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New software tool to investigate the Martian climate

Picture of Martian climate by courtesy of NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute).

Analysis of the Martian atmosphere was made possible by the development of a new software tool. The tool efficiently manages the comparison of a 1D atmospheric model to the huge amount of data from remote sensing observations made by the spacecraft orbiting Mars.

FMI-SPACE and University of Helsinki scientists introduce a new application software that can quickly find and display the requested data, which can then be immediately analysed using the included tools. The potential of this type of software application was demonstrated with a glimpse into the upper atmosphere of Mars.

The large-scale Hadley cell circulation on Mars experiences greater seasonal variations than on Earth due to asymmetries in the Martian topography and its orbit around the sun. For example, it is thought, from climate modelling work, a double Hadley cell system temporarily reduces down to a single cell over the winter solstice on Mars. The work indirectly supports this process through modelling work where a model, which includes an adiabatic heating term, was fitted to observed increases in atmospheric temperature over the winter.

More information:

Mark Paton, mark.paton@fmi.fi

Paton, M., Harri, A.-M., Vierkens, O., and Savijärvi, H.: A user-orientated column modelling framework for efficient analyses of the Martian atmosphere, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 8, 251–263, https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-8-251-2019, 2019.

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