Martian atmosphere churns harder in south making north wetter.
Mars: height variations lead to a wet north pole.
The changing face of the northern polar ice cap.
Scientists have figured out why its wet up north - on Mars. A new computer simulation of the martian atmosphere suggests that the planets geography causes differences in atmospheric circulation within the northern and southern hemispheres. These differences dump more water on the martian north pole, where it adds to the seasonal ice-cap.
Mark Richardson of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and John Wilson of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, find that the thin martian air, which is mostly carbon dioxide, rises and falls more vigorously in the southern than in the northern hemisphere1.
PHILIP BALL | © Nature News Service
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