Earth and Mars: Evolution of Atmospheres and Surface Temperatures

  title={Earth and Mars: Evolution of Atmospheres and Surface Temperatures},
  author={Carl E. Sagan and George Mullen},
  pages={52 - 56}
Solar evolution implies, for contemporary albedos and atmospheric composition, global mean temperatures below the freezing point of seawater less than 2.3 aeons ago, contrary to geologic and paleontological evidence. Ammonia mixing ratios of the order of a few parts per million in the middle Precambrian atmosphere resolve this and other problems. Possible temperature evolutionary tracks for Earth and Mars are described. A runaway greenhouse efect will occur on Earth about 4.5 aeons from now… 
Climatic Change on Mars
The equatorial sinuous channels on Mars detected by Mariner 9 point to a past epoch of higher pressures and abundant liquid water, which implies that epochs of much higher and of much lower pressure must have characterized martian history.
The Climates of Earth’s Next Supercontinent: Effects of Tectonics, Rotation Rate, and Insolation
We explore two possible Earth climate scenarios, 200 and 250 million years into the future, using projections of the evolution of plate tectonics, solar luminosity, and rotation rate. In one
Early Mars: How Warm and How Wet?
Early in its history, Mars underwent fluvial erosion that has been interpreted as evidence for a warmer, wetter climate. However, no atmosphere composed of only CO2 and H2O appears capable of
Atmospheric Escape and Evolution of Terrestrial Planets and Satellites
The origin and evolution of Venus’, Earth’s, Mars’ and Titan’s atmospheres are discussed from the time when the active young Sun arrived at the Zero-Age-Main-Sequence. We show that the high EUV flux
Earth, Formation and Early Evolution
Earth formed as a silicateand metal-rich body in the context of the other inner solar system “terrestrial” worlds. In its early evolution, it separated into layers (core, ▶mantle, ▶ crust) as a
Paleoamospheric temperature structure
Primitive atmosphere and implications for the formation of channels on Mars
THE channels on Mars1,2 suggest that a flowing fluid has been present on the surface of the planet. It seems natural to assume that this fluid was water. The major difficulty, however, is that water
Reducing greenhouses and the temperature history of Earth and Mars
THE modern theory of stellar evolution implies that the Sun has increased in brightness by several tens of per cent over geological time. Were all other global parameters held constant, this would
Geological and geochemical legacy of a cold early Mars
[1] We consider the hypothesis that Mars never experienced an early warm, wet period and the implications of a continuously cold Martian climate for the hydrology and geochemistry of the planet.


Sulfur Isotopes in Swaziland System Barites and the Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere
Sedimentary barites from the Swaziland System of South Africa have sulfur-34 ratios that are enriched by only 2.5 per mil with respect to contemporary sulfides, and it is proposed that oxygen pressure in the earth's atmosphere was very low and local oxidation occurred in a photosynthetic layer of the ocean.
Atmospheric and hydrospheric evolution on the primitive earth. Both secular accretion and biological and geochemical processes have affected earth's volatile envelope.
Biospheric, hydrospheric, lithospheric and atmospheric evolution on primitive earth, discussing secular accretion and biological and geochemical processes effect on volatile envelope
Chemical events on the primitive Earth.
  • P. Abelson
  • Geology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1966
The hypothesis of an early methane-ammonia atmosphere is found to be without solid foundation and indeed is contraindicated, and arguments concerning feasible components support the view that amino acids and proteins preceded sugars and nucleic acids.
Age of the Transition in the Pre-Cambrian Atmosphere
RECENTLY published age determinations1,2 together with other figures3 from British Guiana can be used to give more information about the Pre-Cambrian atmosphere. Rutten4 has suggested that a
Thermodynamic Equilibria in Planetary Atmospheres
Thermodynamic equilibrium composition of all combinations of C, H, O and N at average pressure and temperature calculated for atmospheres of earth, Venus, Mars and Jupiter
Alga-Like Fossils from the Early Precambrian of South Africa
Micropaleontological studies of carbonaceouis chert from the Fig Tree Series of South Africa (> 3.1 x 109 years old) revealed the presence of spheroidal microfossils, here designated
The History and Stability of Atmospheric Oxygen
There are three processes weakly concentration-dependent that keep changes in concentration of atmospheric pressure from being a random walk—inhibition of net photosynthesis by oxygen, the passage of
The Earth as a Planet
Professor Cook deals with some of these problems in this article, which is a summary of the inaugural lecture he gave as professor of geophysics at Edinburgh on January 15.