paulo L; Rivero, Alina; Linares, Yzenia; Pérez, Alina; Vázquez, Juan R

    2015-04-01

    Climate variability, the primary expression of climate change, is one of the most important environmental problems affecting human health, particularly vector-borne diseases. Despite research efforts worldwide, there are few studies addressing the use of information on climate variability for prevention and early warning of vector-borne infectious diseases. Show the utility of climate information for vector surveillance by developing spatial models using an entomological indicator and information on predicted climate variability in Cuba to provide early warning of danger of increased risk of dengue transmission. An ecological study was carried out using retrospective and prospective analyses of time series combined with spatial statistics. Several entomological and climatic indicators were considered using complex Bultó indices -1 and -2. Moran's I spatial autocorrelation coefficient specified for a matrix of neighbors with a radius of 20 km, was used to identify the spatial structure. Spatial structure simulation was based on simultaneous autoregressive and conditional autoregressive models; agreement between predicted and observed values for number of Aedes aegypti foci was determined by the concordance index Di and skill factor Bi. Spatial and temporal distributions of populations of Aedes aegypti were obtained. Models for describing, simulating and predicting spatial patterns of Aedes aegypti populations associated with climate variability patterns were put forward. The ranges of climate variability affecting Aedes aegypti populations were identified. Forecast maps were generated for the municipal level. Using the Bultó indices of climate variability, it is possible to construct spatial models for predicting increased Aedes aegypti populations in Cuba. At 20 x 20 km resolution, the models are able to provide warning of potential changes in vector populations in rainy and dry seasons and by month, thus demonstrating the usefulness of climate information for

  4. The Ice-Covered Lakes Hypothesis in Gale Crater: Implications for the Early Hesperian Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kling, Alexandre M.; Haberle, Robert M.; McKay, Christopher P.; Bristow, Thomas F.; Rivera-Hernandez, Frances

    2017-01-01

    Recent geological discoveries from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), including stream and lake sedimentary deposits, provide evidence that Gale crater may have intermittently hosted a fluviol-acustine environment during the Hesperian, with individual lakes lasting for a period of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Estimates of the CO2 content of the atmosphere at the time the Gale sediments formed are far less than needed by any climate model to warm early Mars, given the low solar energy input available at Mars 3.5 Gya. We have therefore explored the possibility that the lakes in Gale during the Hesperian were perennially covered with ice using the Antarctic lakes as analogs.

  5. Late-Glacial to Early Holocene Climate Changes from a Central Appalachians Pollen and Macrofossil Record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kneller, Margaret; Peteet, Dorothy

    1997-01-01

    A Late-glacial to early Holocene record of pollen, plant macrofossils and charcoal, based on two cores, is presented for Browns Pond in the central Appalachians of Virginia. An AMS radiocarbon chronology defines the timing of moist and cold excursions, superimposed upon the overall warming trend from 14,200 to 7,500 C-14 yr B.P. This site shows cold, moist conditions from approximately 14,200 to 12,700 C-14 yr B.P., with warming at 12,730, 11,280 and 10,050 C-14 yr B.P. A decrease in deciduous broad-leaved tree taxa and Pinus strobus (haploxylon) pollen, simultaneous with a re-expansion of Abies denotes a brief, cold reversal from 12,260 to 12,200 C-14 yr B.P. A second cold reversal, inferred from increases in montane conifers, is centered at 7,500 C-14 yr B.P. The cold reversals at Browns Pond may be synchronous with climate change in Greenland, and northwestern Europe. Warming at 11,280 C-14 yr B.P. shows the complexity of regional climate responses during the Younger Dryas chronozone.

  6. Financialization impedes climate change mitigation: Evidence from the early American solar industry

    PubMed Central

    Jerneck, Max

    2017-01-01

    The article investigates how financialization impedes climate change mitigation by examining its effects on the early history of one low-carbon industry, solar photovoltaics in the United States. The industry grew rapidly in the 1970s, as large financial conglomerates acquired independent firms. While providing needed financial support, conglomerates changed the focus from existing markets in consumer applications toward a future utility market that never materialized. Concentration of the industry also left it vulnerable to the corporate restructuring of the 1980s, when the conglomerates were dismantled and solar divisions were pared back or sold off to foreign firms. Both the move toward conglomeration, when corporations became managed as stock portfolios, and its subsequent reversal were the result of increased financial dominance over corporate governance. The American case is contrasted with the more successful case of Japan, where these changes to corporate governance did not occur. Insulated from shareholder pressure and financial turbulence, Japanese photovoltaics manufacturers continued to expand investment throughout the 1980s when their American rivals were cutting back. The study is informed by Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction and Hyman Minsky’s theory of financialization, along with economic sociology. By highlighting the tenuous and conflicting relation between finance and production that shaped the early history of the photovoltaics industry, the article raises doubts about the prevailing approach to mitigate climate change through carbon pricing. Given the uncertainty of innovation and the ease of speculation, it will do little to spur low-carbon technology development without financial structures supporting patient capital. PMID:28435862

  7. Early warning signal for dengue outbreaks and identification of high risk areas for dengue fever in Colombia using climate and non-climate datasets.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Seok; Carabali, Mabel; Lim, Jacqueline K; Herrera, Victor M; Park, Il-Yeon; Villar, Luis; Farlow, Andrew

    2017-07-10

    Dengue has been prevalent in Colombia with high risk of outbreaks in various locations. While the prediction of dengue epidemics will bring significant benefits to the society, accurate forecasts have been a challenge. Given competing health demands in Colombia, it is critical to consider the effective use of the limited healthcare resources by identifying high risk areas for dengue fever. The Climate Risk Factor (CRF) index was constructed based upon temperature, precipitation, and humidity. Considering the conditions necessary for vector survival and transmission behavior, elevation and population density were taken into account. An Early Warning Signal (EWS) model was developed by estimating the elasticity of the climate risk factor function to detect dengue epidemics. The climate risk factor index was further estimated at the smaller geographical unit (5 km by 5 km resolution) to identify populations at high risk. From January 2007 to December 2015, the Early Warning Signal model successfully detected 75% of the total number of outbreaks 1 ~ 5 months ahead of time, 12.5% in the same month, and missed 12.5% of all outbreaks. The climate risk factors showed that populations at high risk are concentrated in the Western part of Colombia where more suitable climate conditions for vector mosquitoes and the high population level were observed compared to the East. This study concludes that it is possible to detect dengue outbreaks ahead of time and identify populations at high risk for various disease prevention activities based upon observed climate and non-climate information. The study outcomes can be used to minimize potential societal losses by prioritizing limited healthcare services and resources, as well as by conducting vector control activities prior to experiencing epidemics.

  8. Martian plate tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, N. H.

    1994-03-01

    The northern lowlands of Mars have been produced by plate tectonics. Preexisting old thick highland crust was subducted, while seafloor spreading produced thin lowland crust during late Noachian and Early Hesperian time. In the preferred reconstruction, a breakup margin extended north of Cimmeria Terra between Daedalia Planum and Isidis Planitia where the highland-lowland transition is relatively simple. South dipping subduction occured beneath Arabia Terra and east dipping subduction beneath Tharsis Montes and Tempe Terra. Lineations associated with Gordii Dorsum are attributed to ridge-parallel structures, while Phelegra Montes and Scandia Colles are interpreted as transfer-parallel structures or ridge-fault-fault triple junction tracks. Other than for these few features, there is little topographic roughness in the lowlands. Seafloor spreading, if it occurred, must have been relatively rapid. Quantitative estimates of spreading rate are obtained by considering the physics of seafloor spreading in the lower (approx. 0.4 g) gravity of Mars, the absence of vertical scarps from age differences across fracture zones, and the smooth axial topography. Crustal thickness at a given potential temperature in the mantle source region scales inversely with gravity. Thus, the velocity of the rough-smooth transition for axial topography also scales inversely with gravity. Plate reorganizations where young crust becomes difficult to subduct are another constraint on spreading age. Plate tectonics, if it occurred, dominated the thermal and stress history of the planet. A geochemical implication is that the lower gravity of Mars allows deeper hydrothermal circulation through cracks and hence more hydration of oceanic crust so that more water is easily subducted than on the Earth. Age and structural relationships from photogeology as well as median wavelength gravity anomalies across the now dead breakup and subduction margins are the data most likely to test and modify hypotheses

  9. Climates

    John R. Jones; Norbert V. DeByle

    1985-01-01

    The broad range of aspen in North America is evidence of its equally broad tolerance of wide variations in climate (Fowells 1965). Given open space for establishment and not too severe competition from other plants, aspen can survive from timberline on the tundra's edge to very warm temperate climates, and from the wet maritime climates of the coasts to very...

  10. Degradation of Organics in a Glow Discharge Under Martian Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hintze, P. E.; Calle, L. M.; Calle, C. I.; Buhler, C. R.; Trigwell, S.; Starnes, J. W.; Schuerger, A. C.

    2006-01-01

    The primary objective of this project is to understand the consequences of glow electrical discharges on the chemistry and biology of Mars. The possibility was raised some time ago that the absence of organic material and carbonaceous matter in the Martian soil samples studied by the VikinG Landers might be due in part to an intrinsic atmospheric mechanism such as glow discharge. The high probability for dust interactions during Martian dust storms and dust devils, combined with the cold, dry climate of Mars most likely results in airborne dust that is highly charged. Such high electrostatic potentials generated during dust storms on Earth are not permitted in the low-pressure CO2 environment on Mars; therefore electrostatic energy released in the form of glow discharges is a highly likely phenomenon. Since glow discharge methods are used for cleaning and sterilizing surfaces throughout industry, the idea that dust in the Martian atmosphere undergoes a cleaning action many times over geologic time scales appears to be a plausible one.

  11. Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition

    PubMed Central

    Pound, Matthew J.; Salzmann, Ulrich

    2017-01-01

    Rapid global cooling at the Eocene – Oligocene Transition (EOT), ~33.9–33.5 Ma, is widely considered to mark the onset of the modern icehouse world. A large and rapid drop in atmospheric pCO2 has been proposed as the driving force behind extinctions in the marine realm and glaciation on Antarctica. However, the global terrestrial response to this cooling is uncertain. Here we present the first global vegetation and terrestrial temperature reconstructions for the EOT. Using an extensive palynological dataset, that has been statistically grouped into palaeo-biomes, we show a more transitional nature of terrestrial climate change by indicating a spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation change at the EOT in both hemispheres. The reconstructed terrestrial temperatures show for many regions a cooling that started well before the EOT and continued into the Early Oligocene. We conclude that the heterogeneous pattern of global vegetation change has been controlled by a combination of multiple forcings, such as tectonics, sea-level fall and long-term decline in greenhouse gas concentrations during the late Eocene to early Oligocene, and does not represent a single response to a rapid decline in atmospheric pCO2 at the EOT. PMID:28233862

  12. Heterogeneity in global vegetation and terrestrial climate change during the late Eocene to early Oligocene transition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Matthew J; Salzmann, Ulrich

    2017-02-24

    Rapid global cooling at the Eocene - Oligocene Transition (EOT), ~33.9-33.5 Ma, is widely considered to mark the onset of the modern icehouse world. A large and rapid drop in atmospheric pCO 2 has been proposed as the driving force behind extinctions in the marine realm and glaciation on Antarctica. However, the global terrestrial response to this cooling is uncertain. Here we present the first global vegetation and terrestrial temperature reconstructions for the EOT. Using an extensive palynological dataset, that has been statistically grouped into palaeo-biomes, we show a more transitional nature of terrestrial climate change by indicating a spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation change at the EOT in both hemispheres. The reconstructed terrestrial temperatures show for many regions a cooling that started well before the EOT and continued into the Early Oligocene. We conclude that the heterogeneous pattern of global vegetation change has been controlled by a combination of multiple forcings, such as tectonics, sea-level fall and long-term decline in greenhouse gas concentrations during the late Eocene to early Oligocene, and does not represent a single response to a rapid decline in atmospheric pCO 2 at the EOT.

  13. Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maurer, R. H.; Roth, D. R.; Kinnison, J. D.; Goldsten, J. O.; Fainchtein, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2000-01-01

    High energy charged particles of extragalactic, galactic, and solar origin collide with spacecraft structures and planetary atmospheres. These primaries create a number of secondary particles inside the structures or on the surfaces of planets to produce a significant radiation environment. This radiation is a threat to long term inhabitants and travelers for interplanetary missions and produces an increased risk of carcinogenesis, central nervous system (CNS) and DNA damage. Charged particles are readily detected; but, neutrons, being electrically neutral, are much more difficult to monitor. These secondary neutrons are reported to contribute 30-60% of the dose equivalent in the Shuttle and MIR station. The Martian atmosphere has an areal density of 37 g/sq cm primarily of carbon dioxide molecules. This shallow atmosphere presents fewer mean free paths to the bombarding cosmic rays and solar particles. The secondary neutrons present at the surface of Mars will have undergone fewer generations of collisions and have higher energies than at sea level on Earth. Albedo neutrons produced by collisions with the Martian surface material will also contribute to the radiation environment. The increased threat of radiation damage to humans on Mars occurs when neutrons of higher mean energy traverse the thin, dry Martian atmosphere and encounter water in the astronaut's body. Water, being hydrogeneous, efficiently moderates the high energy neutrons thereby slowing them as they penetrate deeply into the body. Consequently, greater radiation doses can be deposited in or near critical organs such as the liver or spleen than is the case on Earth. A second significant threat is the possibility of a high energy heavy ion or neutron causing a DNA double strand break in a single strike.

  14. Martian Resource Locations - Identification and Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamitoff, G.; James, G.; Barker, D.; Dershowitz, A.

    2002-01-01

    Many physical constituents of the Martian environment can be considered as possible material resources. The identification and utilization of these in-situ Martian natural resources is the key to enabling cost- effective long-duration missions and permanent human settlements on Mars. Also, access to local resources provides an essential safety net for the initial missions. The incident solar radiation, atmosphere, regolith, subsurface materials, polar deposits, and frozen volatiles represent planetary resources that can provide breathable air, water, energy, organic growth media, and building materials. Hence, the characterization and localization of these resources can be viewed as a component of the process of landing/outpost site selection. The locations of early permanent settlements will likely be near the imported and in-situ resources of the initial outposts. Therefore, the initial site selections can have significant long- term ramifications. Although the current information on the location, extent, purity, and ease of extraction of the in-situ resources is limited; this knowledge improves with each electronic bit of information returned from the planet. This paper presents a powerful software tool for the combined organization and analysis of Martian data from all sources. This program, called PROMT (Planetary Resource Optimization and Mapping Tool), is designed to provide a wide range of analysis and display functions that can be applied to raw data or photo- imagery. Thresholds, contours, custom algorithms, and graphical editing are some of the various methods that the user can use to process data. Individual maps can then be created to identify surface regions on Mars that meet specific criteria. For example, regions with possible subsurface ice can be identified and shown graphically by combining and analyzing various gamma ray and neutron emission data sets. Other examples might include regions with high atmospheric pressure, steep slopes, evidence of

  15. Pathfinder Rover, Airbags, & Martian Terrain

    1997-07-05

    This is one of the first pictures taken by the camera on the Mars Pathfinder lander shortly after its touchdown at 10:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time on July 4, 1997. The small rover, named Sojourner, is seen in the foreground in its position on a solar panel of the lander. The white material on either side of the rover is part of the deflated airbag system used to absorb the shock of the landing. Between the rover and the horizon is the rock-strewn martian surface. Two hills are seen in the right distance, profiled against the light brown sky. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00611

  16. Martian Plain in Late Summer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander acquired this view of the textured plain near the lander at about 11 a.m. local Mars solar time during the mission's 124th Martian day, or sol (Sept. 29, 2008).

    The image was taken through an infrared filter. The brighter patches are dustier than darker areas of the surface.

    The last signal from the lander came on Nov. 2, 2008.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  17. Antarctica as a Martian model.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vishniac, W. V.; Mainzer, S. E.

    1973-01-01

    Results of a survey of a variety of environments in the dry valleys of Antarctica, ranging from mountain crests to valley floors. The main purpose of the investigation was the determination of active microbial multiplication in the soil. A series of techniques was employed which permitted the detection of bacterial growth in situ. All evidence points to an active growth of micro-organisms in the Antarctic soil in all locations examined. The measurements were supported by electron micrographs of soil films which showed colonial growth covering soil particles. These findings suggest that Antarctica does not serve as a useful model for the Martian environment in evaluating quarantine standards.

  18. Martian water: are there extant halobacteria on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, G. A.

    2001-01-01

    On Earth, life exists in all niches where water exists in liquid form for at least a portion of the year. On Mars, any liquid water would have to be a highly concentrated brine solution. It is likely, therefore, that any present-day Martian microorganisms would be similar to terrestrial halophiles. Even if present-day life does not exist on Mars, it is an interesting speculation that ancient bacteria preserved in salt deposits could be retrieved from an era when the climate of Mars was more conducive to life.

  19. How early can the seeding dates of spring wheat be under current and future climate in Saskatchewan, Canada?

    PubMed

    He, Yong; Wang, Hong; Qian, Budong; McConkey, Brian; DePauw, Ron

    2012-01-01

    Shorter growing season and water stress near wheat maturity are the main factors that presumably limit the yield potential of spring wheat due to late seeding in Saskatchewan, Canada. Advancing seeding dates can be a strategy to help producers mitigate the impact of climate change on spring wheat. It is unknown, however, how early farmers can seed while minimizing the risk of spring frost damage and the soil and machinery constraints. This paper explores early seeding dates of spring wheat on the Canadian Prairies under current and projected future climate. To achieve this, (i) weather records from 1961 to 1990 were gathered at three sites with different soil and climate conditions in Saskatchewan, Canada; (ii) four climate databases that included a baseline (treated as historic weather climate during the period of 1961-1990) and three climate change scenarios (2040-2069) developed by the Canadian global climate model (GCM) with the forcing of three greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios (A2, A1B and B1); (iii) seeding dates of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under baseline and projected future climate were predicted. Compared with the historical record of seeding dates, the predicted seeding dates were advanced under baseline climate for all sites using our seeding date model. Driven by the predicted temperature increase of the scenarios compared with baseline climate, all climate change scenarios projected significantly earlier seeding dates than those currently used. Compared to the baseline conditions, there is no reduction in grain yield because precipitation increases during sensitive growth stages of wheat, suggesting that there is potential to shift seeding to an earlier date. The average advancement of seeding dates varied among sites and chosen scenarios. The Swift Current (south-west) site has the highest potential for earlier seeding (7 to 11 days) whereas such advancement was small in the Melfort (north-east, 2 to 4 days) region. The extent of

  20. JMSS-1: a new Martian soil simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Xiaojia; Li, Xiongyao; Wang, Shijie; Li, Shijie; Spring, Nicole; Tang, Hong; Li, Yang; Feng, Junming

    2015-05-01

    It is important to develop Martian soil simulants that can be used in Mars exploration programs and Mars research. A new Martian soil simulant, called Jining Martian Soil Simulant (JMSS-1), was developed at the Lunar and Planetary Science Research Center at the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The raw materials of JMSS-1 are Jining basalt and Fe oxides (magnetite and hematite). JMSS-1 was produced by mechanically crushing Jining basalt with the addition of small amounts of magnetite and hematite. The properties of this simulant, including chemical composition, mineralogy, particle size, mechanical properties, reflectance spectra, dielectric properties, volatile content, and hygroscopicity, have been analyzed. On the basis of these test results, it was demonstrated that JMSS-1 is an ideal Martian soil simulant in terms of chemical composition, mineralogy, and physical properties. JMSS-1 would be an appropriate choice as a Martian soil simulant in scientific and engineering experiments in China's Mars exploration in the future.

  1. Resistance of Terrestrial Microbial Communities to Impack of Physical Conditinos of Subsurface Layers of Martian Regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheptsov, V. S.; Vorobyova, E. A.

    2017-05-01

    Currently, astrobiology is focused on Mars as one of the most perspective objects in the Solar System to search for microbial life. It was assumed that the putative biosphere of Mars could be cryopreserved and had been stored for billions of years in anabiotic state like microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic permafrost deposits have been preserved till now for millions of years. In this case microbial cells should be not able to repair the damages or these processes have to be significantly depressed, and the main factor causing cell's death should be ionizing radiation. In a series of experiments we simulated the effects of combination of physical factors known as characteristics of the Martian regolith (and close to the space environment) on the natural microbial communities inhabiting xerophytic harsh habitats with extreme temperature conditions: polar permafrost and desert soils. The aim of the study was to examine the cumulative effect of factors (gamma radiation, low temperature, low pressure) to assess the possibility of metabolic reactions, and to find limits of the viability of natural microbial communities after exposure to the given conditions. It was found that microbial biomarkers could be reliably detected in soil samples after radiation dose accumulation up to 1 MGy (not further investigated) in combination with exposure to low temperature and low pressure. Resistance to extremely high doses of radiation in simulated conditions proves that if there was an Earth-like biosphere on the early Mars microorganisms could survive in the surface or subsurface layers of the Martian regolith for more than tens of millions of years after climate change. The study gives also some new grounds for the approval of transfer of viable microorganisms in space.

  2. Three Dimensional Volcanic Plume Simulations on Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, M. A.; Kobs-Nawotniak, S. E.

    2016-12-01

    Current explosive volcanic plume models for early Mars are thought to overestimate plume height by tens of kilometers. They are based on 1D empirical terrestrial plume models, which determine plume rise using Morton-style convection. Not only do these models fail to account for turbulent mixing processes, but the Martian versions also violate assumptions regarding the speed of sound, radial expansion, and availability of ambient air for entrainment. Since volcanically derived volatiles are hypothesized to have increased early Martian warming, it is vital to understand how high these volatiles can be injected into the atmosphere. Active Tracer High-resolution Atmospheric Model (ATHAM; Oberhuber et al., 1998) is a 3D plume simulator that circumvents the underlying assumptions of the current Martian plume models by solving the Navier-Stokes equations. Martian-ATHAM (M-ATHAM) simulates Martian volcanic eruptions by replacing terrestrial planetary and atmospheric conditions with those appropriate for early Mars. In particular we evaluate three different atmospheric compositions with unique temperature and density profiles: 99.5% CO2/0.5% SO2 and 85% CO2/15% H2 representing a "warm and wet" climate and 100% CO2 representing a "cold and wet" climate. We evaluated for mass eruption rates from 10^3 kg/s to 10^10 kg/s using the Idaho National Laboratory's supercomputer Falcon in order determine what conditions produced stable eruption columns. Of the three different atmospheric compositions, 100% CO2 and 99.5% CO2/0.5% SO2 produced stable plumes for the same mass eruption rates whereas the 85% CO2/15% H2 atmosphere produced stable plumes for a slightly higher range of mass eruption rates. The tallest plumes were produced by 85% CO2/15% H2 atmosphere, producing plumes 5% taller than the revised empirical models, suggesting closer agreement than previously assumed under certain conditions. In comparison to terrestrial plumes, all early Martian plumes needed higher mass

  3. Wind effects on Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This false-color combination image highlights details of wind effects on the Martian soil at the Pathfinder landing site. Red and blue filter images have been combined to enhance brightness contrasts among several soil units. Martian winds have distributed these lighter and darker fine materials in complex patterns around the rocks in the scene (blue). For scale, the rock at right center is 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) long. This scene is one of several that will be monitored weekly for changes caused by wind activity.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages and Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  4. Origin of giant Martian polygons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgill, George E.; Hills, L. S.

    1992-01-01

    Extensive areas of the Martian northern plains in Utopia and Acidalia planitiae are characterized by 'polygonal terrane'. Polygonal terrane consists of material cut by complex troughs defining a pattern resembling mudcracks, columnar joints, or frost-wedge polygons on earth. However, the Martian polygons are orders of magnitude larger than these potential earth analogues, leading to severe mechanical difficulties for genetic models based on simple analogy arguments. Plate-bending and finite element models indicate that shrinkage of desiccating sediment or cooling volcanics accompanied by differential compaction over buried topography can account for the stresses responsible for polygon troughs as well as the large size of the polygons. Although trough widths and depths relate primarily to shrinkage, the large scale of the polygonl pattern relates to the spacing between topographic elevations on the surface buried beneath polygonal terrane material. Geological relationships favor a sedimentary origin for polygonal terrane material, but our model is not dependent on the specific genesis. Our analysis also suggests that the polygons must have formed at a geologically rapid rate.

  5. Sampling Martian Soil (3-D)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1Figure 2

    Scientists were using the Moessbauer spectrometer on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit when something unexpected happened. The instrument's contact ring had been placed onto the ground as a reference point for placement of another instrument, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, for analyzing the soil. After Spirit removed the Moessbauer from the target, the rover's microscopic imager revealed a gap in the imprint left behind in the soil. The gap, about a centimeter wide (less than half an inch), is visible on the left side of this stereo view. Scientists concluded that a small chunk of soil probably adhered to the contact ring on the front surface of the Moessbauer. Before anyone saw that soil may have adhered to the Moessbauer, that instrument was placed to analyze martian dust collected by a magnet on the rover. The team plans to take images to see if any soil is still attached to the Moessbauer. Spirit took these images on the rover's 240th martian day, or sol (Sept. 4, 2004).

    Figure 1 is the left-eye view of a stereo pair and Figure 2 is the right-eye view of a stereo pair.

  6. Rover Touchdown on Martian Surface

    1997-07-06

    This picture taken by the IMP (Imager for Mars Pathfinder) aboard the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft depicts the rover Sojourner's position after driving onto the Martian surface. Sojourner has become the first autonomous robot ever to traverse the surface of Mars. This image reflects the success of Pathfinder's principle objective -- to place a payload on Mars in a safe, operational configuration. The primary mission of Sojourner, scheduled to last seven days, will be to use its Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument to determine the elements that make up the rocks and soil on Mars. A full study using the APXS takes approximately ten hours, and can measure all elements except hydrogen at any time of the Martian day or night. The APXS will conduct its studies by bombarding rocks and soil samples with alpha particle radiation -- charged particles equivalent to the nucleus of a helium atom, consisting of two protons and two neutrons. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00623

  7. Benthic foraminiferal and isotopic patterns during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (Aktulagay section, Kazakhstan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deprez, Arne; Tesseur, Steven; Stassen, Peter; D'haenens, Simon; Steurbaut, Etienne; King, Christopher; Claeys, Philippe; Speijer, Robert P.

    2015-04-01

    The early Eocene is characterized by long-term global warming culminating in the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO). During this time interval, the Peri-Tethys was connected to the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans by north-south and east-west trending seaways. The Aktulagay section in Kazakhstan provides an expanded record of the middle Ypresian (NP11-13, ~54-50 Ma; King et al., 2013), including the EECO. The marl sequence features a series of sapropel beds, observed throughout the Peri-Tethys, indicative of basin-wide episodic hypoxic events. In order to unravel paleoenvironmental changes, we carried out quantitative faunal studies and stable isotopic (C, O) investigations on excellently preserved foraminiferal assemblages. The period from 54 to 52.5 Ma (NP11 to lower NP12; Alashen Formation) is characterized by a diverse assemblage of deep outer neritic (~200-250 m) benthic foraminifera, with common Pulsiphonina prima and Paralabamina lunata. The initially (54 Ma) well-ventilated oligo- to mesotrophic seafloor conditions gradually changed to more eutrophic and oxygen-limited. These conditions were more permanent in the sapropel-bearing unit at 52.5-52 Ma (middle NP12; Aktulagay B1 unit). This observation is based on the dominance of Anomalinoides acutus and Bulimina aksuatica and the lower diversity. Also the upward migration of endobenthic species, as suggested by rising δ13Cendobenthic, supports this interpretation. These low-oxygen conditions might have been caused by a transgression, flooding lowlands. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages dominated by Epistominella minuta at ~52-50 Ma (top NP12-NP13; Aktulagay B2 unit) suggest an oligotrophic environment, with transient pulses of phytodetritus. Dinoflagellate blooms and Acarinina isotope values at ~50.5 Ma indicate lower salinity (lower δ18O) and higher productivity (higher δ13C), possibly due to riverine input. Large river plumes, episodically reaching the area, in a monsoonal climate context, might explain this

  8. Early-life exposure to climate change impairs tropical shark survival.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rui; Baptista, Miguel; Lopes, Vanessa M; Pegado, Maria Rita; Paula, José Ricardo; Trübenbach, Katja; Leal, Miguel Costa; Calado, Ricardo; Repolho, Tiago

    2014-10-22

    Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine animals worldwide, mostly owing to overfishing and habitat degradation/loss. Although these cartilaginous fish have evolved to fill many ecological niches across a wide range of habitats, they have limited capability to rapidly adapt to human-induced changes in their environments. Contrary to global warming, ocean acidification was not considered as a direct climate-related threat to sharks. Here we show, for the first time, that an early ontogenetic acclimation process of a tropical shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) to the projected scenarios of ocean acidification (ΔpH = 0.5) and warming (+4°C; 30°C) for 2100 elicited significant impairments on juvenile shark condition and survival. The mortality of shark embryos at the present-day thermal scenarios was 0% both at normocapnic and hypercapnic conditions. Yet routine metabolic rates (RMRs) were significantly affected by temperature, pH and embryonic stage. Immediately after hatching, the Fulton condition of juvenile bamboo sharks was significantly different in individuals that experienced future warming and hypercapnia; 30 days after hatching, survival rapidly declined in individuals experiencing both ocean warming and acidification (up to 44%). The RMR of juvenile sharks was also significantly affected by temperature and pH. The impact of low pH on ventilation rates was significant only under the higher thermal scenario. This study highlights the need of experimental-based risk assessments of sharks to climate change. In other words, it is critical to directly assess risk and vulnerability of sharks to ocean acidification and warming, and such effort can ultimately help managers and policy-makers to take proactive measures targeting most endangered species. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Early-life exposure to climate change impairs tropical shark survival

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Rui; Baptista, Miguel; Lopes, Vanessa M.; Pegado, Maria Rita; Ricardo Paula, José; Trübenbach, Katja; Leal, Miguel Costa; Calado, Ricardo; Repolho, Tiago

    2014-01-01

    Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine animals worldwide, mostly owing to overfishing and habitat degradation/loss. Although these cartilaginous fish have evolved to fill many ecological niches across a wide range of habitats, they have limited capability to rapidly adapt to human-induced changes in their environments. Contrary to global warming, ocean acidification was not considered as a direct climate-related threat to sharks. Here we show, for the first time, that an early ontogenetic acclimation process of a tropical shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) to the projected scenarios of ocean acidification (ΔpH = 0.5) and warming (+4°C; 30°C) for 2100 elicited significant impairments on juvenile shark condition and survival. The mortality of shark embryos at the present-day thermal scenarios was 0% both at normocapnic and hypercapnic conditions. Yet routine metabolic rates (RMRs) were significantly affected by temperature, pH and embryonic stage. Immediately after hatching, the Fulton condition of juvenile bamboo sharks was significantly different in individuals that experienced future warming and hypercapnia; 30 days after hatching, survival rapidly declined in individuals experiencing both ocean warming and acidification (up to 44%). The RMR of juvenile sharks was also significantly affected by temperature and pH. The impact of low pH on ventilation rates was significant only under the higher thermal scenario. This study highlights the need of experimental-based risk assessments of sharks to climate change. In other words, it is critical to directly assess risk and vulnerability of sharks to ocean acidification and warming, and such effort can ultimately help managers and policy-makers to take proactive measures targeting most endangered species. PMID:25209942

  10. Early Holocene hydroclimate of Baffin Bay: Understanding the interplay between abrupt climate change events and ice sheet fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corcoran, M. C.; Thomas, E. K.; Castañeda, I. S.; Briner, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the causes of ice sheet fluctuations resulting in sea level rise is essential in today's warming climate. In high-latitude ice-sheet-proximal environments such as Baffin Bay, studying both the cause and the rate of ice sheet variability during past abrupt climate change events aids in predictions. Past climate reconstructions are used to understand ice sheet responses to changes in temperature and precipitation. The 9,300 and 8,200 yr BP events are examples of abrupt climate change events in the Baffin Bay region during which there were multiple re-advances of the Greenland and Laurentide ice sheets. High-resolution (decadal-scale) hydroclimate variability near the ice sheet margins during these abrupt climate change events is still unknown. We will generate a decadal-scale record of early Holocene temperature and precipitation using leaf wax hydrogen isotopes, δ2Hwax, from a lake sediment archive on Baffin Island, western Baffin Bay, to better understand abrupt climate change in this region. Shifts in temperature and moisture source result in changes in environmental water δ2H, which in turn is reflected in δ2Hwax, allowing for past hydroclimate to be determined from these compound-specific isotopes. The combination of terrestrial and aquatic δ2Hwax is used to determine soil evaporation and is ultimately used to reconstruct moisture variability. We will compare our results with a previous analysis of δ2Hwax and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers, a temperature and pH proxy, in lake sediment from western Greenland, eastern Baffin Bay, which indicates that cool and dry climate occurred in response to freshwater forcing events in the Labrador Sea. Reconstructing and comparing records on both the western and eastern sides of Baffin Bay during the early Holocene will allow for a spatial understanding of temperature and moisture balance changes during abrupt climate events, aiding in ice sheet modeling and predictions of future sea level

  11. Basalt Weathering in a Cold and Icy Climate: Three Sisters, Oregon as an Analog for Early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rampe, E. B.; Horgan, B.; Smith, R. J.; Scudder, N. A.; Rutledge, A. M.; Bamber, E.; Morris, R. V.

    2017-01-01

    There is abundant evidence for liquid water on early Mars, but the debate remains whether early Mars was warm and wet or cold and icy with punctuated periods of melting. To further investigate the hypothesis of a cold and icy early Mars, we collected rocks and sediments from the Collier and Diller glacial valleys in the Three Sisters volcanic complex in Oregon. We analyzed rocks and sediments with X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscopies with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, EDS), and visible, short-wave infrared (VSWIR) and thermal-IR (TIR) spectroscopies to characterize chemical weathering and sediment transport through the valleys. Here, we focus on the composition and mineralogy of the weathering products and how they compare to those identified on the martian surface. Phyllosilicates (smectite), zeolites, and poorly crystalline phases were discovered in pro- and supra-glacial sediments, whereas Si-rich regelation films were found on hand samples and boulders in the proglacial valleys. Most phyllosilicates and zeolites are likely detrital, originating from hydrothermally altered units on North Sister. TEM-EDS analyses of the <2 um size fraction of glacial flour samples demonstrate a variety of poorly crystalline (i.e., no long-range crystallographic order) phases: iron oxides, devitrified volcanic glass, and Fe-Si-Al phases. The CheMin XRD on the Curiosity rover in Gale crater has identified significant amounts of X-ray amorphous materials in all samples measured to date. The amorphous component is likely a combination of silicates, iron oxides, and sulfates. Although we have not yet observed amorphous sulfate in the samples from Three Sisters, the variety of poorly crystalline weathering products found at this site is consistent with the variable composition of the X-ray amorphous component identified by CheMin. We suggest that these amorphous phases on Mars could have formed in a similarly cold and icy environment.

  12. Workshop on the Martian Northern Plains: Sedimentological, Periglacial, and Paleoclimatic Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey S. (Editor); Moore, Jeffrey (Editor); Parker, Timothy (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    Papers that have been accepted for presentation at the Workshop on the Martian Northern Plains: Sedimentological, Periglacial, and Paleoclimatic Evolution, on 12-14 Aug. 1993 in Fairbanks, Alaska are included. Topics covered include: hydrological consequences of ponded water on Mars; morphological and morphometric studies of impact craters in the Northern Plains of Mars; a wet-geology and cold-climate Mars model: punctuation of a slow dynamics approach to equilibrium; the distribution of ground ice on Mars; and stratigraphy of the Martian Northern Plains.

  13. Underground Martian Ice Deposit Exposed at Scarp

    2018-01-11

    Click on the image for larger version A cross-section of a thick sheet of underground ice is exposed at the steep slope (or scarp) that appears bright blue in this enhanced-color view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The view covers an area about 550 yards (500 meters) wide. Figure 1 includes a 100-meter (109-yard) scale bar. North is toward the top. The upper third of the image shows level ground that is about 140 yards (130 meters) higher in elevation than the ground in the bottom third. In between, the scarp descends sharply, exposing about 260 vertical feet (80 vertical meters) of water ice. Color is exaggerated to make differences in surface materials easier to see. The presence of exposed water ice at this site was confirmed by observation with the same orbiter's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). In January 2018, in the journal Science, researchers reported finding and studying eight such ice-exposing scarps in the middle latitudes of Mars. The presence of vast underground ice deposits in Mars' middle latitudes was known previously. The report of unusual sites where they are exposed provides new information about their depth and layering. It also identifies potential water resources for future Mars missions and possibilities for studying Martian climate history by examining the ice layers holding a record of past climate cycles. The ice may have been deposited as snow when the tilt of Mars' rotation axis was greater than it is now. HiRISE observation ESP_022389_1230 was made on May 7, 2011, at 56.6 degrees south latitude, 114.1 degrees east longitude. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22077

  14. Comparison of Martian Meteorites and Martian Regolith as Shield Materials for Galactic Cosmic Rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Thibeault, Sheila A.; Simonsen, Lisa C.; Wilson, John W.

    1998-01-01

    Theoretical calculations of radiation attenuation due to energetic galactic cosmic rays behind Martian rock and Martian regolith material have been made to compare their utilization as shields for advanced manned missions to Mars because the detailed chemical signature of Mars is distinctly different from Earth. The modified radiation fields behind the Martian rocks and the soil model were generated by solving the Boltzmann equation using a HZETRN system with the 1977 Solar Minimum environmental model. For the comparison of the attenuation characteristics, dose and dose equivalent are calculated for the five different subgroups of Martian rocks and the Martian regolith. The results indicate that changes in composition of subgroups of Martian rocks have negligible effects on the overall shielding properties because of the similarity of their constituents. The differences for dose and dose equivalent of these materials relative to those of Martian regolith are within 0.5 and 1 percent, respectively. Therefore, the analysis of Martian habitat construction options using in situ materials according to the Martian regolith model composition is reasonably accurate. Adding an epoxy to Martian regolith, which changes the major constituents of the material, enhances shielding properties because of the added hydrogenous constituents.

  15. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the second Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, is poised for launch after rollback of the Mobile Service Tower. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

    2003-07-07

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the second Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, is poised for launch after rollback of the Mobile Service Tower. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  16. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

    2003-07-07

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  17. The terrestrial hydro-climate of the Early Eocene: insights from the oxygen and clumped isotope composition of pedogenic siderite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dijk, J.; Fernandez, A.; Müller, I.; White, T. S.; Bernasconi, S. M.

    2016-12-01

    The Early Eocene (56 Ma) is the youngest period of Earth's history when CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere (600-1500 ppm) reached levels close to those predicted for future emission scenarios. Proxy-based climate reconstructions from this interval can therefore be used to gain insights on effects that anthropogenic emissions might have on the climate system. So far, Early Eocene climatic data is limited to the oceans, where proxies for temperature are abundant and relatively well understood. However, in order to get a complete picture of the Early Eocene climate, temperature and rainfall reconstructions on the continental paleo-surface are needed. Here, we present clumped and stable oxygen isotope measurements of siderite samples collected along a North-South transect in the North American Continent. These siderites formed in kaolinitic soils that developed globally under the extremely wet and warm conditions of the Early Eocene. They provide a record of both soil temperature and the δ18O composition of meteoric water, which can be used to unravel the regional paleo-precipitation rate. Both parameters were estimated using an elaborate in-house calibration constructed with synthetic siderite precipitated in the presence or absence of iron reducing bacteria. Measurements of δD on plant-derived N-alkanes present within the same soils align well with our δ18Owater data, confirming an Early Eocene meteoric water line similar to the present day. We provide an estimate of the meridional temperature gradient during the Early Eocene and offer constraints on the boundary conditions of the Earth's hydrologic cycle under high pCO2.

  18. Geochemistry of Martian Meteorites and the Petrologic Evolution of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2002-01-01

    Mafic igneous rocks serve as probes of the interiors of their parent bodies - the compositions of the magmas contain an imprint of the source region composition and mineralogy, the melting and crystallization processes, and mixing and assimilation. Although complicated by their multifarious history, it is possible to constrain the petrologic evolution of an igneous province through compositional study of the rocks. Incompatible trace elements provide one means of doing this. I will use incompatible element ratios of martian meteorites to constrain the early petrologic evolution of Mars. Incompatible elements are strongly partitioned into the melt phase during igneous processes. The degree of incompatibility will differ depending on the mineral phases in equilibrium with the melt. Most martian meteorites contain some cumulus grains, but nevertheless, incompatible element ratios of bulk meteorites will be close to those of their parent magmas. ALH 84001 is an exception, and it will not be discussed. The martian meteorites will be considered in two groups; a 1.3 Ga group composed of the clinopyroxenites and dunite, and a younger group composed of all others.

  19. NWA 7034 Martian Breccia: Disturbed Rb-Sr Systematics, Preliminary Is Approximately 4.4 Ga Sm-Nd Age

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Shih, C.-Y.; Peng, Zhan Xiong; Agee, C

    2013-01-01

    Agee et al. [1] reported a Rb-Sr age of 2.089 [plus or minus] 0.081 Ga for the unique Martian meteoritic breccia NWA 7034 making it the oldest Martian basalt, dating to the early Am-azonian epoch [2] of Martian geologic history. We have attempt-ed to confirm this exciting result. Our new Rb-Sr analyses show the Rb-Sr isotopic system to be disturbed, but preliminary Sm-Nd data suggest an even older age of approximately 4.4 Ga for at least some brec-cia components.

  20. Mars: The initial emplacement of ground ice in response to the thermal evolution of its early crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, Stephen M.

    1993-01-01

    Given the geomorphic evidence for the widespread occurrence of water and ice in the early martian crust, and the difficulty involved in accounting for this distribution given the present climate, it has been suggested that the planet's early climate was originally more Earth-like, permitting the global emplacement of crustal H2O by direct precipitation as snow or rain. The resemblance of the martian valley networks to terrestrial runoff channels, and their almost exclusive occurrence in the planet's ancient (approximately 4 billion year old) heavily cratered terrain, is often cited as evidence of just such a period. An alternative school of thought suggests that the early climate did not differ substantially from that of today. Advocates of this view find no compelling reason to invoke a warmer, wetter period to explain the origin of the valley networks. Rather, they cite evidence that the primary mechanism of valley formation was ground water sapping, a process that does not require that surface water exist in equilibrium with the atmosphere. However, while sapping may successfully explain the origin of the small valleys, it fails to address how the crust was initially charged with ice as the climate evolved towards its present state. Therefore, given the uncertainty regarding the environmental conditions that prevailed on early Mars, the initial emplacement of ground ice is considered from two perspectives: (1) that the early climate started warm and wet, but gradually cooled with time; and (2) that it never differed substantially from that of today.

  1. Microwave Palaeointensity Experiments On Terrestrial and Martian Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, J.; Hill, M.; Gratton, M.

    The microwave palaeointensity technique was developed in Liverpool University (Walton et al 1996) and has successfully been applied to archaeological ceramics and recent lavas (Shaw et al 1996, 1999.; Hill et al 1999,2000). These published results show that microwave analysis provides accurate palaeointensity determinations com- bined with a very high success rate. Most recently the technique has been successfully applied to Martian material (Shaw et al, 2001) to look for the existence of an internal Martian dynamo early in Martian history. New experiments have been carried out us- ing microwaves to demagnetise synthetic muti-component TRM's and new palaeoin- tensity experiments providing a comparison between microwave analysis of laboratory TRM's and conventional thermal Thellier analysis of microwave generated mTRM's. These experiments demonstrate the equivalence of microwave and thermally gener- ated TRM's. D. Walton, S Snape, T.C. Rolph, J. Shaw and J.A. Share, Application of ferromagnetic resonance heating to palaeointensity determinations.1996, Phys Earth Planet Int,94, 183-186. J. Shaw, D. Walton, S Yang, T.C.Rolph, and J.A. Share. Microwave Archaeointensities from Peruvian Ceramics. 1996, Geophys. J. Int,124,241-244 J. Shaw, S. Yang, T. C. Rolph, and F. Y. Sun. A comparison of archaeointensity results from Chinese ceramics using Microwave and conventional ThellierSs and ShawSs methods.,1999, G J Int.136, 714-718 M. Hill, and J. Shaw, 1999, Palaeointensity results for Historic Lavas from Mt. Etna using microwave demagnetisation/remagnetisation in a modified Thellier type exper- iment. G. J. Int, 139, 583-590 M. J. Hill, and J. Shaw, 2000. Magnetic field intensity study of the 1960 Kilauea lava flow, Hawaii, using the microwave palaeointensity technique, Geophys. J. Int., 142, 487-504. J. Shaw, M. Hill, and S. J. Openshaw, 2001, Investigating the ancient Martian magnetic field using microwaves, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 190 (2001) 103-109

  2. Overland flow erosion inferred from Martian channel network geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seybold, Hansjörg; Kirchner, James

    2016-04-01

    The controversy about the origin of Mars' channel networks is almost as old as their discovery 150 years ago. Over the last few decades, new Mars probes have revealed more detailed structures in Martian The controversy about the origin of Mars' channel networks is almost as old as their discovery 150 years ago. Over the last few decades, new Mars probes have revealed more detailed structures in Martian drainage networks, and new studies suggest that Mars once had large volumes of surface water. But how this water flowed, and how it could have carved the channels, remains unclear. Simple scaling arguments show that networks formed by similar mechanisms should have similar branching angles on Earth and Mars, suggesting that Earth analogues can be informative here. A recent analysis of high-resolution data for the continental United States shows that climate leaves a characteristic imprint in the branching geometry of stream networks. Networks growing in humid regions have an average branching angle of α = 2π/5 = 72° [1], which is characteristic of network growth by groundwater sapping [2]. Networks in arid regions, where overland flow erosion is more dominant, show much smaller branching angles. Here we show that the channel networks on Mars have branching angles that resemble those created by surficial flows on Earth. This result implies that the growth of Martian channel networks was dominated by near-surface flow, and suggests that deeper infiltration was inhibited, potentially by permafrost or by impermeable weathered soils. [1] Climate's Watermark in the Geometry of River Networks, Seybold et al.; under review [2] Ramification of stream networks, Devauchelle et al.; PNAS (2012)

  3. Climatic consequences of very high CO2 levels in Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    Earth has approximately 60 bars of carbon dioxide tied up in carbonate rocks, or roughly 2/3 the amount of CO2 of Venus' atmosphere. Two different lines of evidence, one based on thermodynamics and the other on geochemical cycles, indicate that a substantial fraction of this CO2 may have resulted in the atmosphere during the first few hundred million years of the Earth's history. A natural question which arises concerning this hypothesis is whether this would have resulted in a runaway greenhouse affect. One-dimensional radiative/convective model calculations show that the surface temperature of a hypothetical primitive atmosphere containing 20 bars of CO2 would have been less than 100C and no runaway greenhouse should have occurred. The climatic stability of the early atmosphere is a consequence of three factors: (1) reduced solar luminosity at that time; (2) an increase in planetary albedo caused by Rayleigh scattering by CO2; and (3) the stabilizing effects of moist convection. The latter two factors are sufficient to prevent a CO2-induced runaway greenhouse on the present Earth and for CO2 levels up to 100 bars. It is determined whether a runaway greenhouse could have occurred during the latter stages of the accretion process and, if so, whether it would have collapsed once the influx of material slowed down.

  4. Doors are closing on early development in corals facing climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Fontana, Silvia; Mezaki, Takuma; González, Laura Del Caño; Chen, Chaolun Allen

    2014-07-01

    Marine invertebrates are particularly vulnerable to climatic anomalies in early life history stages because of the time spent in the water column. Studies have focused on the effect of seawater temperature on fertilization, development, and larval stages in corals; however, none of them show comparative results along an environmental gradient. In this study, we show that temperatures in the range of 15-33°C have strong effects on fertilization rates and embryonic stages of two coral species, Acropora muricata in the subtropical environment and Acropora hyacinthus in subtropical and temperate environments. Deformations after the first cleavage stages were observed at low (15°C) and high (33°C) temperatures. Development was delayed by 6-7 h in the slightly non-optimal temperature of 20°C. We found significant differences in fertilization rates and responses of embryos from different latitudes, with temperate corals being more sensitive to extremely hot temperatures and vice versa. We hypothesize that the coral development is restricted to a narrow temperature range and deviation outside this window could inhibit a species' continuance and ecological success. Thus, it would have significant negative effects on adult populations and communities, playing a role in future of coral reef survival.

  5. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.

    2018-01-01

    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  6. Early kit mortality and growth in farmed mink are affected by litter size rather than nest climate.

    PubMed

    Schou, T M; Malmkvist, J

    2017-09-01

    We investigated the effects of nest box climate on early mink kit mortality and growth. We hypothesised that litters in warm nest boxes experience less hypothermia-induced mortality and higher growth rates during the 1st week of life. This study included data from 749, 1-year-old breeding dams with access to nesting materials. Kits were weighed on days 1 and 7, dead kits were collected daily from birth until day 7 after birth, and nest climate was measured continuously from days 1 to 6. We tested the influences of the following daily temperature (T) and humidity (H) parameters on the number of live-born kit deaths and kit growth: T mean, T min, T max, T var (fluctuation) and H mean. The nest microclimate experienced by the kits was buffered against the ambient climate, with higher temperatures and reduced climate fluctuation. Most (77.0%) live-born kit deaths in the 1st week occurred on days 0 and 1. Seven of 15 climate parameters on days 1 to 3 had significant effects on live-born kit mortality. However, conflicting effects among days, marginal effects and late effects indicated that climate was not the primary cause of kit mortality. Five of 30 climate parameters had significant effects on kit growth. Few and conflicting effects indicated that the climate effect on growth was negligible. One exception was that large nest temperature fluctuations on day 1 were associated with reduced deaths of live-born kit (P<0.001) and increased kit growth (P=0.003). Litter size affected kit vitality; larger total litter size at birth was associated with greater risks of kit death (P<0.001) and reduced growth (P<0.001). The number of living kits in litters had the opposite effect, as kits in large liveborn litters had a reduced risk of death (P<0.001) and those with large mean litter size on days 1 to 7 had increased growth (P=0.026). Nest box temperature had little effect on early kit survival and growth, which could be due to dams' additional maternal behaviour. Therefore, we

  7. Saltation under Martian gravity and its influence on the global dust distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musiolik, Grzegorz; Kruss, Maximilian; Demirci, Tunahan; Schrinski, Björn; Teiser, Jens; Daerden, Frank; Smith, Michael D.; Neary, Lori; Wurm, Gerhard

    2018-05-01

    Dust and sand motion are a common sight on Mars. Understanding the interaction of atmosphere and Martian soil is fundamental to describe the planet's weather, climate and surface morphology. We set up a wind tunnel to study the lift of a mixture between very fine sand and dust in a Mars simulant soil. The experiments were carried out under Martian gravity in a parabolic flight. The reduced gravity was provided by a centrifuge under external microgravity. The onset of saltation was measured for a fluid threshold shear velocity of 0.82 ± 0.04 m/s. This is considerably lower than found under Earth gravity. In addition to a reduction in weight, this low threshold can be attributed to gravity dependent cohesive forces within the sand bed, which drop by 2/3 under Martian gravity. The new threshold for saltation leads to a simulation of the annual dust cycle with a Mars GCM that is in agreement with observations.

  8. Assessing Climate Change in Early Warm Season and Impacts on Wildfire Potential in the Southwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafatos, M.; Kim, S. H.; Kim, J.; Nghiem, S. V.; Fujioka, F.; Myoung, B.

    2016-12-01

    Wildfires are an important concern in the Southwestern United States (SWUS) where the prevalent semi-arid to arid climate, vegetation types and hot and dry warm seasons challenge strategic fire management. Although they are part of the natural cycle related to the region's climate, significant growth of urban areas and expansion of the wildland-urban interface, have made wildfires a serious high-risk hazard. Previous studies also showed that the SWUS region is prone to frequent droughts due to large variations in wet season rainfall and has suffered from a number of severe wildfires in the recent decades. Despite the increasing trend in large wildfires, future wildfire risk assessment studies at regional scales for proactive adaptations are lacking. Our previous study revealed strong correlations between the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and temperatures during March-June in SWUS. The abnormally warm and dry conditions in an NAO-positive spring, combined with reduced winter precipitation, can cause an early start of a fire season and extend it for several seasons, from late spring to fall. A strong interannual variation of the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) during the early warm season was also found in the 35 year period 1979 - 2013 of the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset. Thus, it is crucial to investigate the climate change impact that early warm season temperatures have on future wildfire danger potential. Our study reported here examines fine-resolution fire-weather variables for 2041-2070 projected in the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP). The high-resolution climate data were obtained from multiple regional climate models (RCM) driven by multiple climate scenarios projected from multiple global climate models (GCMs) in conjunction with multiple greenhouse gas concentration pathways. The local wildfire potential in future climate is investigated using both the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) and the

  9. A model of Martian surface chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oyama, V. I.; Berdahl, B. J.

    1979-01-01

    Alkaline earth and alkali metal superoxides and peroxides, gamma-Fe2O3 and carbon suboxide polymer, are proposed to be constituents of the Martian surface material. These reactive substances explain the water modified reactions and thermal behaviors of the Martian samples demonstrated by all of the Viking Biology Experiments. It is also proposed that the syntheses of these substances result mainly from electrical discharges between wind-mobilized particles at Martian pressures; plasmas are initiated and maintained by these discharges. Active species in the plasma either combine to form or react with inorganic surfaces to create the reactive constituents.

  10. Magnetic and electrical properties of Martian particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olhoeft, G. R.

    1991-01-01

    The only determinations of the magnetic properties of Martian materials come from experiments on the two Viking Landers. The results suggest Martian soil containing 1 to 10 percent of a highly magnetic phase. Though the magnetic phase mineral was not conclusively identified, the predominate interpretation is that the magnetic phase is probably maghemite. The electrical properties of the surface of Mars were only measured remotely by observations with Earth based radar, microwave radiometry, and inference from radio-occultation of Mars orbiting spacecraft. No direct measurements of electrical properties on Martian materials have been performed.

  11. Geophysics: Timing of the Martian dynamo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, G.; Russell, C. T.; Moore, W. B.

    2000-12-01

    On Mars, the strong magnetization in the highland crust of the southern hemisphere and the absence of magnetic anomalies at the Hellas and Argyre impact basins have been taken as signs that the core dynamo that once drove the planet's magnetic field turned off more than 4 billion years (Gyr) ago. Here, we argue instead that the Martian dynamo turned on less than 4 Gyr ago and turned off at an unknown time since then. High spatial resolution magnetometry in both Martian hemispheres is needed to reveal the true history of the Martian dynamo.

  12. Degradation studies of Martian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, N. G.

    1991-01-01

    The amount of obliteration suffered by Martian impact craters is quantified by comparing measurable attributes of the current crater shape to those values expected for a fresh crater of identical size. Crater diameters are measured from profiles obtained using photoclinometry across the structure. The relationship between the diameter of a fresh crater and a crater depth, floor width, rim height, central peak height, etc. was determined by empirical studies performed on fresh Martian impact craters. We utilized the changes in crater depth and rim height to judge the degree of obliteration suffered by Martian impact craters.

  13. Morning Clouds Atop Martian Mountain

    2015-06-19

    Seen shortly after local Martian sunrise, clouds gather in the summit pit, or caldera, of Pavonis Mons, a giant volcano on Mars, in this image from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The clouds are mostly made of ice crystals. They appear blue in the image because the cloud particles scatter blue light more strongly than other colors. Pavonis Mons stands about nine miles (14 kilometers) high, and the caldera spans about 29 miles (47 kilometers) wide. This image was made by THEMIS through three of its visual-light filters plus a near-infrared filter, and it is approximately true in color. THEMIS and other instruments on Mars Odyssey have been studying Mars from orbit since 2001. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19675

  14. Construction of Martian Interior Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zharkov, V. N.; Gudkova, T. V.

    2005-09-01

    We present the results of extensive numerical modeling of the Martian interior. Yoder et al. in 2003 reported a mean moment of inertia of Mars that was somewhat smaller than the previously used value and the Love number k 2 obtained from observations of solar tides on Mars. These values of k 2 and the mean moment of inertia impose a strong new constraint on the model of the planet. The models of the Martian interior are elastic, while k 2 contains both elastic and inelastic components. We thoroughly examined the problem of partitioning the Love number k 2 into elastic and inelastic components. The information necessary to construct models of the planet (observation data, choice of a chemical model, and the cosmogonic aspect of the problem) are discussed in the introduction. The model of the planet comprises four submodels—a model of the outer porous layer, a model of the consolidated crust, a model of the silicate mantle, and a core model. We estimated the possible content of hydrogen in the core of Mars. The following parameters were varied while constructing the models: the ferric number of the mantle (Fe#) and the sulfur and hydrogen content in the core. We used experimental data concerning the pressure and temperature dependence of elastic properties of minerals and the information about the behavior of Fe(γ-Fe ), FeS, FeH, and their mixtures at high P and T. The model density, pressure, temperature, and compressional and shear velocities are given as functions of the planetary radius. The trial model M13 has the following parameters: Fe#=0.20; 14 wt % of sulfur in the core; 50 mol % of hydrogen in the core; the core mass is 20.9 wt %; the core radius is 1699 km; the pressure at the mantle-core boundary is 20.4 GPa; the crust thickness is 50 km; Fe is 25.6 wt %; the Fe/Si weight ratio is 1.58, and there is no perovskite layer. The model gives a radius of the Martian core within 1600 1820 km while ≥30 mol % of hydrogen is incorporated into the core. When

  15. Geophysics of Martian Periglacial Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellon, Michael T.

    2004-01-01

    Through the examination of small-scale geologic features potentially related to water and ice in the martian subsurface (specifically small-scale polygonal ground and young gully-like features), determine the state, distribution and recent history of subsurface water and ice on Mars. To refine existing models and develop new models of near-surface water and ice, and develop new insights about the nature of water on Mars as manifested by these geologic features. Through an improved understanding of potentially water-related geologic features, utilize these features in addressing questions about where to best search for present day water and what space craft may encounter that might facilitate or inhibit the search for water.

  16. Widespread Surface Weathering on Early Mars: possible implication on the Past Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loizeau, Damien; Carter, John; Mangold, Nicolas; Poulet, François; Rossi, Angelo P.; Allemand, Pascal; Lozac'h, Loïc; Quantin, Cathy; Bibring, Jean-Pierre

    2015-04-01

    The recent discovery of widespread hydrous clays on Mars with OMEGA/Mars Express and CRISM/MRO indicates that diverse and widespread aqueous environments existed on Mars, from the surface to kilometric depths [1, 2]. The study of the past habitability and past climates of the planet requires assessing the importance of sustained surface water vs. subsurface water in its aqueous history. Vertical sequences of Al-rich clays on top of Fe/Mg-rich clays in the top tens of meters of the surface are identified on Mars [3-6] (see figure 1) and interpreted as possible weathering profiles, similar to cases of pedogenesis on Earth (e.g. [7, 8]). A global study of these clay sequences has recently been published by Carter et al. [9]. This following work presents detailed geological analysis, performed for each identified candidate, in order to constrain their age and origin. With the increasing availability of CTX and HiRISE stereoimages, we investigate the thickness of the altered sequences, the age of the altered units and the different geological contexts to further understand the weathering process(es), and their possible implication on the past climate. The types of geologic settings where the interpreted weathering profiles are observed are much varied: from basin floor to plateaus, in apparent massive rocks to finely layered rocks. Besides, the number and variety of sequences is/was likely larger. However, in term of chronology, the alteration seems to have stopped in a relatively limited period of time for the studied cases, between 3.8 and 3.6 Ga. This would point to a formation due to a global process that enabled liquid water at the surface and pedogenesis in various regions, on various terrains, from late Noachian to early Hesperian. This global process would imply regular, widely distributed ice or precipitations in large regions of Mars at that time. If weathering occurred before that time, during the early or middle Noachian, the sequences may have been erased

  17. The Influence of the Green River Lake System on the Local Climate During the Early Eocene Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elguindi, N.; Thrasher, B.; Sloan, L. C.

    2006-12-01

    Several modeling efforts have attempted to reproduce the climate of the early Eocene North America. However when compared to proxy data, General Circulation Models (GCMs) tend to produce a large-scale cold-bias. Although higher resolution Regional Climate Models (RCMs) that are able to resolve many of the sub-GCM scale forcings improve this cold bias, RCMs are still unable to reproduce the warm climate of the Eocene. From geologic data, we know that the greater Green River and the Uinta basins were intermontane basins with a large lake system during portions of the Eocene. We speculate that the lack of presence of these lakes in previous modeling studies may explain part of the persistent cold-bias of GCMs and RCMs. In this study, we utilize a regional climate model coupled with a 1D-lake model in an attempt to reduce the uncertainties and biases associated with climate simulations over Eocene western North American. Specifically, we include the Green River Lake system in our RCM simulation and compare climates with and without lakes to proxy data.

  18. Aerosol in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Morozhenko, O. V.

    2000-09-01

    Our examination of the methods and results of available estimates of the optical characteristics of atmospheric aerosols allows us to draw the following conclusions. 1. When the morning and evening hazes are ignored in the analyses of the solar brightness weakening data obtained from the Martian surface, the solar intensity at the upper boundary of the atmosphere as well as its optical thickness may be significantly overestimated. For example, at the Viking-1 lander site the intensity may be overestimated by a factor of 1.7 and τ0 by a factor of 0.35. When these data are used in the analysies of the azimuthal dependence of the Martian sky brightness and when the presence of hazes is ignored, aerosol size and imaginary part of the refractive index are also overestimated. At wavelenghts shorter than 500 nm the spectral values of the imaginary part of the refractive index ni, show the best agreement with those obtained in laboratory for basalts, but for longer wavelengths they are much lower. 3. At the 1971 dust storm maximum the mean geometrical radius r0 of the particles proved to be in the range 3.5-5.7 μm with the dispersion σ2 = 0.2. 4. In October-November τ0 >15, whereas for the "clear" atmosphere τ0 < 0.02 at λ = 500 nm. 5. The turbulent diffusion coefficient at the mean level of the surface layer proved to be not lower than 3\\cdot107 cm2/s in October-November 1971.

  19. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. Habitable periglacial landscapes in martian mid-latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, M.; Wagner, D.; Hauber, E.; de Vera, J.-P.; Schirrmeister, L.

    2012-05-01

    Subsurface permafrost environments on Mars are considered to be zones where extant life could have survived. For the identification of possible habitats it is important to understand periglacial landscape evolution and related subsurface and environmental conditions. Many landforms that are interpreted to be related to ground ice are located in the martian mid-latitudinal belts. This paper summarizes the insights gained from studies of terrestrial analogs to permafrost landforms on Mars. The potential habitability of martian mid-latitude periglacial landscapes is exemplarily deduced for one such landscape, that of Utopia Planitia, by a review and discussion of environmental conditions influencing periglacial landscape evolution. Based on recent calculations of the astronomical forcing of climate changes, specific climate periods are identified within the last 10 Ma when thaw processes and liquid water were probably important for the development of permafrost geomorphology. No periods could be identified within the last 4 Ma which met the suggested threshold criteria for liquid water and habitable conditions. Implications of past and present environmental conditions such as temperature variations, ground-ice conditions, and liquid water activity are discussed with respect to the potential survival of highly-specialized microorganisms known from terrestrial permafrost. We conclude that possible habitable subsurface niches might have been developed in close relation to specific permafrost landform morphology on Mars. These would have probably been dominated by lithoautotrophic microorganisms (i.e. methanogenic archaea).

  1. Temperature Gradient on Martian Moon Phobos

    2017-10-04

    This image combines two products from the first pointing at the Martian moon Phobos by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, on Sept. 29, 2017. Surface-temperature information from observation in thermal-infrared wavelengths is overlaid on a more detailed image from a visible-light observation. The left edge of the small moon was in darkness, and the right edge in morning sunlight. Phobos has an oblong shape with average diameter of about 14 miles (22 kilometers). The distance to Phobos from Odyssey during the observation was about 3,424 miles (5,511 kilometers). Researchers will analyze the surface-temperature information from this observation and possible future THEMIS observations to learn how quickly the surface warms after sunup or cools after sundown. That could provide information about surface materials, because larger rocks heat or cool more slowly than smaller particles do. The thermal information in this image is from merging observations made in four thermal-infrared wavelength bands, centered from 11.04 microns to 14.88 microns. Researchers have been using THEMIS to examine Mars since early 2002, but the maneuver turning the orbiter around to point the camera at Phobos was developed only recently. Odyssey orbits Mars at an altitude of about 250 miles (400 kilometers), much closer to the planet than to Phobos, which orbits about 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) above the surface of Mars. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22057

  2. Formation of Valley Networks in a Cold and Icy Early Mars Climate: Predictions for Erosion Rates and Channel Morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassanelli, J.

    2017-12-01

    Mars is host to a diverse array of valley networks, systems of linear-to-sinuous depressions which are widely distributed across the surface and which exhibit branching patterns similar to the dendritic drainage patterns of terrestrial fluvial systems. Characteristics of the valley networks are indicative of an origin by fluvial activity, providing among the most compelling evidence for the past presence of flowing liquid water on the surface of Mars. Stratigraphic and crater age dating techniques suggest that the formation of the valley networks occurred predominantly during the early geologic history of Mars ( 3.7 Ga). However, whether the valley networks formed predominantly by rainfall in a relatively warm and wet early Mars climate, or by snowmelt and episodic rainfall in an ambient cold and icy climate, remains disputed. Understanding the formative environment of the valley networks will help distinguish between these warm and cold end-member early Mars climate models. Here we test a conceptual model for channel incision and evolution under cold and icy conditions with a substrate characterized by the presence of an ice-free dry active layer and subjacent ice-cemented regolith, similar to that found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. We implement numerical thermal models, quantitative erosion and transport estimates, and morphometric analyses in order to outline predictions for (1) the precise nature and structure of the substrate, (2) fluvial erosion/incision rates, and (3) channel morphology. Model predictions are compared against morphologic and morphometric observational data to evaluate consistency with the assumed cold climate scenario. In the cold climate scenario, the substrate is predicted to be characterized by a kilometers-thick globally-continuous cryosphere below a 50-100 meter thick desiccated ice-free zone. Initial results suggest that, with the predicted substrate structure, fluvial channel erosion and morphology in a cold early Mars

  3. Martian Features Formed When Material Moves Downslope

    2013-06-11

    As on the Earth, many processes can move material down a Martian slope. This graphic compares seven different types of features observed on Mars that appear to result from material flowing or sliding or rolling down slopes.

  4. Searching for Biosignatures in Martian Sedimentary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, A. H.; McDonald, A.; Cockell, C. S.

    2018-04-01

    We present experiments designed to simulate an inhabited martian lacustrine system analogous to Gale Crater. We describe the microbes found to thrive in this simulated environment and identify issues detecting biomarkers in this context.

  5. Martian Rock Harrison in Color, Showing Crystals

    2014-01-29

    This view of a Martian rock target called /Harrison merges images from two cameras onboard NASA Curiosity Mars rover to provide both color and microscopic detail. The elongated crystals are likely feldspars, and the matrix is pyroxene-dominated.

  6. Magnetic Fluctuations in the Martian Ionosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espley, Jared

    2010-01-01

    The Martian ionosphere is influenced by both the solar wind and the regional magnetic fields present in the Martian crust. Both influences ought to cause time variable changes in the magnetic fields present in the ionosphere. I report observations of these magnetic field fluctuations in the Martian ionosphere. I use data from the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer instrument. By using data from the aerobraking low altitude passes (approx. 200 km) I find that there are numerous fluctuations both near and far from the strong crustal sources. Using data from the 400 km altitude mapping phase (which is near the topside of the primary ionosphere), I look at the comparative strength of the fluctuations relative to the solar wind and temporal variations. I discuss which wave modes and instabilities could be contributing to these fluctuations. I also discuss the implications of these fluctuations for understanding energy transfer in the Martian system and the effects on atmospheric escape.

  7. Telltale Instrument Waving in the Martian Wind

    2008-10-16

    This frame from a series of images shows NASA Phoenix Mars Lander telltale instrument waving in the Martian wind. Documenting the telltale movement helps mission scientists and engineers determine what the wind is like on Mars.

  8. Ephemeral Dark Spots Associated with Martian Gullies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bridges, N. T.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Titus, T. N.; Kieffer, H. H.

    2001-01-01

    Seasonal spots confined to the channels of the recently-discovered martian gullies are described and explanations offered for their origin. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. High-resolution pCO2 reconstruction across the early Cenozoic greenhouse and late Cenozoic icehouse climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Y.; Schubert, B.

    2016-12-01

    Historical data and ice core records provide the best-constrained data on global temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2), which can be used to calculate short-term estimates of climate sensitivity. These data, however, may not be representative of longer timescales and represent a period of Earth history when pCO2 and global temperatures were relatively low; recent work suggests that climate sensitivity may change under different climate states and timescales. Here we present a new high-resolution pCO2 reconstruction for the early (65 to 50 Ma) and late (30 to 0 Ma) Cenozoic using a proxy based on changes in carbon isotope fractionation in C3 land plants. This work uses widely available carbon isotope data from various terrestrial organic substrates to produce a nearly continuous record of pCO2. This record identifies both large-scale trends (e.g., the early Cenozoic is characterized by higher pCO2 than the late Cenozoic), as well as transient, highly elevated pCO2 during the early Eocene hyperthermals. We discuss the uncertainties associated with this new pCO2 reconstruction, which include the effects of precipitation, plant community shifts, and source effects on the δ13C record. Additionally, uncertainty associated with the correlation in time between δ13C estimates of atmospheric CO2 and the terrestrial δ13C of organic matter is included in the error propagation. Comparison of the new pCO2 record to existing global average temperature records based on the δ18O value of well-preserved marine foraminifera can yield new insight into Earth system climate sensitivity across a wide range of climate states and timescales.

  10. Diverse Early Paleocene Fossil Floras from the San Juan Basin (New Mexico, USA) Linked to Warm and Wet Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flynn, A. G.; Peppe, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Early Paleocene floras from the Northern Great Plains of North America are typically far less diverse than floras from the latest Cretaceous, and are commonly dominated by long-ranging, cosmopolitan taxa. Additionally, there is pattern of decreasing species richness from the early to the middle Paleocene concurrent with a decrease in mean annual temperature (MAT). However, a diverse rainforest flora from the Denver Basin, Colorado 1.5 Myr after the K-Pg boundary run contrary to these trends. Whether this flora represents an isolated response to the extinction and climate change or regional differences between floras in the Northern Great Plains and southern North America is unclear. The majority of early Paleocene floras from North America are derived from the Northern Great Plains inhibiting regional comparisons of floral diversity, paleoclimate, and floral response to climate change or north-gradients in diversity and species richness. The San Juan Basin (SJB), located in northwest New Mexico, preserves a continuous sequence of early Paleocene terrestrial deposits making it an ideal area to study early Paleocene fossil floras from southern North America. Here we present an assessment of floral diversity and terrestrial paleoclimate reconstruction using leaf physiognomy during the first 2.6 Myrs of the early Paleocene from the SJB. Fossil plants were collected from the early Paleocene Ojo Alamo Sandstone and lower Nacimiento Formation corresponding to magnetic polarity chrons 29r - 28n ( 66.0 - 63.5 Mya). The SJB flora is more diverse than contemporaneous floras from the Northern Great Plains. The majority of SJB taxa are endemic, while taxa common in the Northern Great Plains are absent. Paleoclimate estimates using leaf physiognomy indicate high MAT ( 22-28 oC) and relatively high mean annual precipitation ( 1400-2000 mm/yr). These paleoclimate estimates are significantly warmer and wetter than previously studied localities in the Northern Great Plains. A

  11. Evidence for a Heterogeneous Distribution of Water in the Martian Interior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCubbin, Francis; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Srinvasan, Poorna; Santos, Alison R.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Filiberto, Justin; Steele, Andrew; Shearer, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and distribution of H2O within the terrestrial planets, as well as its timing of delivery, is a topic of vital importance for understanding the chemical and physical evolution of planets and their potential for hosting habitable environments. Analysis of planetary materials from Mars, the Moon, and the eucrite parent body (i.e., asteroid 4Vesta) have confirmed the presence of H2O within their interiors. Moreover, H and N isotopic data from these planetary materials suggests H2O was delivered to the inner solar system very early from a common source, similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrites. Despite the ubiquity of H2O in the inner Solar System, the only destination with any prospects for past or present habitable environments at this time, outside of the Earth, is Mars. Although the presence of H2O within the martian interior has been confirmed, very little is known regarding its abundance and distribution within the martian interior and how the martian water inventory has changed over time. By combining new analyses of martian apatites within a large number of martian meteorite types with previously published volatile data and recently determined mineral-melt partition coefficients for apatite, we report new insights into the abundance and distribution of volatiles in the martian crust and mantle. Using the subset of samples that did not exhibit crustal contamination, we determined that the enriched shergottite mantle source has 36-73 ppm H2O and the depleted shergottite mantle source has 14-23 ppm H2O. This result is consistent with other observed geochemical differences between enriched and depleted shergottites and supports the idea that there are at least two geochemically distinct reservoirs in the martian mantle. We also estimated the H2O content of the martian crust using the revised mantle H2O abundances and known crust-mantle distributions of incompatible lithophile elements. We determined that the bulk martian crust has

  12. Identifying Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    1999-01-01

    Within the next decade, robotic missions are going to Mars with the search for evidence for extant and extinct life as at least one of the mission objectives. Moreover, the first Martian samples will be returned to Earth in 2008. It is therefore imperative that we can be certain that we can identify life in Martian rocks. In this paper we will not be discussing extant life but will concentrate on fossil life.

  13. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  14. Groundbased monitoring of Martian atmospheric opacity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herkenhoff, K. E.; Martin, L. J.

    1993-01-01

    The amount of dust in the Martian atmosphere is variable in both space and time. The presence of aerosols in the Mars atmosphere complicates quantitative analysis of Martian surface properties. We have developed a model for Mars surface and atmospheric scattering based on equations in Hillier et al (1991). This formulation was chosen for its speed of computation and because it accounts for the spherical geometry of atmospheric scattering at high mission angles, i.e., near the planetary limb.

  15. The bias and signal attenuation present in conventional pollen-based climate reconstructions as assessed by early climate data from Minnesota, USA.

    PubMed

    St Jacques, Jeannine-Marie; Cumming, Brian F; Sauchyn, David J; Smol, John P

    2015-01-01

    The inference of past temperatures from a sedimentary pollen record depends upon the stationarity of the pollen-climate relationship. However, humans have altered vegetation independent of changes to climate, and consequently modern pollen deposition is a product of landscape disturbance and climate, which is different from the dominance of climate-derived processes in the past. This problem could cause serious signal distortion in pollen-based reconstructions. In the north-central United States, direct human impacts have strongly altered the modern vegetation and hence the pollen rain since Euro-American settlement in the mid-19th century. Using instrumental temperature data from the early 1800 s from Fort Snelling (Minnesota), we assessed the signal distortion and bias introduced by using the conventional method of inferring temperature from pollen assemblages in comparison to a calibration set from pre-settlement pollen assemblages and the earliest instrumental climate data. The early post-settlement calibration set provides more accurate reconstructions of the 19th century instrumental record, with less bias, than the modern set does. When both modern and pre-industrial calibration sets are used to reconstruct past temperatures since AD 1116 from pollen counts from a varve-dated record from Lake Mina, Minnesota, the conventional inference method produces significant low-frequency (centennial-scale) signal attenuation and positive bias of 0.8-1.7 °C, resulting in an overestimation of Little Ice Age temperature and likely an underestimation of the extent and rate of anthropogenic warming in this region. However, high-frequency (annual-scale) signal attenuation exists with both methods. Hence, we conclude that any past pollen spectra from before Euro-American settlement in this region should be interpreted using a pre-Euro-American settlement pollen set, paired to the earliest instrumental climate records. It remains to be explored how widespread this problem is

  16. Moessbauer Spectroscopy of Martian and Sverrefjell Carbonates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agresti, David G.; Morris, Richard V.

    2011-01-01

    Mars, in its putative "warmer, wetter: early history, could have had a CO2 atmosphere much denser than its current value of <10 mbar. The question of where all this early CO2 has gone has long been debated. Now, several instruments on Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit, including its Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II, have identified Mg-Fe carbonate in rock outcrops at Comanche Spur in the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater. With this finding, carbonate cements in volcanic breccia collected on Sverrefjell Volcano on Spitzbergen Island in the Svalbard Archipelago (Norway) during the AMASE project are mineralogical and possible process analogues of the newly discovered martian carbonate. We report further analyses of Mossbauer spectra from Comanche Spur and discuss their relationship to Mossbauer data acquired on Sverrefjell carbonates. The spectra were velocity calibrated with MERView and fit using MERFit. Instead of the "average temperature" Comanche spectrum (data from all temperature windows summed), we refit the Comanche data for QS within each temperature window, modeling as doublets for Fe2+(carbonate), Fe2+(olivine), and Fe3+(npOx). The temperature dependences of QS for the Comanche carbonate and for a low-Ca carbonate from Chocolate Pots in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are shown; they are the same within error. For Comanche carbonate summed over 210-270 K, (CS, QS) = (1.23, 1.95) mm/s. The value of QS for Sverrefjell carbonate at 295 K, (CS, QS) = (1.25, 1.87) mm/s, is also plotted, and the plot shows that the QS for the Sverrefjell carbonate agrees within error with the Comanche data extrapolated to 295 K. This agreement is additional evidence that the Sverrefjell carbonates are Mossbauer analogues for the Comanche carbonates, and that both carbonates might have precipitated from solutions that became carbonate rich by passing through buried carbonate deposits.

  17. On the weathering of Martian igneous rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreibus, G.; Waenke, H.

    1992-01-01

    Besides the young crystallization age, one of the first arguments for the martian origin of shergottite, nakhlite, and chassignite (SNC) meteorites came from the chemical similarity of the meteorite Shergotty and the martian soil as measured by Viking XRF analyses. In the meantime, the discovery of trapped rare gas and nitrogen components with element and isotope ratios closely matching the highly characteristic ratios of the Mars atmosphere in the shock glasses of shergottite EETA79001 was further striking evidence that the SNC's are martian surface rocks. The martian soil composition as derived from the Viking mission, with its extremely high S and Cl concentrations, was interpreted as weathering products of mafic igneous rocks. The low SiO2 content and the low abundance of K and other trace elements in the martian soils point to a mafic crust with a considerably smaller degree of fractionation compared to the terrestrial crust. However, the chemical evolution of the martian regolith and soil in respect to surface reaction with the planetary atmosphere or hydrosphere is poorly understood. A critical point in this respect is that the geochemical evidence as derived from the SNC meteorites suggests that Mars is a very dry planet that should have lost almost all its initially large water inventory during its accretion.

  18. The indication of Martian gully formation processes by slope-area analysis

    Conway, S.J.; Balme, M.R.; Murray, J.B.; Towner, M.C.; Okubo, C.H.; Grindrod, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    The formation process of recent gullies on Mars is currently under debate. This study aims to discriminate between the proposed formation processes - pure water flow, debris flow and dry mass wasting - through the application of geomorphological indices commonly used in terrestrial geomorphology. High-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) of Earth and Mars were used to evaluate the drainage characteristics of small slope sections. Data from Earth were used to validate the hillslope, debris-flow and alluvial process domains previously found for large fluvial catchments on Earth, and these domains were applied to gullied and ungullied slopes on Mars. In accordance with other studies, our results indicate that debris flow is one of the main processes forming the Martian gullies that were being examined. The source of the water is predominantly distributed surface melting, not an underground aquifer. Evidence is also presented indicating that other processes may have shaped Martian crater slopes, such as ice-assisted creep and solifluction, in agreement with the proposed recent Martian glacial and periglacial climate. Our results suggest that, within impact craters, different processes are acting on differently oriented slopes, but further work is needed to investigate the potential link between these observations and changes in Martian climate. ?? The Geological Society of London 2011.

  19. Martian Cryogenic Carbonate Formation: Stable Isotope Variations Observed in Laboratory Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.; Sun, Tao; Fu, Qi; Romanek, Christopher S.; Gibson, Everett K. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The history of water on Mars is tied to the formation of carbonates through atmospheric CO2 and its control of the climate history of the planet. Carbonate mineral formation under modern martian atmospheric conditions could be a critical factor in controlling the martian climate in a means similar to the rock weathering cycle on Earth. The combination of evidence for liquid water on the martian surface and cold surface conditions suggest fluid freezing could be very common on the surface of Mars. Cryogenic calcite forms easily from freezing solutions when carbon dioxide degasses quickly from Ca-bicarbonate-rich water, a process that has been observed in some terrestrial settings such as arctic permafrost cave deposits, lake beds of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in aufeis (river icings) from rivers of N.E. Alaska. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted that simulated cryogenic carbonate formation on Mars in order to understand their isotopic systematics. The results indicate that carbonates grown under martian conditions show variable enrichments from starting bicarbonate fluids in both carbon and oxygen isotopes beyond equilibrium values.

  20. Human-climate interaction during the Early Upper Paleolithic: testing the hypothesis of an adaptive shift between the Proto-Aurignacian and the Early Aurignacian.

    PubMed

    Banks, William E; d'Errico, Francesco; Zilhão, João

    2013-01-01

    The Aurignacian technocomplex comprises a succession of culturally distinct phases. Between its first two subdivisions, the Proto-Aurignacian and the Early Aurignacian, we see a shift from single to separate reduction sequences for blade and bladelet production, the appearance of split-based antler points, and a number of other changes in stone tool typology and technology as well as in symbolic material culture. Bayesian modeling of available (14)C determinations, conducted within the framework of this study, indicates that these material culture changes are coincident with abrupt and marked climatic changes. The Proto-Aurignacian occurs during an interval (ca. 41.5-39.9 k cal BP) of relative climatic amelioration, Greenland Interstadials (GI) 10 and 9, punctuated by a short cold stadial. The Early Aurignacian (ca. 39.8-37.9 k cal BP) predominantly falls within the climatic phase known as Heinrich Stadial (HS) 4, and its end overlaps with the beginning of GI 8, the former being predominantly characterized by cold and dry conditions across the European continent. We use eco-cultural niche modeling to quantitatively evaluate whether these shifts in material culture are correlated with environmental variability and, if so, whether the ecological niches exploited by human populations shifted accordingly. We employ genetic algorithm (GARP) and maximum entropy (Maxent) techniques to estimate the ecological niches exploited by humans (i.e., eco-cultural niches) during these two phases of the Aurignacian. Partial receiver operating characteristic analyses are used to evaluate niche variability between the two phases. Results indicate that the changes in material culture between the Proto-Aurignacian and the Early Aurignacian are associated with an expansion of the ecological niche. These shifts in both the eco-cultural niche and material culture are interpreted to represent an adaptive response to the relative deterioration of environmental conditions at the onset of HS4

  1. The Mars Climate Orbiter arrives at KSC to begin final preparations for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft is moved into the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) in KSC's industrial area. It arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility aboard an Air Force C-17 cargo plane early this morning following its flight from the Lockheed Martin Astronautics plant in Denver, Colo. When it arrives at the red planet, the Mars Climate Orbiter will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (1.8 Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Delta II 7425 rocket.

  2. The Mars Climate Orbiter arrives at KSC to begin final preparations for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft is moved onto a flatbed for transport to the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2). It arrived at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility aboard an Air Force C-17 cargo plane early this morning following its flight from the Lockheed Martin Astronautics plant in Denver, Colo. When it arrives at the red planet, the Mars Climate Orbiter will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (1.8 Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface. The scheduled launch date for the Mars Climate Orbiter is Dec. 10, 1998, on a Delta II 7425 rocket.

  3. Planktic foraminiferal photosymbiont bleaching during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (Site 1051, northwestern Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luciani, Valeria; D'Onofrio, Roberta; Dickens, Gerald Roy; Wade, Bridget

    2017-04-01

    The symbiotic relationship with algae is a key strategy adopted by many modern species and by early Paleogene shallow-dwelling planktic foraminifera. The endosymbionts play an important role in foraminiferal calcification, longevity and growth, allowing the host to succeed in oligotrophic environment. We have indirect evidence on the presence and loss of algae photosymbionts because symbionts modify the chemistry of the microenvironment where a foraminifer calcifies, resulting in a characteristic geochemical signature between test size and δ13C. We present here the result of a test on loss of algal photosymbiont (bleaching) in planktic foraminifera from the northwest Atlantic Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1051 across the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO), the interval ( 49-53 Ma) when Earth surface temperatures and probably atmospheric pCO2 reached their Cenozoic maximum. We select this interval because two symbiont-bearing planktic foraminiferal genera Morozovella and Acarinina, that were important calcifiers of the early Paleogene tropical-subtropical oceans, experienced a marked and permanent switch in abundance at the beginning of the EECO, close to the carbon isotope excursion known as J event. Specifically, the relative abundance of Morozovella permanently decreased by at least half, along with a progressive decrease in the number of species. Concomitantly, the genus Acarinina almost doubled its abundance and diversified within the EECO. Many stressors inducing loss of photosymbiosis may have occurred during the long-lasting environmental conditions relating to the EECO extreme warmth, such as high pCO2 and possible decrease of the surface-water pH. The bleaching may therefore represent a potential mechanism to explain the rapid morozovellid decline at the start of the EECO. Our geochemical data from Site 1051 demonstrate that there was indeed a reduction of algal-symbiosis in morozovellids at the EECO beginning. This bleaching event occurred at the

  4. Laboratory simulations of Martian surface parameters and the biological response of terrestrial model organisms to 'extreme' environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettberg, P.; Moller, R.; Pogoda de La Vega, U.; Rabbow, E.; Panitz, C.; Mohlmann, D.; Reitz, G.

    For the development of adequate instruments and methods for in situ life detection analysis and for the avoidance of contaminating of Mars by terrestrial life forms introduced to it's surface unintentionally, it is necessary to understand the potential and limits of life on Earth. Whereas it is possible to test most of the environmental parameters of Mars separately in the laboratory, like diurnal and seasonal temperature cyles, pressure, atmospheric composition, and to investigate their biological effects in detail, it is technically more difficult to simulate two or more parameters at the same time. The realistic simulation of a complete Martian surface environment is a considerable technical challenge. It is especially difficult to reproduce the Martian UV climate realistically. Up to now no total Mars simulation was performed in one single experiment which should include diurnal cycles of temperature, UV radiation and humidity in a simulated Martian atmosphere and at Martian pressure, with Martian soil analogues, dust particles, and ionising radiation. However, it is absolutely essential to investigate the biological effects of combined environmental parameters, because it is already known for some cases that biological effects might not necessarily be additive, but can be synergistic or antagonistic. A prominent example is the synergistic effect of vacuum and UV radiation on the survivability of B. subtilis spores. From several investigations in the last decades the Martian UV climate with it's energy-rich short-wavelength radiation down to 200 nm turned out to be the most important deleterious environmental parameter on Mars. Direct UV exposure caused a rapid and nearly complete inactivation of spores. However, thin layers of Martian soil analogue material, like simulated standard Mars JSC-1 or Fe-montmorillonite, are sufficient to shield spores from the deleterious effects of UV radiation. From these results it can be concluded that in spite of the

  5. Climate and history in the late 18th and early 19th centuries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Theodore S.

    As in many areas of human knowledge, the notion of climate acquired a deeper historical content around the turn of the 19th century. Natural philosophers, geographers, and others became increasingly aware of climate's own history and its relation to human, plant and animal, and Earth history. This article examines several aspects of this “historicization” of climate.The lively 18th century discussion of the influence of climate on society is well known. Montesquieu is its most famous representative, but Voltaire, Hume, Kant, and others also participated. Their debate was literary more than scientific, their goal the understanding of man, not climate. Partly for this reason and partly because of the lack of good information on climates, they made no attempt to gather substantial climatic data. In fact, the importance of systematically collecting reliable data was scarcely understood in any area of natural philosophy before the last decades of the century [Cf. Frängsmyr et al., 1990; Feldman, 1990]. Instead, participants in the debate repeated commonplaces dating from Aristotle and Hippocrates and based their conclusions on unreliable reports from travelers. As Glacken wrote of Montesquieu, “his dishes are from old and well-tested recipes” [Glacken, 1967, chapter 12]. This is not to say that the debate over climatic influence was not significant—only that its significance lay more in the history of man than in the atmospheric sciences.

  6. Morning Frost on Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    A thin layer of water frost is visible on the ground around NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in this image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager at 6 a.m. on Sol 79 (August 14, 2008), the 79th Martian day after landing. The frost begins to disappear shortly after 6 a.m. as the sun rises on the Phoenix landing site.

    The sun was about 22 degrees above the horizon when the image was taken, enhancing the detail of the polygons, troughs and rocks around the landing site.

    This view is looking east southeast with the lander's eastern solar panel visible in the bottom lefthand corner of the image. The rock in the foreground is informally named 'Quadlings' and the rock near center is informally called 'Winkies.'

    This false color image has been enhanced to show color variations.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  7. Martian Magnets Under the Microscope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this microscopic imager view of its capture magnet on sol 92 (April 6, 2004). Both Spirit and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity are equipped with a number of magnets. The capture magnet, as seen here, has a stronger charge than its sidekick, the filter magnet. The lower-powered filter magnet captures only the most magnetic airborne dust with the strongest charges, while the capture magnet picks up all magnetic airborne dust.

    The magnets' primary purpose is to collect the martian magnetic dust so that scientists can analyze it with the rovers' Moessbauer spectrometers. While there is plenty of dust on the surface of Mars, it is difficult to confirm where it came from, and when it was last airborne. Because scientists are interested in learning about the properties of the dust in the atmosphere, they devised this dust-collection experiment.

    The capture magnet is about 4.5 centimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter and is constructed with a central cylinder and three rings, each with alternating orientations of magnetization. Scientists have been monitoring the continual accumulation of dust since the beginning of the mission with panoramic camera and microscopic imager images. They had to wait until enough dust accumulated before they could get a Moessbauer spectrometer analysis. The results of that analysis, performed on sol 92, have not been sent back to Earth yet.

  8. To what extent does climate explain variations in reported malaria cases in early 20th century Uganda?

    PubMed

    Tompkins, Adrian M; Larsen, Laragh; McCreesh, Nicky; Taylor, David

    2016-03-31

    Malaria case statistics were analysed for the period 1926 to 1960 to identify inter-annual variations in malaria cases for the Uganda Protectorate. The analysis shows the mid-to-late 1930s to be a period of increased reported cases. After World War II, malaria cases trend down to a relative minimum in the early 1950s, before increasing rapidly after 1953 to the end of the decade. Data for the Western Province confirm these national trends, which at the time were attributed to a wide range of causes, including land development and management schemes, population mobility, interventions and misdiagnosis. Climate was occasionally proposed as a contributor to enhanced case numbers, and unusual precipitation patterns were held responsible; temperature was rarely, if ever, considered. In this study, a dynamical malaria model was driven with available precipitation and temperature data from the period for five stations located across a range of environments in Uganda. In line with the historical data, the simulations produced relatively enhanced transmission in the 1930s, although there is considerable variability between locations. In all locations, malaria transmission was low in the late 1940s and early 1950s, steeply increasing after 1954. Results indicate that past climate variability explains some of the variations in numbers of reported malaria cases. The impact of multiannual variability in temperature, while only on the order of 0.5°C, was sufficient to drive some of the trends observed in the statistics and thus the role of climate was likely underestimated in the contemporary reports. As the elimination campaigns of the 1960s followed this partly climate-driven increase in malaria, this emphasises the need to account for climate when planning and evaluating intervention strategies.

  9. Ne-20/Ne-22 in the Martian Atmosphere: New Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, J.; Nyquist, L. E.; Herzog, G. F.; Nagao, K.; Mikouchi, T.; Kusakabe, M.

    2017-01-01

    Analyses of Ne trapped in "pods" of impact melt in the Elephant Moraine 79001 (EET 79001) Martian meteorite led to suggest (Ne-20/Ne-22) approx.10 in the Martian atmosphere (MA). In contrast, obtained trapped (Ne-20/Ne-22)Tr approx.7 from an impact melt vein in Yamato 793605 (Y-793605) and concluded that the isotopic composition of Martian Ne remained poorly defined. A "pyroxene-rich" separate from Dhofar 378 (Dho 378) analyzed gave a comparatively high trapped Ne concentration and (Ne-20/Ne-22) = 7.3+/-0.2 in agreement with the Y-793605 value. We explore the hypothesis that Martian Ne was trapped in the Dho 378 meteorite in a manner similar to entrapment of terrestrial Ne in tektites strengthening the "Martian atmosphere" interpretation. We also report new data for Northwest Africa 7034 (NWA 7034) that are consistent with the Ne data for Dho 378.

  10. Early to middle Miocene climate evolution: benthic oxygen and carbon isotope records from Walvis Ridge Site 1264.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourens, L. J.; Beddow, H.; Liebrand, D.; Schrader, C.; Hilgen, F. J.

    2016-12-01

    Across the early to middle Miocene, high-resolution records from the Pacific Ocean indicate a dynamic climate system, encompassing a 2 Myr global warming event from 17 Ma to 14.7 Ma, followed by a major Cenozoic cooling step at 14.2 Ma -13.8 Ma. Currently, no high-resolution benthic record from the Atlantic Ocean exists covering both events, limiting global coverage of this intriguing period in Cenozoic climate evolution. Here, we present the first early to middle Miocene high-resolution from the Atlantic basin. These records, from Site 1264 on the Walvis Ridge, span a 5.5 Myr long interval (13.24-18.90 ma) in high temporal resolution ( 4 kyr) and are tuned to eccentricity. The d18O record shows a sudden (high-latitude) warming/deglaciation on Antarctica at 17.1 Ma, a rapid cooling/glaciation of Antarctica at 13.8 Ma, and high-amplitude ( 1‰) variability on astronomical time-scales throughout this interval. Together with other records from this time interval located in the Pacific, which show similar features, the data strongly suggests a highly dynamic global climate system. We find cooling steps in d18O at 14.7, 14.2 and 13.8 Ma, suggesting concurrent cooling in the Pacific and Atlantic deep waters during the MMCT. The benthic foraminiferal stable isotope records reveal that the dominant astronomical frequencies present at ODP Site 1264 during the early to middle Miocene interval are the 405 kyr and 110 kyr eccentricity periodicities. This is a contrast to other early to middle Miocene records from drill-sites in the Pacific and South China Sea, which show a strong expression of obliquity in particular between 14.2 and 14.7 Ma.

  11. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, Rickard

    2016-04-01

    Solar forcing is responsible for the heating, ionization, photochemistry, and erosion processes in the upper atmosphere throughout the lifetime of the terrestrial planets. Of the four terrestrial planets, the Earth is the only one with a fully developed biosphere, while our kin Venus and Mars have evolved into arid inhabitable planets. As for Mars, there are ample evidences for an early Noachian, water rich period on Mars. The question is, what made Mars evolve so differently compared to the Earth? Various hydrosphere and atmospheric evolution scenarios for Mars have been forwarded based on surface morphology, chemical composition, simulations, semi-empiric (in-situ data) models, and the long-term evolution of the Sun. Progress has been made, but the case is still open regarding the changes that led to the present arid surface and tenuous atmosphere at Mars. This presentation addresses the long-term variability of the Sun, the solar forcing impact on the Martian atmosphere, and its interaction with the space environment - an electromagnetic wave and particle interaction with the upper atmosphere that has implications for its photochemistry, composition, and energization that governs thermal and non-thermal escape. Non-thermal escape implies an electromagnetic upward energization of planetary ions and molecules to velocities above escape velocity, a process governed by a combination of solar EUV radiation (ionization), and energy and momentum transfer by the solar wind. The ion escape issue dates back to the early Soviet and US-missions to Mars, but the first more accurate estimates of escape rates came with the Phobos-2 mission in 1989. Better-quality ion composition measurement results of atmospheric/ionospheric ion escape from Mars, obtained from ESA Mars Express (MEX) instruments, have improved our understanding of the ion escape mechanism. With the NASA MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars since Sept. 2014, dual in-situ measurement with plasma instruments are now

  12. Influences of spawning timing, water temperature, and climatic warming on early life history phenology in western Alaska sockeye salmon

    Sparks, Morgan M.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Quinn, Thomas P.; Adkison, Milo D.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Bartz, Krista K.; Young, Daniel B.; Westley, Peter A. H.

    2018-01-01

    We applied an empirical model to predict hatching and emergence timing for 25 western Alaska sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) populations in four lake-nursery systems to explore current patterns and potential responses of early life history phenology to warming water temperatures. Given experienced temperature regimes during development, we predicted hatching to occur in as few as 58 d to as many as 260 d depending on spawning timing and temperature. For a focal lake spawning population, our climate-lake temperature model predicted a water temperature increase of 0.7 to 1.4 °C from 2015 to 2099 during the incubation period, which translated to a 16 d to 30 d earlier hatching timing. The most extreme scenarios of warming advanced development by approximately a week earlier than historical minima and thus climatic warming may lead to only modest shifts in phenology during the early life history stage of this population. The marked variation in the predicted timing of hatching and emergence among populations in close proximity on the landscape may serve to buffer this metapopulation from climate change.

  13. The Preboreal-like Asian monsoon climate in the early last interglacial period recorded from the Dark Cave, Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xiuyang; He, Yaoqi; Wang, Xiaoyan; Sun, Xiaoshuang; Hong, Hui; Liu, Juan; Yu, Tsai-Luen; Li, Zhizhong; Shen, Chuan-Chou

    2017-08-01

    Transitions of glacial-interglacial cycles are critical periods for Quaternary climate shifts. Here, we present new, decadal resolution Asian summer monsoon (ASM) record from three stalagmites obtained from the Dark Cave in southwestern China over 130-114 thousand years ago (ka, before CE 1950). Chronology was anchored by 28 230Th dates with typical uncertainties of ±0.3-1.0 kyr, allowing an assessment of timing and transition of climate changes during the onset and end of the last interglacial. An agreement between this new and previous stalagmite δ18O records supports that summer insolation predominates orbital-scale ASM evolution. A 2-3 kyr-long gradually increasing ASM period, analogous to the classical Preboreal episode in the early Holocene, follows the termination of a weak monsoon interval at 129.0 ± 0.8 ka. This finding suggests a strong influence of high-latitude ice-sheet dynamics on Asian monsoonal conditions during the early interglacial period. An abrupt end of the marine isotope stage 5e at 118.8 ± 0.6 ka was probably caused by the internal climate system threshold effects.

  14. Malaria early warning tool: linking inter-annual climate and malaria variability in northern Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jason; Tahani, Lloyd; Bobogare, Albino; Bugoro, Hugo; Otto, Francis; Fafale, George; Hiriasa, David; Kazazic, Adna; Beard, Grant; Amjadali, Amanda; Jeanne, Isabelle

    2017-11-21

    Malaria control remains a significant challenge in the Solomon Islands. Despite progress made by local malaria control agencies over the past decade, case rates remain high in some areas of the country. Studies from around the world have confirmed important links between climate and malaria transmission. This study focuses on understanding the links between malaria and climate in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, with a view towards developing a climate-based monitoring and early warning for periods of enhanced malaria transmission. Climate records were sourced from the Solomon Islands meteorological service (SIMS) and historical malaria case records were sourced from the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP). A declining trend in malaria cases over the last decade associated with improved malaria control was adjusted for. A stepwise regression was performed between climate variables and climate-associated malaria transmission (CMT) at different lag intervals to determine where significant relationships existed. The suitability of these results for use in a three-tiered categorical warning system was then assessed using a Mann-Whitney U test. Of the climate variables considered, only rainfall had a consistently significant relationship with malaria in North Guadalcanal. Optimal lag intervals were determined for prediction using R 2 skill scores. A highly significant negative correlation (R = - 0.86, R 2  = 0.74, p < 0.05, n = 14) was found between October and December rainfall at Honiara and CMT in northern Guadalcanal for the subsequent January-June. This indicates that drier October-December periods are followed by higher malaria transmission periods in January-June. Cross-validation emphasized the suitability of this relationship for forecasting purposes [Formula: see text]  as did Mann-Whitney U test results showing that rainfall below or above specific thresholds was significantly associated with above or below normal malaria

  15. Seasonal activity and morphological changes in martian gullies

    Dundas, Colin M.; Diniega, Serina; Hansen, Candice J.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies of martian dune and non-dune gullies have suggested a seasonal control on present-day gully activity. The timing of current gully activity, especially activity involving the formation or modification of channels (which commonly have been taken as evidence of fluvial processes), has important implications regarding likely gully formation processes and necessary environmental conditions. In this study, we describe the results of frequent meter-scale monitoring of several active gully sites by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The aim is to better assess the scope and nature of current morphological changes and to provide improved constraints on timing of gully activity on both dune and non-dune slopes. Our observations indicate that (1) gully formation on Mars is ongoing today and (2) the most significant morphological changes are strongly associated with seasonal frost and defrosting activity. Observed changes include formation of all major components of typical gully landforms, although we have not observed alcove formation in coherent bedrock. These results reduce the need to invoke recent climate change or present-day groundwater seepage to explain the many martian gullies with pristine appearance.

  16. Martian Moon Phobos in Thermal Infrared Image

    2017-10-04

    Colors in this image of the Martian moon Phobos indicate a range of surface temperatures detected by observing the moon on Sept. 29, 2017, with the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The left edge of the small moon was in darkness, and the right edge in morning sunlight. Phobos has an oblong shape with average diameter of about 14 miles (22 kilometers). Temperature information was derived from thermal-infrared imaging such as the grayscale image shown smaller at lower left with the moon in the same orientation. The color-coding merges information from THEMIS observations made in four thermal-infrared wavelength bands, centered from 11.04 microns to 14.88 microns. The scale bar correlates color-coding to the temperature range on the Kelvin scale, from 130 K (minus 226 degrees Fahrenheit) for dark purple to 270 K (26 degrees F) for red. Researchers will analyze the surface-temperature information from this observation and possible future THEMIS observations to learn how quickly the surface warms after sunup or cools after sundown. That could provide information about surface materials, because larger rocks heat or cool more slowly than smaller particles do. Researchers have been using THEMIS to examine Mars since early 2002, but the maneuver turning the orbiter around to point the camera at Phobos was developed only recently. Odyssey orbits Mars at an altitude of about 250 miles (400 kilometers), much closer to the planet than to Phobos, which orbits about 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) above the surface of Mars. The distance to Phobos from Odyssey during the observation was about 3,424 miles (5,511 kilometers). https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21858

  17. Characteristics of the Martian atmosphere surface layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clow, G. D.; Haberle, R. M.

    1991-01-01

    Researchers extend elements of various terrestrial boundary layer models to Mars in order to estimate sensible heat, latent heat, and momentum fluxes within the Martian atmospheric surface layer. To estimate the molecular viscosity and thermal conductivity of a CO2-H2O gas mixture under Martian conditions, parameterizations were developed. Parameterizations for specific heat and and binary diffusivity were also determined. The Prandtl and Schmidt numbers derived from these thermophysical properties were found to range from 0.78 - 1.0 and 0.47 - 0.70, respectively, for Mars. Brutsaert's model for sensible and latent heat transport within the interfacial sublayer for both aerodynamically smooth and rough airflow was experimentally tested under similar conditions, validating its application to Martian conditions. For the surface sublayer, the researchers modified the definition of the Monin-Obukhov length to properly account for the buoyancy forces arising from water vapor gradients in the Martian atmospheric boundary layer. This length scale was then utilized with similarity theory turbulent flux profiles with the same form as those used by Businger et al. and others. It was found that under most Martian conditions, the interfacial and surface sublayers offer roughly comparable resistance to sensible heat and water vapor transport and are thus both important in determining the associated fluxes.

  18. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Appelbaum, J.; Landis, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    Missions to Mars will require electric power. A leading candidate for providing power is solar power produced by photovoltaic arrays. To design such a power system, detailed information on solar-radiation availability on the Martian surface is necessary. The variation of the solar radiation on the Martian surface is governed by three factors: (1) variation in Mars-Sun distance; (2) variation in solar zenith angle due to Martian season and time of day; and (3) dust in the Martian atmosphere. A major concern is the dust storms, which occur on both local and global scales. However, there is still appreciable diffuse sunlight available even at high opacity, so that solar array operation is still possible. Typical results for tracking solar collectors are also shown and compared to the fixed collectors. During the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer the isolation is relatively high, 2-5 kW-hr/sq m-day, due to the low optical depth of the Martian atmosphere. These seasons, totalling a full terrestrial year, are the likely ones during which manned mission will be carried out.

  19. Implications of climate change for agricultural productivity in the early twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Gornall, Jemma; Betts, Richard; Burke, Eleanor; Clark, Robin; Camp, Joanne; Willett, Kate; Wiltshire, Andrew

    2010-09-27

    This paper reviews recent literature concerning a wide range of processes through which climate change could potentially impact global-scale agricultural productivity, and presents projections of changes in relevant meteorological, hydrological and plant physiological quantities from a climate model ensemble to illustrate key areas of uncertainty. Few global-scale assessments have been carried out, and these are limited in their ability to capture the uncertainty in climate projections, and omit potentially important aspects such as extreme events and changes in pests and diseases. There is a lack of clarity on how climate change impacts on drought are best quantified from an agricultural perspective, with different metrics giving very different impressions of future risk. The dependence of some regional agriculture on remote rainfall, snowmelt and glaciers adds to the complexity. Indirect impacts via sea-level rise, storms and diseases have not been quantified. Perhaps most seriously, there is high uncertainty in the extent to which the direct effects of CO(2) rise on plant physiology will interact with climate change in affecting productivity. At present, the aggregate impacts of climate change on global-scale agricultural productivity cannot be reliably quantified.

  20. Implications of climate change for agricultural productivity in the early twenty-first century

    PubMed Central

    Gornall, Jemma; Betts, Richard; Burke, Eleanor; Clark, Robin; Camp, Joanne; Willett, Kate; Wiltshire, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    This paper reviews recent literature concerning a wide range of processes through which climate change could potentially impact global-scale agricultural productivity, and presents projections of changes in relevant meteorological, hydrological and plant physiological quantities from a climate model ensemble to illustrate key areas of uncertainty. Few global-scale assessments have been carried out, and these are limited in their ability to capture the uncertainty in climate projections, and omit potentially important aspects such as extreme events and changes in pests and diseases. There is a lack of clarity on how climate change impacts on drought are best quantified from an agricultural perspective, with different metrics giving very different impressions of future risk. The dependence of some regional agriculture on remote rainfall, snowmelt and glaciers adds to the complexity. Indirect impacts via sea-level rise, storms and diseases have not been quantified. Perhaps most seriously, there is high uncertainty in the extent to which the direct effects of CO2 rise on plant physiology will interact with climate change in affecting productivity. At present, the aggregate impacts of climate change on global-scale agricultural productivity cannot be reliably quantified. PMID:20713397

  1. Ares 3 and The Martian

    2015-03-11

    This image from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a region of Acidalia Planitia which is covered by dense fields of boulders up to several meters high. In "The Martian" by Andy Weir (watch for the movie in late 2015), stranded astronaut Mark Watney spends most of his time at the "Ares 3" site in southern Acidalia Planitia. The book describes Acidalia as flat and easy to drive over; he even drives to the Pathfinder landing site and back. This region of Mars is actually far more diverse, interesting, and hazardous to drive over than depicted in the novel. These two images (this observation and ESP_019783_2115) are close to the Ares 3 landing site as shown in a map at the front of the novel, and shows many mounds, perhaps ancient volcanoes resulting from lava-water interaction or eruption of muddy sediments. Much of Acidalia Planitia is covered by dense fields of boulders up to several meters high that would be difficult to drive around. There are also fissures associated with giant polygons, with steep rocky slopes that would be impassable. There are elongated fields of dense secondary craters where the surface is extremely rough at scales near the size of the rover. When our hero travels into Arabia Terra it is described as much rockier than Acidalia, but the the opposite is generally true: much of Arabia is dust mantled and smooth at the scale of a rover. People commonly assume that smooth at large scales (kilometers) means smooth at small scales ( meters to tens of meters). Often on Mars, the exact opposite is seen: large flat low areas are more wind-scoured, removing fine materials and leaving rocks and eroded bedrock. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19306

  2. Determination of Martian Northern Polar Insolation Levels Using a Geodetic Elevation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arrell, J. R.; Zuber, M. T.

    2000-01-01

    Solar insolation levels at the Martian polar caps bear significantly on the seasonal and climatic cycling of volatiles on that planet. In the northern hemisphere, the Martian surface slopes downhill from the equator to the pole such that the north polar cap is situated in a 5-km-deep hemispheric-scale depression. This large-scale topographic setting plays an important role in the insolation of the northern polar cap. Elevations measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) provide comprehensive, high-accuracy topographical information required to precisely determine polar insolation. In this study, we employ a geodetic elevation model to quantify the north polar insolation and consider implications for seasonal and climatic changes. Additional information is contained in original extended abstract.

  3. Bright Particle in Hole Dug by Scooping of Martian Soil

    2012-10-18

    The mission science team assessed the bright particles in this scooped pit to be native Martian material rather than spacecraft debris as seen in this image from NASA Mars rover Curiosity as it collected its second scoop of Martian soil.

  4. Pollen reconstructions, tree-rings and early climate data from Minnesota, USA: a cautionary tale of bias and signal attentuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Jacques, J. M.; Cumming, B. F.; Smol, J. P.; Sauchyn, D.

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution proxy reconstructions are essential to assess the rate and magnitude of anthropogenic global warming. High-resolution pollen records are being critically examined for the production of accurate climate reconstructions of the last millennium, often as extensions of tree-ring records. Past climate inference from a sedimentary pollen record depends upon the stationarity of the pollen-climate relationship. However, humans have directly altered vegetation, and hence modern pollen deposition is a product of landscape disturbance and climate, unlike in the past with its dominance of climate-derived processes. This could cause serious bias in pollen reconstructions. In the US Midwest, direct human impacts have greatly altered the vegetation and pollen rain since Euro-American settlement in the mid-19th century. Using instrumental climate data from the early 1800s from Fort Snelling (Minnesota), we assessed the bias from the conventional method of inferring climate from pollen assemblages in comparison to a calibration set from pre-settlement pollen assemblages and the earliest instrumental climate data. The pre-settlement calibration set provides more accurate reconstructions of 19th century temperature than the modern set does. When both calibration sets are used to reconstruct temperatures since AD 1116 from a varve-dated pollen record from Lake Mina, Minnesota, the conventional method produces significant low-frequency (centennial-scale) signal attenuation and positive bias of 0.8-1.7 oC, resulting in an overestimation of Little Ice Age temperature and an underestimation of anthropogenic warming. We also compared the pollen-inferred moisture reconstruction to a four-century tree-ring-inferred moisture record from Minnesota and Dakotas, which shows that the tree-ring reconstruction is biased towards dry conditions and records wet periods relatively poorly, giving a false impression of regional aridity. The tree-ring chronology also suggests varve

  5. Martian Cratering 7: The Role of Impact Gardening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, William K.; Anguita, Jorge; de la Casa, Miguel A.; Berman, Daniel C.; Ryan, Eileen V.

    2001-01-01

    Viking-era researchers concluded that impact craters of diameter D<50 m were absent on Mars, and thus impact gardening was considered negligible in establishing decameter-scale surface properties. This paper documents martian crater populations down to diameter D˜11 m and probably less on Mars, requiring a certain degree of impact gardening. Applying lunar data, we calculate cumulative gardening depth as a function of total cratering. Stratigraphic units exposed since Noachian times would have experienced tens to hundreds of meters of gardening. Early Amazonian/late Hesperian sites, such as the first three landing sites, experienced cumulative gardening on the order of 3-14 m, a conclusion that may conflict with some landing site interpretations. Martian surfaces with less than a percent or so of lunar mare crater densities have negligible impact gardening because of a probable cutoff of hypervelocity impact cratering below D˜1 m, due to Mars' atmosphere. Unlike lunar regolith, martian regolith has been affected, and fines removed, by many processes. Deflation may have been a factor in leaving widespread boulder fields and associated dune fields, observed by the first three landers. Ancient regolith provided a porous medium for water storage, subsurface transport, and massive permafrost formation. Older regolith was probably cemented by evaporites and permafrost, may contain interbedded sediments and lavas, and may have been brecciated by later impacts. Growing evidence suggests recent water mobility, and the existence of duricrust at Viking and Pathfinder sites demonstrates the cementing process. These results affect lander/rover searches for intact ancient deposits. The upper tens of meters of exposed Noachian units cannot survive today in a pristine state. Intact Noachian deposits might best be found in cliffside strata, or in recently exhumed regions. The hematite-rich areas found in Terra Meridiani by the Mars Global Surveyor are probably examples of the

  6. Constraining the climate and ocean pH of the early Earth with a geological carbon cycle model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Arney, Giada N.; Catling, David C.

    2018-04-01

    The early Earth’s environment is controversial. Climatic estimates range from hot to glacial, and inferred marine pH spans strongly alkaline to acidic. Better understanding of early climate and ocean chemistry would improve our knowledge of the origin of life and its coevolution with the environment. Here, we use a geological carbon cycle model with ocean chemistry to calculate self-consistent histories of climate and ocean pH. Our carbon cycle model includes an empirically justified temperature and pH dependence of seafloor weathering, allowing the relative importance of continental and seafloor weathering to be evaluated. We find that the Archean climate was likely temperate (0–50 °C) due to the combined negative feedbacks of continental and seafloor weathering. Ocean pH evolves monotonically from 6.6‑0.4+0.6 (2σ) at 4.0 Ga to 7.0‑0.5+0.7 (2σ) at the Archean–Proterozoic boundary, and to 7.9‑0.2+0.1 (2σ) at the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic boundary. This evolution is driven by the secular decline of pCO2, which in turn is a consequence of increasing solar luminosity, but is moderated by carbonate alkalinity delivered from continental and seafloor weathering. Archean seafloor weathering may have been a comparable carbon sink to continental weathering, but is less dominant than previously assumed, and would not have induced global glaciation. We show how these conclusions are robust to a wide range of scenarios for continental growth, internal heat flow evolution and outgassing history, greenhouse gas abundances, and changes in the biotic enhancement of weathering.

  7. Constraining the climate and ocean pH of the early Earth with a geological carbon cycle model.

    PubMed

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Arney, Giada N; Catling, David C

    2018-04-17

    The early Earth's environment is controversial. Climatic estimates range from hot to glacial, and inferred marine pH spans strongly alkaline to acidic. Better understanding of early climate and ocean chemistry would improve our knowledge of the origin of life and its coevolution with the environment. Here, we use a geological carbon cycle model with ocean chemistry to calculate self-consistent histories of climate and ocean pH. Our carbon cycle model includes an empirically justified temperature and pH dependence of seafloor weathering, allowing the relative importance of continental and seafloor weathering to be evaluated. We find that the Archean climate was likely temperate (0-50 °C) due to the combined negative feedbacks of continental and seafloor weathering. Ocean pH evolves monotonically from [Formula: see text] (2σ) at 4.0 Ga to [Formula: see text] (2σ) at the Archean-Proterozoic boundary, and to [Formula: see text] (2σ) at the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary. This evolution is driven by the secular decline of pCO 2 , which in turn is a consequence of increasing solar luminosity, but is moderated by carbonate alkalinity delivered from continental and seafloor weathering. Archean seafloor weathering may have been a comparable carbon sink to continental weathering, but is less dominant than previously assumed, and would not have induced global glaciation. We show how these conclusions are robust to a wide range of scenarios for continental growth, internal heat flow evolution and outgassing history, greenhouse gas abundances, and changes in the biotic enhancement of weathering. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  8. Constraining the climate and ocean pH of the early Earth with a geological carbon cycle model

    PubMed Central

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Arney, Giada N.

    2018-01-01

    The early Earth’s environment is controversial. Climatic estimates range from hot to glacial, and inferred marine pH spans strongly alkaline to acidic. Better understanding of early climate and ocean chemistry would improve our knowledge of the origin of life and its coevolution with the environment. Here, we use a geological carbon cycle model with ocean chemistry to calculate self-consistent histories of climate and ocean pH. Our carbon cycle model includes an empirically justified temperature and pH dependence of seafloor weathering, allowing the relative importance of continental and seafloor weathering to be evaluated. We find that the Archean climate was likely temperate (0–50 °C) due to the combined negative feedbacks of continental and seafloor weathering. Ocean pH evolves monotonically from 6.6−0.4+0.6 (2σ) at 4.0 Ga to 7.0−0.5+0.7 (2σ) at the Archean–Proterozoic boundary, and to 7.9−0.2+0.1 (2σ) at the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic boundary. This evolution is driven by the secular decline of pCO2, which in turn is a consequence of increasing solar luminosity, but is moderated by carbonate alkalinity delivered from continental and seafloor weathering. Archean seafloor weathering may have been a comparable carbon sink to continental weathering, but is less dominant than previously assumed, and would not have induced global glaciation. We show how these conclusions are robust to a wide range of scenarios for continental growth, internal heat flow evolution and outgassing history, greenhouse gas abundances, and changes in the biotic enhancement of weathering. PMID:29610313

  9. Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2007-01-01

    Large rayed craters on Mars, not immediately obvious in visible light, have been identified in thermal infrared data obtained from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) onboard Mars Odyssey. Livio Tornabene (previously at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and now at the University of Arizona, Tucson) and colleagues have mapped rayed craters primarily within young (Amazonian) volcanic plains in or near Elysium Planitia. They found that rays consist of numerous chains of secondary craters, their overlapping ejecta, and possibly primary ejecta from the source crater. Their work also suggests rayed craters may have formed preferentially in volatile-rich targets by oblique impacts. The physical details of the rayed craters and the target surfaces combined with current models of Martian meteorite delivery and cosmochemical analyses of Martian meteorites lead Tornabene and coauthors to conclude that these large rayed craters are plausible source regions for Martian meteorites.

  10. Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune

    2017-02-27

    This image from an animation shows effects of one Martian day of wind blowing sand underneath NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on a non-driving day for the rover. Each image was taken just after sundown by the rover's downward-looking Mars Descent Imager (MARDI). The area of ground shown in the images spans about 3 feet (about 1 meter) left-to-right. The first image was taken on Jan. 23, 2017, during the 1,587th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. Figure 1 above is the image with a scale bar in centimeters. The second was taken on Jan. 24, 2017 (Sol 1588). The day-apart images by MARDI were taken as a part of investigation of wind's effects during Martian summer, the windiest time of year in Gale Crater. An animation is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21143

  11. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites

    PubMed Central

    Blamey, Nigel J. F.; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F.; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R. M.; Banerjee, Neil R.; Flemming, Roberta L.

    2015-01-01

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity. PMID:26079798

  12. A Martian Meteorite for Mars 2020

    2018-02-13

    Rohit Bhartia of NASA's Mars 2020 mission holds a slice of a meteorite scientists have determined came from Mars. This slice will likely be used here on Earth for testing a laser instrument for NASA's Mars 2020 rover; a separate slice will go to Mars on the rover. Martian meteorites are believed to be the result of impacts to the Red Planet's surface, resulting in rock being blasted into the atmosphere. After traveling through space for eons, some of these rocks entered Earth's atmosphere. Scientists determine whether they are true Martian meteorites based on their rock and noble gas chemistry and mineralogy. The gases trapped in these meteorites bear the unique fingerprint of the Martian atmosphere, as recorded by NASA's Viking mission in 1976. The rock types also show clear signs of igneous processing not possible on smaller bodies, such as asteroids. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22245

  13. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  14. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    PubMed

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  15. Late nineteenth to early twenty-first century behavior of Alaskan glaciers as indicators of changing regional climate

    Molnia, B.F.

    2007-01-01

    Alaska's climate is changing and one of the most significant indications of this change has been the late 19th to early 21st century behavior of Alaskan glaciers. Weather station temperature data document that air temperatures throughout Alaska have been increasing for many decades. Since the mid-20th century, the average change is an increase of ?????2.0????C. In order to determine the magnitude and pattern of response of glaciers to this regional climate change, a comprehensive analysis was made of the recent behavior of hundreds of glaciers located in the eleven Alaskan mountain ranges and three island areas that currently support glaciers. Data analyzed included maps, historical observations, thousands of ground-and-aerial photographs and satellite images, and vegetation proxy data. Results were synthesized to determine changes in length and area of individual glaciers. Alaskan ground photography dates from 1883, aerial photography dates from 1926, and satellite photography and imagery dates from the early 1960s. Unfortunately, very few Alaskan glaciers have any mass balance observations. In most areas analyzed, every glacier that descends below an elevation of ?????1500??m is currently thinning and/or retreating. Many glaciers have an uninterrupted history of continuous post-Little-Ice-Age retreat that spans more than 250??years. Others are characterized by multiple late 19th to early 21st century fluctuations. Today, retreating and/or thinning glaciers represent more than 98% of the glaciers examined. However, in the Coast Mountains, St. Elias Mountains, Chugach Mountains, and the Aleutian Range more than a dozen glaciers are currently advancing and thickening. Many currently advancing glaciers are or were formerly tidewater glaciers. Some of these glaciers have been expanding for more than two centuries. This presentation documents the post-Little-Ice-Age behavior and variability of the response of many Alaskan glaciers to changing regional climate. ?? 2006.

  16. Early Mission Maneuver Operations for the Deep Space Climate Observatory Sun-Earth L1 Libration Point Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Craig; Case, Sara; Reagoso, John; Webster, Cassandra

    2015-01-01

    The Deep Space Climate Observatory mission launched on February 11, 2015, and inserted onto a transfer trajectory toward a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth L1 libration point. This paper presents an overview of the baseline transfer orbit and early mission maneuver operations leading up to the start of nominal science orbit operations. In particular, the analysis and performance of the spacecraft insertion, mid-course correction maneuvers, and the deep-space Lissajous orbit insertion maneuvers are discussed, com-paring the baseline orbit with actual mission results and highlighting mission and operations constraints..

  17. Millennial-scale climate variations recorded in Early Pliocene colour reflectance time series from the lacustrine Ptolemais Basin (NW Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steenbrink, J.; Kloosterboer-van Hoeve, M. L.; Hilgen, F. J.

    2003-03-01

    Quaternary climate proxy records show compelling evidence for climate variability on time scales of a few thousand years. The causes for these millennial-scale or sub-Milankovitch cycles are still poorly understood, not least due to the complex feedback mechanisms of large ice sheets during the Quaternary. We present evidence of millennial-scale climate variability in Early Pliocene lacustrine sediments from the intramontane Ptolemais Basin in northwestern Greece. The sediments are well exposed in a series of open-pit lignite mines and exhibit a distinct millennial-scale sedimentary cyclicity of alternating lignites and lacustrine marl beds that resulted from precession-induced variations in climate. The higher-frequency, millennial-scale cyclicity is particularly prominent within the grey-coloured marl segment of individual cycles. A stratigraphic interval of ˜115 ka, covering five precession-induced sedimentary cycles, was studied in nine parallel sections from two open-pit lignite mines located several km apart. High-resolution colour reflectance records were used to quantify the within-cycle variability and to determine its lateral continuity. Much of the within-cycle variability could be correlated between the parallel sections, even in fine detail, which suggests that these changes reflect basin-wide variations in environmental conditions related to (regional) climate fluctuations. Interbedded volcanic ash beds demonstrate the synchronicity of these fluctuations and spectral analysis of the reflectance time series shows a significant concentration of within-cycle variability at periods of ˜11, ˜5.5 and ˜2 ka. The occurrence of variability at such time scales at times before the intensification of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation suggests that they cannot solely have resulted from internal ice-sheet dynamics. Possible candidates include harmonics or combination tones of the main orbital cycles, variations in solar output or periodic motions of the Earth

  18. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    capable of producing enough ejecta and with the appropriate compositions and orbits to explain the Mars trojans and the A-type asteroids we observe. Tackling this problem, researchers Ryuki Hyodo and Hidenori Genda have performed numerical simulations to explore the ejecta from such a collision.Distributing DebrisHyodo and Genda examine the outcomes of a Mars mega impact using smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. They test different impactor masses, impactor speeds, angles of impact, and more to determine how these properties affect the properties of the Martian ejecta that result.Debris ejected in a Mars mega impact, at 20 hours post-impact. Blue particles are from the impactor, red particles are from Mars, yellow particles are clumps of 10 particles. [Hyodo Genda 2018]The authors find that a large amount of debris can be ejected from Mars during such an impact and distributed between 0.53 AU in the solar system. Roughly 2% of this debris could originate from Marss olivine-rich, unmelted upper mantle which could indeed be the source of the olivine-rich Mars Trojan asteroids and rare A-type asteroids.How can we further explorethis picture? Debris from a Mars mega impact would not justhave been the source of new asteroids; the debris likely also collided with pre-existing asteroids or even transferred to early Earth. Signatures of a Mars mega impact may therefore be recorded in main-belt asteroids or in meteorites found on Earth, providing tantalizing targets for future studies in the effort to map out Marss past.CitationRyuki Hyodo and Hidenori Genda 2018 ApJL 856 L36. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aab7f0

  19. The Effect of Dust on the Martian Polar Vortices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    The influence of atmospheric dust on the dynamics and stability of the martian polar vortices is examined, through analysis of Mars Climate Sounder observations and MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. We show that regional and global dust storms produce transient vortex warming events that partially or fully disrupt the northern winter polar vortex for brief periods. Increased atmospheric dust heating alters the Hadley circulation and shifts the downwelling branch of the circulation poleward, leading to a disruption of the polar vortex for a period of days to weeks. Through our simulations, we find this effect is dependent on the atmospheric heating rate, which can be changed by increasing the amount of dust in the atmosphere or by altering the dust optical properties (e.g., single scattering albedo). Despite this, our simulations show that some level of atmospheric dust is necessary to produce a distinct northern hemisphere winter polar vortex.

  20. The effect of dust on the martian polar vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.

    2016-11-01

    The influence of atmospheric dust on the dynamics and stability of the martian polar vortices is examined, through analysis of Mars Climate Sounder observations and MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. We show that regional and global dust storms produce ;transient vortex warming; events that partially or fully disrupt the northern winter polar vortex for brief periods. Increased atmospheric dust heating alters the Hadley circulation and shifts the downwelling branch of the circulation poleward, leading to a disruption of the polar vortex for a period of days to weeks. Through our simulations, we find this effect is dependent on the atmospheric heating rate, which can be changed by increasing the amount of dust in the atmosphere or by altering the dust optical properties (e.g., single scattering albedo). Despite this, our simulations show that some level of atmospheric dust is necessary to produce a distinct northern hemisphere winter polar vortex.

  1. Geopolymers from lunar and Martian soil simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexiadis, Alessio; Alberini, Federico; Meyer, Marit E.

    2017-01-01

    This work discusses the geopolymerization of lunar dust simulant JSC LUNAR-1A and Martian dust simulant JSC MARS-1A. The geopolymerization of JSC LUNAR-1A occurs easily and produces a hard, rock-like, material. The geopolymerization of JSC MARS-1A requires milling to reduce the particle size. Tests were carried out to measure, for both JSC LUNAR-1A and JSC MARS-1A geopolymers, the maximum compressive and flexural strengths. In the case of the lunar simulant, these are higher than those of conventional cements. In the case of the Martian simulant, they are close to those of common building bricks.

  2. Photochemistry of the Martian atmosphere (mean conditions)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnopolsky, V. A.

    1993-02-01

    An attempt is made to develop the simplest model of the photochemistry to the Martian atmosphere which fits experimental data without adjustment of the reaction rate coefficients. Based on gas phase models of CO2-H2O chemistry, it is concluded that odd hydrogen reactions are effective enough to provide smaller amounts of CO and O3 than measured. Nitrogen chemistry may be important and should be taken into account. Even the very low sulfur amount of 10 exp -8 can contribute substantially to the Martian photochemistry. Ozone turns out to be the best tracer of the photochemistry.

  3. Mars Observer Mission: Mapping the Martian World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The 1992 Mars Observer Mission is highlighted in this video overview of the mission objectives and planning. Using previous photography and computer graphics and simulation, the main objectives of the 687 day (one Martian year) consecutive orbit by the Mars Observer Satellite around Mars are explained. Dr. Arden Albee, the project scientist, speaks about the pole-to-pole mapping of the Martian surface topography, the planned relief maps, the chemical and mineral composition analysis, the gravity fields analysis, and the proposed search for any Mars magnetic fields.

  4. Dynamical Circularization of the Martian Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierbaum, Quinn Patrick; Brown, Cole; Williams, Darren M.

    2018-06-01

    As part of an investigation into the history of the orbital characteristics of the planet Mars, in conjunction with research being performed by Cole Brown and Dr. Darren Williams, I have run dynamical computer simulations of the solar system placing the eccentricity of the Martian orbit between 0.2 and 0.4 in order to discern the viability of eccentricity damping due to long-range planetary interactions as well as interactions with swarms of asteroids placed randomly between 0.5-2.0 AU. This research is one component of a hypothesis intended to explain the geological evidence of flowing water on the primordial Martian surface.

  5. A Hypothesis for the Abiotic and Non-Martian Origins of Putative Signs of Ancient Martian Life in ALH84001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Treiman, Allan H.

    2001-01-01

    Putative evidence of martian life in ALH84001 can be explained by abiotic and non-martian processes consistent with the meteorite's geological history. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. The Carbonates in ALH 84001 Record the Evolution of the Martian Atmosphere Through Multiple Formation Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaheen, R.; Niles, P. B.; Corrgan, C.

    2012-01-01

    Current Martian conditions restrict the presence of liquid water due to low temperatures (approx 210K), a thin atmosphere (approx 7mb), and intense UV radiation. However, past conditions on Mars may have been different with the possibility that the ancient Martian climate was warm and wet with a dense CO2 atmosphere. The cycling of carbon on Mars through atmospheric CO2 and carbonate minerals is critical for deciphering its climate history. In particular stable isotopes contained in carbonates can provide information of their origin and formation environment as well as possibly hinting at the composition of global reservoirs such as atmospheric CO2. Martian meteorite ALH 84001 contains widely studied carbonate rosettes that have been dated to approx. 3.9 Ga and have been used to interpret climatic conditions present at that time. However, there is mount-ing evidence for multiple episodes of carbonate formation in ALH 84001 with potentially distinct isotopic compositions. This study seeks to tease out these different carbonate assemblages using stepped phosphoric acid dissolution and analysis of carbon and triple oxygen stable isotopes. In addition, we report SIMS analyses of the delta O-18 several petrographically unusual carbonate phases in the meteorite.

  7. Korean Early Childhood Educators' Multi-Dimensional Teacher Self-Efficacy and ECE Center Climate and Depression Severity in Teachers as Contributing Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Yeon Ha; Kim, Yang Eun

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated profiles of South Korean early childhood educators' teacher self-efficacy and contributing factors to teacher self-efficacy. The contributing factors were examined with a focus on early childhood education (ECE) center climate and depression severity in teachers as well as teacher and classroom characteristics. The results…

  8. Class Climate Moderates Peer Relations and Emotional Adjustment in Children with an Early History of Anxious Solitude: A Child x Environment Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gazelle, Heidi

    2006-01-01

    Classroom emotional climate was hypothesized to moderate psychosocial adjustment in 1st grade for children with an early childhood history of anxious solitude. Participants were 1,364 children in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and their mothers, child-care providers, and teachers.…

  9. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  10. Variability of Martian Turbopause Altitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slipski, Marek; Jakosky, Bruce; Benna, Mehdi; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Elrod, Meredith K.; Kass, David M.; Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco

    2017-10-01

    The transition region between the well-mixed, turbulent lower atmosphere and the diffusive upper atmosphere - the turbopause - is an area of coupled physical processes that can have significant impacts on the structure and dynamics of the mesosphere and thermosphere. Above the turbopause, molecular diffusion dominates and species fractionate according to their masses. Below, turbulence is strong and waves dissipate and break. We have used density measurements from MAVEN's NGIMS instrument and temperatures from MRO's MCS to calculate turbopause altitudes over the course of a Martian year.The homopause, or "mixing-turbopause,” is defined with respect to the mixing ratio of a given atmospheric species. The mean molecular mass of the atmosphere remains essentially constant below, but each species has its own scale height above. We determined this altitude for each MAVEN orbit between Feb 2015 - Dec 2016 by extrapolating the ratio of N2 and 40Ar densities downward to where their ratio equals that measured by Curiosity. To determine the "wave-turbopause" (Offermann et al., 2007) we used variations in monthly-averaged temperature profiles of the upper and lower atmosphere. Because the dissipation of waves produces turbulence the turbopause altitude is set by the transition from strong to weak dissipation. If no energy were lost, the amplitude of a vertically propagating gravity wave would increase exponentially with altitude. Using the monthly standard deviation in temperatures as a proxy for wave amplitude, we show that waves are strongly dissipated at low altitudes but freely propagating in the lower thermosphere. The altitude at which the standard deviation begins to increase substantially from low values at mid-altitudes determines the altitude of the "wave-turbopause."The observed range of turbopause altitudes is 80-140 km. The turbopause is highest during the day and for Ls values near 270°. Homopause altitudes correlate well with changes in CO2 densities. The

  11. MEDUSA (Martian Environmental DUst Systematic Analyser)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battaglia, R.; Colangeli, L.; della Corte, V.; Esposito, F.; Ferrini, G.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Panizza, A.; Rotundi, A.

    2003-04-01

    Aerosol dust suspended in the atmosphere thermally influences the behaviour of the lower atmosphere by absorbing solar radiation and by increasing the thermal inertia. Main dust parameters influencing the atmosphere heating are size distribution, albedo, single scattering phase function, imaginary part of the index of refraction. Moreover, atmospheric dust seems to have had long term effects on the surface geology, too. In fact, in the present environment of Mars, the most active surface modifying agent is the wind. Vast dune fields, various albedo patterns that change with time, wind eroded hills and drifts of fine grained material observed at the Viking landing sites are all attributed to aeolian processes. Large parts of the cratered uplands and smooth terrain in both polar regions are believed to be composed of deposits of windblown particles. These deposits may be important reservoirs for volatiles and may influence climate changes via variation of regional albedo. It is clear that the knowledge of the atmospheric dust properties and the mechanisms of dust settling and raising into the atmosphere are important to understand the climate and the surface evolution on Mars. Dust deposition also may be a key process in the volatile cycle on the planet. In situ results obtained so far do not give exhaustive information on dust physical properties and concentration near the surface. On the other hand H_2O is important as indicator of global climate changes on long time-scales and has fundamental links to life forms origin. Furthermore, the past volcanism on Mars, associated with a "wetter" environment, most probably caused in the past hydro-thermal activities that would be particularly suited for the existence of the most primitive organisms. Most of our understanding of the water vapour circulation derives from orbiter-based observations by the Mars Atmospheric Water Detection experiment, onboard the Viking Orbiters and from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES

  12. Micro weather stations for in situ measurements in the Martian planetary boundary layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crisp, D.; Kaiser, W. J.; Kenny, T. W.; Vanzandt, T. R.; Tillman, J. E.

    1992-01-01

    Viking Lander meteorology measurements show that the Martian planetary boundary layer (PBL) has large diurnal and seasonal variations in pressure, wind velocity, relative humidity, and airborne dust loading. An even larger range of conditions was inferred from remote sensing observations acquired by the Mariner 9 and Viking orbiters. Numerical models indicate that these changes may be accompanied by dramatic vertical and horizontal wind shears (100 m/s/km) and rapid changes in the static stability. In-situ measurements from a relatively small number surface stations could yield global constraints on the Martian climate and atmospheric general circulation by providing ground truth for remote sensing instruments on orbiters. A more complete understanding of the meteorology of the PBL is an essential precursor to manned missions to Mars because this will be their working environment. In-situ measurements are needed for these studies because the spatial and temporal scales that characterize the important meteorological processes near the surface cannot be resolved from orbit. The Mars Environmental Survey (MESUR) Program will provide the first opportunity to deploy a network of surface weather stations for a comprehensive investigation of the Martian PBL. The feasibility and utility of a network of micro-weather stations for making in-situ meteorological measurements in the Martian PBL are assessed.

  13. What Lies Below a Martian Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger annotated version

    This image (top) taken by the Shallow Radar instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals the layers of ice, sand and dust that make up the north polar ice cap on Mars. It is the most detailed look to date at the insides of this ice cap. The colored map below the radar picture shows the topography of the corresponding Martian terrain (red and white represent higher ground, and green and yellow lower).

    The radar image reveals four never-before-seen thick layers of ice and dust separated by layers of nearly pure ice. According to scientists, these thick ice-free layers represent approximately one-million-year-long cycles of climate change on Mars caused by variations in the planet's tilted axis and its eccentric orbit around the sun. Adding up the entire stack of ice gives an estimated age for the north polar ice cap of about 4 million years a finding that agrees with previous theoretical estimates. The ice cap is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick.

    The radar picture also shows that the boundary between the ice layers and the surface of Mars underneath is relatively flat (bottom white line on the right). This implies that the surface of Mars is not sagging, or bending, under the weight of the ice cap and this, in turn, suggests that the planet's lithosphere, a combination of the crust and the strong parts of the upper mantle, is thicker than previously thought.

    A thicker lithosphere on Mars means that temperatures increase more gradually with depth toward the interior. Temperatures warm enough for water to be liquid are therefore deeper than previously thought. Likewise, if liquid water does exist in aquifers below the surface of Mars, and if there are any organisms living in that water, they would have to be located deeper in the planet.

    The topography data are from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, which was flown on NASA's Mars Global

  14. Early and late maturing grain sorghum under variable climatic conditions in the Texas High Plains

    In the Texas High Plains, variable climatic conditions prevail between and within growing seasons. As this area continues to experience drought conditions, and water resources for irrigation become more limited, sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] production may become a more popular choice to sus...

  15. Research on climate impacts to forests began early at Fort Valley Experimental Forest

    Brian W. Geils; Susan D. Olberding

    2012-01-01

    Even before Arizona was a state, government scientists walked and rode across its broad, open landscapes from nearly sea level to over 12,000 feet of elevation, observing its diverse vegetation and climate. In 1889, biologist C. Hart Merriam traversed northern Arizona and found six of the seven world life zones he would later describe by latitude and elevation. The...

  16. The Policy Climate for Early Adolescent Initiatives. P/PV Briefs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Gary

    The general reluctance to use public policy to confront social concerns has increased over the past 20 years. This document discusses how America arrived at this view of public social policy. Mentoring and after-school programs are examined to help explain specific opportunities and limits likely to make up the social policy climate for early…

  17. Early Participation in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Stacey Swearingen

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze those US campuses that became signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) during the charter membership period of December 2006 through September 15, 2007. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on literature in organizational change,…

  18. Classroom Climate, Parental Educational Involvement, and Student School Functioning in Early Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan Toren, Nurit; Seginer, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    In this 2-year longitudinal study, we examine the effects of perceived classroom climate and two aspects of parental educational involvement (home-based and school-based) on junior high school students' self-evaluation and academic achievement. Our main hypothesis was that perceived parental educational involvement mediates students' perceived…

  19. Martian channels and valleys - Their characteristics, distribution, and age

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H.; Clow, G. D.

    1981-01-01

    The distribution and ages of Martian channels and valleys, which are generally believed to have been cut by running water, are examined with particular emphasis on the small branching networks referred to as runoff channels or valley networks. Valleys at latitudes from 65 deg S to 65 deg N were surveyed on Viking images at resolutions between 125 and 300 m. Almost all of the valleys are found in the old cratered terrain, in areas characterized by high elevations, low albedos and low violet/red ratios. The networks are deduced to have formed early in the history of the planet, with a formation rate declining rapidly shortly after the decline of the cratering rate 3.9 billion years ago. Two types of outflow channels are distinguished: unconfined, in which broad swaths of terrain are scoured, and confined, in which flow is restricted to discrete channels. Both types start at local sources, and have formed episodically throughout Martian history. Fretted channels, found mainly in two latitude belts characterized by relatively rapid erosion along escarpments, are explained by the lateral enlargement of other channels by mass wasting.

  20. Two Sizes of Ripples on Surface of Martian Sand Dune

    2016-06-30

    Two sizes of wind-sculpted ripples are evident in this view of the top surface of a Martian sand dune. Sand dunes and the smaller type of ripples also exist on Earth. The larger ripples -- roughly 10 feet (3 meters) apart -- are a type not seen on Earth nor previously recognized as a distinct type on Mars. The Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover took the multiple component images of this scene on Dec. 13, 2015, during the 1,192nd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. That month, Curiosity was conducting the first close-up investigation ever made of active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth. The larger ripples have distinctive sinuous crest lines, compared to the smaller ripples. The location is part of "Namib Dune" in the Bagnold Dune Field, which forms a dark band along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. The component images were taken in early morning at this site, with the camera looking in the direction of the sun. This mosaic combining the images has been processed to brighten it and make the ripples more visible. The sand is very dark, both from the morning shadows and from the intrinsic darkness of the minerals that dominate its composition. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20755

  1. Martian Methane Cycle and Organic Compounds from Martian Regolith Breccia NWA7533 by Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orthous-Daunay, F.-R.; Thissen, R.; Flandinet, L.; Bonal, L.; Vuitton, V.; Beck, P.; Hashiguchi, M.; Naraoka, H.

    2018-04-01

    We compare the organic mixture of a carbon rich martian meteorite and carbonaceous chondrites. The major difference lies in the absence of polymeric patterns in NWA7533. We interpret this as a destruction of exogenous polymers under Mars conditions.

  2. Cool episode and platform demise in the Early Aptian: New insights on the links between climate and carbonate production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonin, Aurélie; Pucéat, Emmanuelle; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Mattioli, Emanuela; Aurell, Marcos; Joachimski, Michael; Barbarin, Nicolas; Laffont, Rémi

    2016-01-01

    The Early Aptian encountered several crises in neritic and pelagic carbonate production, major perturbations in the carbon cycle, and an oceanic anoxic event (OAE1a). Yet the causal links between these perturbations and climate changes remain poorly understood, partly because temperature records spanning the Early Aptian interval are still scant. We present new δ18O data from well-preserved bivalves from a carbonate platform of the Galve subbasin (Spain) that document a major cooling event postdating most of OAE1a. Our data show that cooling postdates the global platform demise and cannot have triggered this event that occurred during the warmest interval. The warmest temperatures coincide with the time equivalent of OAE1a and with platform biotic assemblages dominated by microbialites at Aliaga as well as on other Tethyan platforms. Coral-dominated assemblages then replace microbialites during the subsequent cooling. Nannoconids are absent during most of the time equivalent of the OAE1a, probably related to the well-known crisis affecting this group. Yet they present a transient recovery in the upper part of this interval with an increase in both size and abundance during the cool interval portion that postdates OAE1a. An evolution toward cooler and drier climatic conditions may have induced the regional change from microbial to coral assemblages as well as nannoconids size and abundance increase by limiting continent-derived input of nutrients.

  3. Meteoric Magnesium Ions in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesnell, William Dean; Grebowsky, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    From a thorough modeling of the altitude profile of meteoritic ionization in the Martian atmosphere we deduce that a persistent layer of magnesium ions should exist around an altitude of 70 km. Based on current estimates of the meteoroid mass flux density, a peak ion density of about 10(exp 4) ions/cm is predicted. Allowing for the uncertainties in all of the model parameters, this value is probably within an order of magnitude of the correct density. Of these parameters, the peak density is most sensitive to the meteoroid mass flux density which directly determines the ablated line density into a source function for Mg. Unlike the terrestrial case, where the metallic ion production is dominated by charge-exchange of the deposited neutral Mg with the ambient ions, Mg+ in the Martian atmosphere is produced predominantly by photoionization. The low ultraviolet absorption of the Martian atmosphere makes Mars an excellent laboratory in which to study meteoric ablation. Resonance lines not seen in the spectra