Mars Experienced Climate Change Eons Ago

Image description via the Plantetary Science Institute: "Loire Vallis (white line) is an outlet canyon that formed from the overflow of a lake in Parana Basin (outlined in white). Black lines indicate other valleys formed by processes other than lake overflows. Background is colored MOLA-derived topography over a THEMIS image mosaic. Image is approximately 650 kilometers across." NASA/GSFC/JPL/ASU

The Martian Landscape Was Shaped by Massive, Climate Change–Fueled Floods

by Ben Panko/

Along with that iconic red dust, the planet Mars is covered by a dramatic topography, including the solar system’s highest mountain, countless impact craters, and large series of canyons and valleys. Now, new research theorizes that some of those gorges could have been carved out of the Martian landscape by enormous floods as climate change melted the planet’s glaciers, according to a paper published last week in the journal Nature.

Mars is famously dry and dusty today, but billions of years ago the planet likely hosted a thick atmosphere and large amounts of liquid water. While research about whether that wet, warm Mars-hosted life is still ongoing, it’s also increasingly clear that the effects of that time period can still be found deeply etched on the planet’s surface in the present day.

The wet Mars of yore was also one under regular bombardment by asteroids, and it’s likely that the craters caused by these impacts became lakes filled with water, reports Charles Q. Choi of As climate change began to spiral out of control on the Red Planet, these lakes appear to have breached, releasing large amounts of water across the planet’s surface.

Read the full article at Smithsonsian Mag

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  1. Without a molten iron core driving water to the surface and an atmosphere that is not protected by that cores magnetic field Mar certainly has Climate issues.
    Thank goodness that the Earth has a Uranium and Thorium fission reactor providing US these benefits.

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