Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2

Ramses M. Ramirez, Ravi Kopparapu, Michael E. Zugger, Tyler D. Robinson, Richard Freedman, James Kasting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The presence of valleys on ancient terrains of Mars suggests that liquid water flowed on the martian surface 3.8 Gyr ago or before. The above-freezing temperatures required to explain valley formation could have been transient, in response to the frequent large meteorite impacts on early Mars, or they could have been caused by long-lived greenhouse warming. Climate models that consider only the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and water have been unable to recreate warm surface conditions, given the lower solar luminosity at that time. Here we use a one-dimensional climate model to demonstrate that an atmosphere containing 1.3-4 bar of CO2 and water, in addition to 5-20% H2, could have raised the mean surface temperature of early Mars above the freezing point of water. Vigorous volcanic outgassing from a highly reduced early martian mantle is expected to provide sufficient atmospheric H2 and CO 2-the latter from the photochemical oxidation of outgassed CH 4 and CO-to form a CO2 and H2 greenhouse. Such a dense early martian atmosphere is consistent with independent estimates of surface pressure based on cratering data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2014

Fingerprint

Mars
warming
freezing
climate modeling
valley
water
Martian atmosphere
cratering
surface pressure
meteorite
greenhouse gas
surface temperature
carbon dioxide
mantle
oxidation
liquid
atmosphere
temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Ramirez, R. M., Kopparapu, R., Zugger, M. E., Robinson, T. D., Freedman, R., & Kasting, J. (2014). Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2. Nature Geoscience, 7(1), 59-63. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2000
Ramirez, Ramses M. ; Kopparapu, Ravi ; Zugger, Michael E. ; Robinson, Tyler D. ; Freedman, Richard ; Kasting, James. / Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2. In: Nature Geoscience. 2014 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 59-63.
@article{fe593a514a4748fdb31bc6742d2d85d6,
title = "Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2",
abstract = "The presence of valleys on ancient terrains of Mars suggests that liquid water flowed on the martian surface 3.8 Gyr ago or before. The above-freezing temperatures required to explain valley formation could have been transient, in response to the frequent large meteorite impacts on early Mars, or they could have been caused by long-lived greenhouse warming. Climate models that consider only the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and water have been unable to recreate warm surface conditions, given the lower solar luminosity at that time. Here we use a one-dimensional climate model to demonstrate that an atmosphere containing 1.3-4 bar of CO2 and water, in addition to 5-20{\%} H2, could have raised the mean surface temperature of early Mars above the freezing point of water. Vigorous volcanic outgassing from a highly reduced early martian mantle is expected to provide sufficient atmospheric H2 and CO 2-the latter from the photochemical oxidation of outgassed CH 4 and CO-to form a CO2 and H2 greenhouse. Such a dense early martian atmosphere is consistent with independent estimates of surface pressure based on cratering data.",
author = "Ramirez, {Ramses M.} and Ravi Kopparapu and Zugger, {Michael E.} and Robinson, {Tyler D.} and Richard Freedman and James Kasting",
year = "2014",
month = "2",
day = "17",
doi = "10.1038/ngeo2000",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
pages = "59--63",
journal = "Nature Geoscience",
issn = "1752-0894",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "1",

}

Ramirez, RM, Kopparapu, R, Zugger, ME, Robinson, TD, Freedman, R & Kasting, J 2014, 'Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2', Nature Geoscience, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 59-63. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2000

Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2. / Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kopparapu, Ravi; Zugger, Michael E.; Robinson, Tyler D.; Freedman, Richard; Kasting, James.

In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 7, No. 1, 17.02.2014, p. 59-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2

AU - Ramirez, Ramses M.

AU - Kopparapu, Ravi

AU - Zugger, Michael E.

AU - Robinson, Tyler D.

AU - Freedman, Richard

AU - Kasting, James

PY - 2014/2/17

Y1 - 2014/2/17

N2 - The presence of valleys on ancient terrains of Mars suggests that liquid water flowed on the martian surface 3.8 Gyr ago or before. The above-freezing temperatures required to explain valley formation could have been transient, in response to the frequent large meteorite impacts on early Mars, or they could have been caused by long-lived greenhouse warming. Climate models that consider only the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and water have been unable to recreate warm surface conditions, given the lower solar luminosity at that time. Here we use a one-dimensional climate model to demonstrate that an atmosphere containing 1.3-4 bar of CO2 and water, in addition to 5-20% H2, could have raised the mean surface temperature of early Mars above the freezing point of water. Vigorous volcanic outgassing from a highly reduced early martian mantle is expected to provide sufficient atmospheric H2 and CO 2-the latter from the photochemical oxidation of outgassed CH 4 and CO-to form a CO2 and H2 greenhouse. Such a dense early martian atmosphere is consistent with independent estimates of surface pressure based on cratering data.

AB - The presence of valleys on ancient terrains of Mars suggests that liquid water flowed on the martian surface 3.8 Gyr ago or before. The above-freezing temperatures required to explain valley formation could have been transient, in response to the frequent large meteorite impacts on early Mars, or they could have been caused by long-lived greenhouse warming. Climate models that consider only the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and water have been unable to recreate warm surface conditions, given the lower solar luminosity at that time. Here we use a one-dimensional climate model to demonstrate that an atmosphere containing 1.3-4 bar of CO2 and water, in addition to 5-20% H2, could have raised the mean surface temperature of early Mars above the freezing point of water. Vigorous volcanic outgassing from a highly reduced early martian mantle is expected to provide sufficient atmospheric H2 and CO 2-the latter from the photochemical oxidation of outgassed CH 4 and CO-to form a CO2 and H2 greenhouse. Such a dense early martian atmosphere is consistent with independent estimates of surface pressure based on cratering data.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84893790885&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84893790885&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/ngeo2000

DO - 10.1038/ngeo2000

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84893790885

VL - 7

SP - 59

EP - 63

JO - Nature Geoscience

JF - Nature Geoscience

SN - 1752-0894

IS - 1

ER -

Ramirez RM, Kopparapu R, Zugger ME, Robinson TD, Freedman R, Kasting J. Warming early Mars with CO2 and H2. Nature Geoscience. 2014 Feb 17;7(1):59-63. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2000