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Circumpolar Currents on Mars

I’m adding a new tag called “Things I want to get back to” or maybe “future thoughts”.  Here’s one: If we melted the polar cap on mars and raised the temperature enough to sublimate the water into an ocean, should we think about the structure of said ocean? Let me back up a bit. I’m studying Historical Geology right now, specificity in the Palogene, around when the ice cap began forming over the continent of Antarctica. There was a significant process that occurred in this era that changed global climate in the most drastic of ways. This was the creation of the circumpolar current, a spinning ring of water encircling the southern continent, isolated and freezing cold. It was created when Australia separated from the antarctic and Drake’s passage opened up allowing water to flow freely around the entirety of the south pole.

Now, before this current came into being, the world was sub tropical almost from pole to pole, even the islands around what is today Greenland stayed above freezing in the winter, and had alligators! This current created a world wide temperature gradient that was steep and unforgiving. But all of this has nothing to do with Mars.

Or does it…

The topography of Mars is such that the northern hemisphere is much lower than the southern one. This basin would be a natural place for water to collect into an ocean if the human race is ever able to raise the temperature and pressure on the surface of the red planet. Interestingly enough, this northern ocean may have the possibility of generating a similar circumpolar current. Maybe there is a thesis somewhere in there.


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