American scientists have recognized the seasonal energy imbalance in the amount of solar energy absorbed and released by Mars as the main cause of Martian dust storms. This discovery could play an important role in understanding the climate and atmosphere of the neighboring planet. The relevant article was published in the journal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers compiled a global picture of Mars’ climate, based on observations made by a series of NASA Mars missions. Data from the Mars Global Surveyor, Curiosity rover and InSight lander have revealed strong seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in solar energy received by Mars, including periods of global dust storms. It turned out that there was a strong 15.3% energy imbalance between seasons on Mars, which is much more than on Earth (0.4%) or Titan (2.9%). It was also found that during the powerful dust storm of 2001, solar energy absorbed by Mars decreased by 22% during the day, but increased by 29% at night.
“One of the most interesting findings of the study is that the excess energy Mars receives from the Sun may be the most important mechanism for dust storms to occur on this planet,” said lead author Ellen Creasey of the University of Houston in Texas. in Press release Universities Space Research Association. “Our results, which highlight the link between dust storms on Mars and seasonal energy imbalances, may provide new insights into the formation of dust storms on this planet, and current numerical models of Martian climate should be seriously reviewed,” the co-author said. Herman Martinez of the Lunar and Planetary Sciences Institute.
The results of this work, combined with new numerical models, could improve current understanding of Martian climate and atmospheric circulation, which are extremely important for future Mars missions, including manned missions, and also point to some of the causes of Earth’s climate. problems.