According to a new study, massive plumes of methane caused mysterious warm spells which released liquid water flow on Mars. The research can facilitate scientist to comprehend the conditions of life on the red planet.
Mars’ wobbly axis brought about fleeting bouts of global warming which may have triggered the reservoirs of frozen methane. The methane gas escaped into the atmosphere and mixed with carbon dioxide. The reaction caused widespread warming which lasted several hundred years.
The red planet is relatively warmer and moist. Curiosity Rover, NASA’s Mars orbiter, spotted certain valleys of river delta. The spots may have likely been carved by water for over thousand years.
Some of these features date to 3.6 to 3 billion years ago. It was suggested, Mars may have experienced periodic warm spells during an otherwise icy phase of the red planet.
Kevin Zahnle, a NASA scientist, found the phenomena ‘an unresolved paradox.’
“Some people say it looked warmish and wet, at least occasionally. On the other hand, nobody can figure out how it could have been warm and wet,” he added.
Robin Wordsworth, a researcher at Harvard University, revealed the situation on Mars. When methane combines with carbon dioxide, it could have brought about a stronger greenhouse gas. This strengthened the case of methane’s role in warming up the icy surface.
Methane on Mars is a subject which has been in debate for decades. There is a probability of life on Mars with the presence of methane. Earth’s methane is produced by decaying organisms.
It was speculated, Mars’ methane was created by chemical reaction between rocks and water underneath the planet’s surface. The gas, produced by these reactions, may have moved up to the surface.
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars, Trace Gas Orbiter, is currently traversing around Mars to sniff traces of methane. Researchers say, the theory is unsubstantiated as they have not resolved the paradox yet.