The Martian Atmosphere Through Thick and Thin

Alejandro Soto (Southwest Research Institute)
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Hybrid - 54-915 and Zoom

The Martian Atmosphere Through Thick and Thin

Global energy balance models of the Martian atmospherehave predicted that throughout Martian history, for a range of initial total carbon dioxide inventories, the Martian atmosphere may be unstable relative to surface deposition. This is commonly referred to as atmospheric collapse. Since a collapsed state may limit the amount of time available for physical and chemical weathering, understanding the conditions for collapse is a critical step to understanding the possible history of the Martian atmosphere. Using a general circulation model (GCM), I investigated the details of the three-dimensional, time varying climate dynamics at the threshold for atmospheric collapse. In this talk, I will explore how meridional heat transport and topography interact to create the conditions of collapse from the Noachian era Mars to the current era Mars. I will also discuss how the atmospheric collapse process provides limits to any potential warm wet Mars.

About the Series

The MIT Planetary Lunch Seminar [PLS], formerly PICS, is a weekly seminar series organized within the EAPS department. Colloquia topics span the range of research interests of the department's planetary sciences research program. The seminars usually take place on Tuesdays from 12-1:30 pm. Speakers include members of the MIT community and visitors. Talks are intended to appeal to graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, and faculty with a background in planetary science. 

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