The Mars atmosphere

Today, Mars is characterized by its extremely thin, dry, and cold atmosphere, predominantly composed of carbon dioxide. Changes in solar radiation result in pronounced diurnal variations in the atmosphere due to the very low surface pressure of only 4 mbar. Temperatures can fluctuate significantly during the day, ranging from -125°C to +35°C. Furthermore, Mars lacks oceans like Earth, which could buffer these temperature changes. The Mars axis of rotation is tilted at approximately 25°, similar to Earth, leading to seasons on Mars. These seasons vary in duration and intensity due to Mars' highly elliptical orbit around the sun. A substantial portion of the atmospheric carbon dioxide (~30%) condenses over the polar caps during the winter hemisphere's very low temperatures and sublimates in the following spring.

Periodically, the entire planet experiences global dust storms caused by high atmospheric variability and low atmospheric pressure, lasting for weeks. These dust storms induce significant changes in Mars' global climate.

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