Received good news for future Mars colonists: those icy land where you plan to spend your last days, currently staying in the “warm phase”. Scientists say they received information that Mars recently emerged from the ice age that can only mean one thing: time to get out the bombs and terraform this planet.
Using radar data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a team of scientists from the southwest research Institute have unearthed compelling evidence of accelerated accumulation of ice on the North pole of Mars in the recent geological past. This discovery, recently published in the journal Science, confirms what the model told you from the beginning of the 2000s: what ice age of the red planet ended about 370 000 years ago.
Like Earth, Mars fluctuates between glacial and interglacial phase because of changes in the orbit of the planet as its rotation around the Sun. But on Mars, these so-called “Milankovitch cycles” much more dramatic. While the tilt of Earth changes about 2 degrees between glacial and interglacial cycle, Mars practically does somersaults, rocking back and forth on its axis by as much as 60 degrees. Moreover, thanks to the powerful gravitational tug of Jupiter in the neighborhood, the orbit of Mars becomes very elongated, or eccentric, in a time frame of half a million years.
When changing the axial tilt and eccentricity are combined properly, Mars starts the ice age. But it is nothing like what you would expect on Earth.
“During the glacial period on the Earth poles become colder, causing the accumulation of ice that flows out to cover Canada and Northern Europe, say the researchers. — Mars reverse is also true. When the tilt of the planet increases, the poles are warming”.
In the result, the ice migrates from the poles to the middle latitudes of Mars. So when scientists saw a surge in the rate of accumulation of ice near the surface of the North polar cap of Mars, they realized that the glacial period was completed recently.
From the point of view of people-the colonists, that is good news. It is estimated that the North pole of Mars is currently blocked about 87 000 cubic kilometers of dry ice. This is a huge amount of frozen carbon dioxide buried in one place. If we make use of good advice Elon musk and inflict a nuclear strike on the pole, we can make the atmosphere thicker and warmer quite quickly.
“The fastest way to increase the atmospheric pressure is to liberate the CO2 ice,” says scientists. — It’s not enough that people could live, but at least something”.