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… 

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 aqueous

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 the

Sulfur dioxide inhibits calcium carbonate precipitation: Implications for early Mars and Earth

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 of

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.

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 drastically

The sulfur content of volcanic gases on Mars

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 early

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 was

Early Mars volcanic sulfur storage in the upper cryosphere and formation of transient SO2‐rich atmospheres during the Hesperian

In a previous paper (Chassefière et al. ), 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‐SO2

Missing salts on early Mars

Our understanding of the role of water on Mars has been profoundly influenced over the past several years by the detection of widespread aqueous alteration minerals. Clay minerals are found



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 silicate

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.

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.

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.

Carbon degassing from the lithosphere

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 difficult

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 of

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 new

CO2 condensation and the climate of early Mars.

  • J. Kasting
  • Physics, Environmental Science
  • 1991

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.