Will Mars Rover cause Mars Global Warming

As UK Mail on Line reports a SUV is on the way to Mars.
Hats off to NASA with the successful launch on Saturday of Curiosity, by far and away the most ambitious and sophisticated robotic lander ever to be sent to another world. The £1800m mission involves a gigantic Martian rover the size of a car and weighing almost a tonne, nuclear powered and which will touch down, hopefully, next to a mountain in Gale crater next August.
'Hopefully' because there is a LOT that could go wrong with this mission. Curiosity is such a big machine, and so heavy (even in 0.38g Martian gravity) that NASA's standard 'airbag' landing technique (inflate a cluster of air-filled balloons around the desecending probe to cushion its final touchdown - sounds crazy, but it works) has been jettisoned in favour of a Heath-Robinsoneque 'Sky Crane' landing system, which will see the probe first slowed down by air friction, the parachutes, then retro-rockets and finally an elaborate shenanigans whereby the rover will be lowered to the surface from a hovering platform on cables.
Now, the obvious question is - will this Mars SUV cause Martian Global Warming? 

Too late. 

Mars Southern Polar Ice Cap - Image NASA

As National Geographic reported a few years ago, Mars Polar ice caps were melting in a similar manner to what was happening on Earth.

Mars's southern polar ice cap, seen here in true color, has shrunk in recent years due to planetary warming—similar to what's happening on Earth.

According to one scientist's controversial take, the simultaneous rise in temperatures on Earth and Mars indicates a natural—and not a human—cause for global warming. But the vast majority of experts maintain that humans are responsible for Earth's climate changes and that the Mars phenomenon is mere coincidence.


  1. Possibly, or possibly it is simply a coincidence that Mars' wobble as it spins on its axis has put its South Pole temporarily at an angle where it receives more solar radiation than in previous years. We'll have to see if the melting eases or not over the next decade(s).


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