Showing posts from March 1, 2015

NASA: Mars Once Had More Water Than Earth's Arctic Ocean

NASA Research Suggests Mars Once Had More Water Than Earth's Arctic Ocean

A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA scientists who, using ground-based observatories, measured water signatures in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

Scientists have been searching for answers to why this vast water supply left the surface. Details of the observations and computations appear in Thursday’s edition of Science magazine. “Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space,” said Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the new paper. “With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars.” Perhaps about 4.3 billion years ago, Mars would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 450 feet (137 meters) deep. More likely, the water would have formed an ocean occupying a…

Study: Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian Civil War

Did Climate Change Help Spark Syrian Civil War?

March 2, 2015

Scientists Link Warming Trend to Record Drought and Later Unrest

In 2006-2010, an unprecedented drought (brown areas) spread across much of Turkey, Syria and Iraq—the so-called Fertile Crescent. In part due to unsustainable farming practices and government mismanagement, Syria was especially vulnerable to its effects. (NASA)

A new study says a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing manmade climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising. Researchers say the drought, the worst ever recorded in the region, destroyed agriculture in the breadbasket region of northern Syria, driving dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest that exploded in spring 2011. The conflict has since evolved into a complex multinational war that has killed at least 200,000 people and displaced million…