Water Without CO2 On Mars?
NASA's Curiosity rover recently sent back interesting data from Mars. It has finally able to solve the mystery of the presence of water on the Red Planet.
According to Tech Times, the rover previously found that the environment was conducive to water. It may have hinted on the possibility of life in the Martian soil. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily go together what we do know about our neighboring planet. It has way too little carbon dioxide (CO2) to give way for a greenhouse-effect kind of warming, which would have shown thawed ice. However, the latest research showed a glaring lack of carbonates in a bedrock sample from Mars.
In 2013, when Curiosity found the quality of water on the planet was good enough to drink, the research team researched on fine minerals on the planet's surface with 2 percent water per weight. The researchers seem to have found these in the Gale Crater, which was then described as a glacial lake surrounded by masses of ice. The research indicated that the environmental condition in the area could be similar to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic today.
The Christian Science Monitor noted that the international team of researchers found that levels of carbonate were at least tens or hundreds of times lower than they should have been to allow the flow of liquid water, leading them to conclude that there is not nearly enough carbonate to keep the water liquid and consumable for life on Mars.
Today, scientists struggle with a paradoxical problem. While there have been evidence showing the lack of carbonate on the Martian surface, there is also strong evidence that showed Mars having a wet and warm past. Martha Gilmore of Wesleyan University spent her time studying Martian geomorphology and does think that this is a good problem to have. Also, for now, this provides an opportunity to learn about a completely different planet -- an exciting prospect as far as scientists are concerned.