View Full Version : Earth vs. Mars Polar Icing Episodes

2011-Jan-06, 07:53 AM
Earth and Mars undergo seasonal variation in polar icing.

Is anybody aware of comparative observations of the two - possibly compared to solar activity?

It seems a reasonable question to ask in view of the various interpretations of solar activity on climate.... and some superficial similarities between two very different balls of rock.

I can imagine that adequate records simply don't exist.

2011-Jan-07, 01:05 AM
Some of the frozen carbon dioxide evaporates when spring comes to the polar region of Mars. It does not get warm enough to evaporate significant amounts of water ice. Mars was a bit warmer near the end of the 20 th century, so yes solar activity is at least a minor factor. Neil

2011-Jan-07, 01:27 AM
Speaking only of Mars, I'm guessing the records aren't there, for several reasons:

1.) Mars is too difficult to observe from Earth for measurements of the required accuracy, especially if we're going back to the pre-CCD days.

2.) The polar caps have probably always been a fairly low-priority target.

3.) There are many more unknowns when it comes to studying Martian climate, such as its potentially-chaotic axial changes and larger swings in orbital eccentricity which are compounded when added to the difficulty of determining solar irradiation's effect on our own.

That said, there have been some hints of long-term solar-induced (?) warming on Mars from long-term imaging of the ice caps, but I don't know how the mods look on posting copyrighted article links.