A Sulfur Dioxide Climate Feedback on Early Mars

  title={A Sulfur Dioxide Climate Feedback on Early Mars},
  author={Itay Halevy and Maria T. Zuber and Daniel P. Schrag},
  pages={1903 - 1907}
Ancient Mars had liquid water on its surface and a CO2-rich atmosphere. Despite the implication that massive carbonate deposits should have formed, these have not been detected. On the basis of fundamental chemical and physical principles, we propose that climatic conditions enabling the existence of liquid water were maintained by appreciable atmospheric concentrations of volcanically degassed SO2 and H2S. The geochemistry resulting from equilibration of this atmosphere with the hydrological… Expand
Sulfur on Mars
The sulfur cycle is arguably the most important geochemical cycle on Mars because the transfer of sulfur places limits on Mars's differentiation processes, sedimentary, geomorphic and aqueousExpand
Sulfur dioxide inhibits calcium carbonate precipitation: Implications for early Mars and Earth
[1] Recent studies have suggested a role for sulfur dioxide (SO2) in maintaining relatively warm surface temperatures on early Mars. Here we show experimentally, that SO2 concentrations orders ofExpand
Sulfur-induced greenhouse warming on early Mars
[1] Mineralogical, geological, geophysical, and isotopic data recently returned from Mars suggest that the delivery of sulfur gases to the atmosphere may have played a significant role in theExpand
Carbonates and Martian Climate
Morris et al. (3) report the detection of ample carbonates dispersed within the subsurface, thereby strengthening arguments that CO2 played a major role in the early martian climate system. Expand
Geochemical Reservoirs and Timing of Sulfur Cycling on Mars
Sulfate-dominated sedimentary deposits are widespread on the surface of Mars, which contrasts with the rarity of carbonate deposits, and indicates surface waters with chemical features drasticallyExpand
The sulfur content of volcanic gases on Mars
Both high sulfur contents of the martian regolith and lack of detection of extensive carbonate deposits suggest that the latest geological events that shaped the landscapes of Mars were dominated byExpand
Early Mars volcanic sulfur storage in the upper cryosphere and formation of transient SO2‐rich atmospheres during the Hesperian
In a previous paper (Chassefiere et al. 2013), we have shown that most volcanic sulfur released to the early Mars atmosphere could have been trapped in the upper cryosphere under the form of CO2-SO2Expand
The environment of early Mars and the missing carbonates
Abstract– A model is presented in which the aqueous conditions needed to generate phyllosilicate minerals in the absence of carbonates found in the ancient Noachian crust are maintained by an earlyExpand
Origin of acidic surface waters and the evolution of atmospheric chemistry on early Mars
Observations from in situ experiments and planetary orbiters have shown that the sedimentary rocks found at Meridiani Planum, Mars were formed in the presence of acidic surface waters. The water wasExpand
Photochemical and climate consequences of sulfur outgassing on early Mars
Abstract Ancient Mars might have been warm and wet compared to today, but climate models have trouble reproducing this warmth, partly because of the faintness of the young Sun and partly because ofExpand


A negative feedback mechanism for the long‐term stabilization of Earth's surface temperature
We suggest that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is buffered, over geological time scales, by a negative feedback mechanism in which the rate of weathering of silicateExpand
Warming early Mars with carbon dioxide clouds that scatter infrared radiation.
Model calculations show that the surface of early Mars could have been warmed through a scattering variant of the greenhouse effect, resulting from the ability of the carbon dioxide ice clouds to reflect the outgoing thermal radiation back to the surface. Expand
Phyllosilicates on Mars and implications for early martian climate
It is inferred that the two main families of hydrated alteration products detected—phyllosilicates and sulphates—result from different formation processes, which occurred during two distinct climatic episodes: an early Noachian Mars, resulting in the formation of Hydrated silicates, followed by a more acidic environment, in which sulphates formed. Expand
Inhibition of carbonate synthesis in acidic oceans on early Mars
Examination of the feasibility of carbonate synthesis in ancient martian oceans using aqueous equilibrium calculations concludes that extensive interaction between an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide and a lasting sulphate- and iron-enriched acidic ocean on early Mars is a plausible explanation for the observed absence of carbonates. Expand
Carbon degassing from the lithosphere
Abstract So far, the role of present-day Earth degassing in global C budget and climate effects has been focused to volcanic emissions. The non-volcanic escape of CO 2 –CH 4 from the upper mantle,Expand
Effect of the greenhouse gases (CO2, H2O, SO2) on Martian paleoclimate
There is general agreement that certain surface features on Mars are indicative of the presence of liquid water at various times in the geologic past. In particular, the valley networks are difficultExpand
Acidic volatiles and the Mars soil
Large portions of Mars' surface are covered with deposits of fine, homogeneous, weathered dusty-soil material. Nanophase iron oxides, silicate mineraloids, and salts prevail in the soil. The mode ofExpand
Global Mineralogical and Aqueous Mars History Derived from OMEGA/Mars Express Data
Global mineralogical mapping of Mars by the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité (OMEGA) instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft provides newExpand
CO2 condensation and the climate of early Mars.
  • J. Kasting
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Icarus
  • 1991
A one-dimensional, radiative-convective climate model was used to reexamine the question of whether early Mars could have been kept warm by the greenhouse effect of a dense, CO2 atmosphere, and alternative mechanisms for warming early Mars and explaining channel formation are discussed. Expand
CO2 greenhouse in the early martian atmosphere: SO2 inhibits condensation.
Preliminary radiative modeling shows that the addition of 0.1 ppmv of SO2 in a 2 bar CO2 atmosphere raises the temperature of the middle atmosphere by approximately 10 degrees, so that the upper atmosphere in a 1 D model remains above the condensation temperature of CO2. Expand