Watering the Air
Got Milk? How?
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Tree Frogs
Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
Little Beetle, Big Horns
Insect Stowaways
Talking with Hands
Seeing red means danger ahead
Between a rock and a wet place
Chemistry and Materials
Fog Buster
Supergoo to the rescue
A Framework for Growing Bone
Getting in Touch with Touch
A Light Delay
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
The man who rocked biology to its core
A Living Fossil
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Greener Diet
A Global Warming Flap
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
Flu river
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Finding the Past
Untangling Human Origins
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Ancient Cave Behavior
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Nurse Sharks
Saltwater Fish
Food and Nutrition
Chew for Health
Strong Bones for Life
The Essence of Celery
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Deep-space dancers
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Human Body
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Nature's Medicines
The tell-tale bacteria
Sea Urchin
Cape Buffalo
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Plants Travel Wind Highways
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Sweet, Sticky Science
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Dark Galaxy
Saturn's Spongy Moon
Asteroid Lost and Found
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
Dancing with Robots
Beyond Bar Codes
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
How to Fly Like a Bat
Flying the Hyper Skies
Robots on a Rocky Road
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Warmest Year on Record
Arctic Melt
Add your Article

A Darker, Warmer Red Planet

Our planet is getting warmer, and ice at the North and South Poles is melting. Global warming may be happening on Mars too.

When the sun shines on a planet, the planet’s surface reflects some of the sunlight back into space. Other sunlight gets absorbed and warms the planet. Light-colored surfaces, such as white ice caps, reflect more sunlight than dark surfaces do. By contrast, dark surfaces absorb more of the sun’s radiation, which makes them get hotter.

Scientists who’ve compared pictures of Mars taken by satellites in the 1970s to images taken more recently have noticed that the Red Planet’s surface looks different than it used to. In some areas, the landscape looks much darker, while in others, it looks lighter. Overall, the surface of Mars—especially in the planet’s southern hemisphere—has grown darker over the past 30 years.

Most of those changes probably occurred because Martian winds blew away light-colored dust that had covered many regions. That exposed darker rocks that had been covered with dust.

The darkening of Mars has caused the planet to get warmer, a new study suggests. Scientists calculated how much more sunlight and heat Mars absorbs now. They compared that to how much it absorbed in the late 1970s. They estimate that the planet’s atmosphere is almost 1°C warmer, on average, than it was 30 years ago.

Some areas of Mars have warmed more than average. For example, the planet’s south pole may be 4°C warmer than it was in the late 1970s. That could explain why the ice cap at that pole has been melting recently, scientists say. Until now, they didn’t know why that was happening.

Like climate change on Earth, the change in Mars’ climate isn’t due to increases in the sun’s radiation, scientists say.—C. Gramling

A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet

Designed and Powered by™