NESSI 2021 - Camille Cowan
Comparing the Climates of Mars and Earth
Atmospheric characteristics are important indicators of a planet’s physical processes, history, and physical mechanics; however, observation of these properties on other planets is greatly inhibited by the lack of accurate measuring instruments and the difficulty and cost involved in adding more. As such, models of planetary atmospheres, verified by observable data, are essential for filling the gaps where data has not yet been collected and for understanding large scale planetary atmosphere mechanics. One such modeling tool is the Mars Climate Database (MCD), a meteorological database created from the General Circulation Model (GCM) numerical models of Mars’ atmosphere. This study presents maps and graphs produced with the MCD, surveying a variety of characteristics of Mars’ atmosphere, namely wind velocity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, and composition, and how these characteristics vary with location, height, and solar longitude. The data collected from these models are compared against observed data from the Viking landers and against models of the Earth generated by the Model for Prediction Across Scales-Atmosphere (MPAS-A).
Mentor: Dan Marsh
Slides and Poster