August 21, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Did Mars Experience Planetwide Storms?

Impossible as it seems now, scientists believe that dry red planet had massive, flooding storms in the past.

Mars appears totally dry today. Mars rovers, however, since the first one, Pathfinder in 1997, have inferred past water flows along plains, in canyons and in craters. Where did the water come from? Where did it go? Ironically, secular scientists ask those same two questions of creationists who believe in a global Flood on Earth, the “water planet” where 70% of its surface is covered with water, the deepest ocean trenches go down 7 miles, and floods of precipitation (such as those going on in China; see WND) are common occurrences.

Sustained Planetwide Storms May Have Filled Lakes, Rivers on Ancient Mars (University of Texas at Austin). “Although scientists have found large amounts of frozen water on Mars, no significant amount of liquid water currently exists,” this press release says. Scientists at the U of Texas examined orbital images of 96 craters that appear to have been filled with water in the past, and calculated how much rain or snow would have had to fall to fill them to the brim. Some of the craters were so full, they overflowed and filled in nearby craters. Their conclusion? The amount of “precipitation must have been between 13 and 520 feet (4 to 159 meters) in a single episode to fill the lakes and, in some cases, provide enough water to overflow and breach the lake basins.”

It’s like, liquid water is not possible, but it happened.

That is an extraordinary amount of rain! On Earth, atmospheric scientists consider it extraordinary if 10 inches falls in a single storm. On Reunion Island in 1966, nearly 72 inches of rain fell during a cyclone – the highest rainfall ever recorded in 24 hours (CNN). Mars scientists have a huge puzzle on their hands trying to imagine a single storm on Mars dropping enough water to fill a 520-foot crater! The scientists realize this:

Mars has frozen water at its poles, but liquid water is not possible on the surface today because it would sublimate in the thin atmosphere.

The ancient climate of Mars is something of an enigma to scientists. To geologists, the existence of riverbeds and paleolakes — eons-old lake basins — paints a picture of a planet with significant rainfall or snowmelt. But scientists who specialize in computer climate models of the planet have been unable to reproduce an ancient climate with large amounts of liquid water present for long enough to account for the observed geology.

“This is extremely important because 3.5 to 4 billion years ago Mars was covered with water. It had lots of rain or snowmelt to fill those channels and lakes,” said lead author Gaia Stucky de Quay, a postdoctoral fellow at UT’s Jackson School of Geosciences. “Now it’s completely dry. We’re trying to understand how much water was there and where did it all go.”

The range of 13 to 520 feet represent the minimum and maximum amounts that climate modelers must account for in order to fill the craters with water. It seems an impossibility just to get the minimum.

“It’s a huge cognitive dissonance,” she said. “Climate models have trouble accounting for that amount of liquid water at that time. It’s like, liquid water is not possible, but it happened. This is the knowledge gap that our work is trying to fill in.”

Some 13 of the craters examined in the research appear to have been fed by the same river channels. The Mars 2020 mission with its Perseverance rover, the most advanced rover yet, plans to visit “Jezero crater, which contains one of the open lake beds used in the study.”

The rover Perseverance is scheduled to land February 18, 2021. The mission includes the first “helicopter” named “Ingenuity” that will test the feasibility of powered flight in the Martian atmosphere — an engineering challenge, because Mars has only 1% the density of Earth’s atmosphere.

The results of the precipitation study were published in Geology.The paper claims, “Aridity indexes of open-basin lakes indicate some regions may have been at least as humid as semiarid terrestrial environments.”

1. deQuay, Goudge and Fassett: Precipitation and aridity constraints from paleolakes on early Mars. Geology (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1130/G47886.1

If we remember correctly, the Spirit rover in 2012 was targeted for Gale Crater because it looked like it contained water-laid flood deposits. The rover only found lava, however. Is it possible these scientists at U Texas are misinterpreting evidence for water in those craters? Could a low-viscosity lava be responsible instead? That’s only a hunch for someone to investigate.

Whatever happened, floods on Mars are “not possible.” There wasn’t enough water to fill craters. It’s a “huge cognitive dissonance.” Where did the water come from? Where did it go?

The secular geologists are sure of one thing: a global Flood on Earth, where water abounds, is a myth.

 

 

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