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The role of atmospheric heat transport in the seasonal carbon dioxide cycleWe have carried out numerical experiments with a general circulations model (GCM) and energy balance model of the martian atmosphere to define the importance of heat transported to the polar regions in determining the amount of CO2 condensed on the surface during the fall and winter seasons and the amount sublimated during the spring and summer seasons. In so doing, we performed both sensitivity experiments, in which the dust opacity was varied over the full range of its observed values, and annual simulations, in which the dust opacity varied continuously with seasonal data, in accord with measurements taken at the Viking landers. Dust opacity represents the key variable for determining the contribution of atmospheric heat advection to the energy budget in the polar regions. The amount of heat advected to the winter polar regions increases monotonically as the dust opacity at low and middle latitudes increases. However, the increase is sharpest between optical depths of 0 and 1 tends to level off at still higher optical depths. Heat advection is more important at times of CO2 condensation than CO2 sublimation, since the temperature gradients are much steeper in the winter hemisphere than in the summer hemisphere. Because dust opacity is much higher during northern winter than during southern winter, atmospheric heat advection reduces the amount of CO2 that condenses in the north by a much larger factor than it does in the south.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pollack, James B.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Haberle, R. M.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Murphy, James R.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Schaeffer, J.
(Sterling Software, Inc. Palo Alto, CA., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Atmospheric Transport on Mars
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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