Features Friday, November 14, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| November 14, 2014| 02.50 pm IST A new study finds that a relatively stable weather pattern, called macroweather, exists even on Mars. Macroweather, refers to describe a relatively stable regime between weather and climate. It is considered the third pattern apart from weather, which changes day-to-day due to constant fluctuations in the atmosphere, and climate, which varies over decades, are familiar. "Our analysis of the data from Mars confirmed this prediction quite accurately," said Shaun Lovejoy, a professor of physics at McGill University in Montreal and lead author. The study also shows that the sun plays a major role in determining macroweather. "This adds to evidence, from studies of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, that the sun plays a central role in shaping the transition from short-term weather fluctuations to macroweather,” Shaun pointed out. The research will further advance scientists’ understanding of the dynamics of Earth’s own atmosphere and may provide insights into the weather of other similar planets, showed the study. By taking into account how the sun heats Mars, as well as the thickness of the planet’s atmosphere, the scientists predicted that Martian temperature and wind would fluctuate similarly to Earth’s. The transition from weather to macroweather would take place over 1.8 Martian days (about two Earth days), compared with a week to 10 days on Earth, showed the study. The weather on Mars can be predicted with some skill up to only two days in advance, compared to Earth’s 10 days, indicated the findings. “We’re going to have a very hard time predicting the weather on Mars beyond two days given what we have found in weather records there, which could prove tricky for the European lander and rover,” concluded Jan-Peter Muller from University College London. The findings appeared in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. With IANS
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