November 28, 2022

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Life on Mars died due to a climate catastrophe?

Life on Mars died due to a climate catastrophe?

Did the ancient Mars, through their own activities, cause a climatic catastrophe that led to their extinction? This scenario is completely real.

Self-destructive atmosphere. We weren’t the first?

Scientists explain: through our actions, we contribute to drastic changes in the climate and, accordingly, destroy our place in which we live. It is arguable whether the natural disaster we are inevitably approaching is caused by the actions of individuals or the way in which an entire civilization develops. However, no matter how you look at it, we are wreaking havoc on ourselves. It is possible that we are not the first life forms in the solar system to behave in this way rather consciously.

Although there is no strong evidence yet that Mars was actually inhabited by microbial life forms, scientists tend to do so. The results of research by scientists from the University of Arizona, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, show that conditions on the Red Planet can, in fact, help the development of such life. It also gives an idea of ​​why we may now have trouble finding evidence of its existence.

Mars used to be different from today

Modern Mars is unusually cold, driest than any desert on Earth, and surrounded by an extremely thin atmosphere. As a result, no life form is likely to survive on its surface today. However, data collected by spacecraft and orbiters clearly indicate that in the old days the Red Planet was filled with rivers, lakes, and perhaps even oceans. Perhaps the conditions that prevailed there 4 billion years ago were ideally suited for the development of this or that life – at least on a small scale. Then, scientists in Arizona developed an ancient model of Mars, including elements such as the crust, atmosphere, and climate.

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Mars via the chariot of perseverance.

The study authors stress that they are not sure if there was life on ancient Mars. If this is the case, however, conditions must be ideal for methanogens, that is, microorganisms that produce methane and feed on carbon dioxide and hydrogen. So the scientists added their ecological model and examined whether the Millennium Red Planet would allow this form of life to thrive. The answer to this question turned out to be in the affirmative, and calculations were made about where this development could lead.

“After creating our model – figuratively speaking – we launched it into the Martian crust. Thanks to this, we can assess the possibility of the existence of such an underground biosphere, and if it really exists – how it can modify the chemistry of the Martian crust, then how the processes occurring in it will affect the chemical composition of the crust of Mars. Atmosphere” Explanation of Assumptions by Boris Souteri of the University of Arizona.

If there is life on Mars, it may destroy itself

It turns out that methanogens will in fact be able to survive in conditions that may have once existed on Mars. What’s more – nothing prevents them from developing there. Thanks to the large amounts of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, the authors say, the Red Planet was once humid and warm (colder than Earth, but with an average temperature above zero).

However, as a result of their evolution, microbes are likely to remove a lot of hydrogen from the atmosphere, which will be replaced by methane, and as a result, it will take several hundred thousand years for global cooling and atmospheric thinning. To first force them deep into the shell and then kill them. Or at least most of them died.

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Mars is changing
This is how Mars can change due to the activity of methanogens (Boris Souteri, Regis Ferrier).

The problem these microbes were likely to encounter was that [swoim rozwojem] It caused their energy source to disappear, so she had to find an alternate source.” Souteri added. Was that really the case? Hard to say yet. However, scientists argue that this is a scenario that cannot be ruled out either. And this, in turn, means that man is not the first form of life in the solar system that, by his own activities, causes irreparable damage to the atmosphere and brings destruction to himself.

Source: University of Arizona, New Atlas