Dry Ice Lake Suggests Mars Once Had A ‘Dust Bowl’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you think Mars is a hostile place now, it was harsher 600,000 years ago.

Scientists say it was stormier and dustier. That’s because there was more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Their findings are based on the discovery of a huge underground reservoir of dry ice in the Martian south pole.

Researchers say that dry ice, or frozen carbon dioxide, used to be in Mars’ atmosphere. Roger Phillips of the Southwest Research Institute says Mars’ climate was probably a lot like the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s — but a lot worse.

There is an upshot. The thicker atmosphere back then means there were more regions on the planet where liquid water probably existed.

The research was published online Thursday in the journal Science.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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    […] If you think Mars is a hostile place now, it was harsher 600,000 years ago. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • Borsia Novak

    Like any of this freaking matters!
    America is bankrupt, our economy is in the toilet, the real unemployment rate is pushing 22%, for all intent and purpose the sky is falling! And the fools at the top are spending billions of dollars to study a planet which can never support life even if we could get there, which we can’t.
    It doesn’t matter if there might have been water there at some distant point in the past. It doesn’t even matter if there were humanoids living in resort spas in the past.
    We can’t afford to waste the money to find out.
    What we do know NOW is that there is no viable atmosphere and no life on Mars today.
    I can understand that looking into space is far less depressing than looking at what they have done here on earth. But his is where we live, this is where we need to be looking. This is where we need to be spending our research money.
    Dump NASA and start thinking NOW-SA.

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