This is an image of Mars.
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Image from: NASA
Theories about Martian water & Climate
Scientists have two ideas about what happens to water on Mars. These ideas conflict with each other.
- 1.) Since warm weather is needed for the formation of the river channels & floods, episodes of warm climate caused floods, releasing water into the atmosphere. Water condenses onto the ground at higher latitudes where it is cooler. The end result of this process is that *water is returned* to the aquifer, and the cycle repeats itself in the next episode of warm climate.
- 2.) Flooding causes a *permanent* transfer of water to low areas.
These theories leave some questions unanswered. How do we verify which of these ideas is correct? Further exploration of Mars would help clarify the answers. For example, digging at low areas to find the thickness of the deposits of ice.
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