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An observational search for CO2 ice clouds on MarsCO2 ice clouds were first directly identified on Mars by the Mariner 6 and 7 infrared spectrometer limb scans. These observations provided support for early theoretical modeling efforts of CO2 condensation. Mariner 9 IRIS temperature profiles of north polar hood clouds were interpreted as indicating that these clouds were composed of H2O ice at lower latitudes and CO2 ice at higher latitudes. The role of CO2 condensation on Mars has recently received increased attention because (1) Kasting's model results indicated that CO2 cloud condensation limits the magnitude of the proposed early Mars CO2/H2O greenhouse, and (2) Pollack el al.'s GCM results indicated that the formation of CO2 ice clouds is favorable at all polar latitudes during the fall and winter seasons. These latter authors have shown that CO2 clouds play an important role in the polar energy balance, as the amount of CO2 contained in the polar caps is constrained by a balance between latent heat release, heat advected from lower latitudes, and thermal emission to space. The polar hood clouds reduce the amount of CO2 condensation on the polar caps because they reduce the net emission to space. There have been many extensive laboratory spectroscopic studies of H2O and CO2 ices and frosts. In this study, we use results from these and other sources to search for the occurrence of diagnostic CO2 (and H2O) ice and/or frost absorption features in ground based near-infrared imaging spectroscopic data of Mars. Our primary goals are (1) to try to confirm the previous direct observations of CO2 clouds on Mars; (2) to determine the spatial extent, temporal variability, and composition (H2O/CO2 ratio) of any clouds detected; and (3) through radiative transfer modeling, to try to determine the mean particle size and optical depth of polar hood clouds, thus, assessing their role in the polar heat budget.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bell, James F., III
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Calvin, Wendy M.
(Geological Survey Flagstaff, AZ., United States)
Pollack, James B.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Crisp, David
(Jet Propulsion Lab. California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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