Methods used to predict climate change on Earth have worked on Mars as well, research shows.
According to a news release from Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, researchers found that an unusual concentration of Martian glacial features match predictions made by global climate computerized models.
PSI Senior Scientist William K. Hartmann said in the release that if the climate models can be used to explain features on other planets, they "must have at least some validity."
Hartmann presented the report, "Science of Global Climate Modeling: Confirmation from Discoveries On Mars," at a meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in Reno, NV.
The scientific team combined four different aspects of Martian geological mapping and Martian climate science to reach their conclusions. They noted that the climate models, the presence of glaciers, the ages of the glacial surface layers, and radar confirmation of ice in same general area, all gave consistent results – that the glaciers formed in a specific region of Mars, due to unusual climate circumstances, just as indicated by the climate model.
"The bottom line is that the global climate models indicate that the last few intense deposits of ice occurred about 5 million to 15 million years ago, virtually centered on Greg crater, and that's just where the spacecraft data reveal glaciers whose surface layers date from that time," Hartmann said. "If global climate models indicate specific concentration of ice-rich features where and when we actually see them on a distant planet, then climate modeling should not be sarcastically dismissed. Our results provide an important, teachable refutation of the attacks on climate science on our home planet."
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