Was ancient Mars wet and cold?

Two competing models for ancient Mars: warm and wet to the left, cold and wet to the right. Get a larger picture by clicking on it. (Image Credit: Robin D. Wordsworth)

Astronomer agree that existing research data clearly show that ancient Mars was a wet planet. So far, the common opinion has been that it also was a warm world thanks to a denser carbon dioxide atmosphere.

However, a new study indicates that in ancient times, the Sun radiated significantly less heat and that ought to have made Mars icy instead. Such climatic conditions should have made Mars’s Northern Ocean similar our world’s Arctic Sea with drifting ice bergs.

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