# Lifetime of CO2 in Mars atmosphere

• frozenguy
In summary, the conversation is discussing how to estimate the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere of Mars. There is some uncertainty about the specific question being asked, but the general approach involves determining a time constant for the decay of CO2 in the atmosphere and using that to estimate the overall lifetime.
frozenguy

## Homework Statement

Estimate the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere of Mars.

## The Attempt at a Solution

What is he asking? How long has the CO2 been in the atmosphere? It just seems rather vague.

Mars is losing its atmosphere. Heavier molecules last longer than lighter ones. Think about temperatures, kinetic energy distributions, escape speeds,...

So is he asking to estimate how long until there is about 0% CO2 in the atmosphere? Or an average time before a molecule escapes?

frozenguy said:
So is he asking to estimate how long until there is about 0% CO2 in the atmosphere? Or an average time before a molecule escapes?

At a guess I'd say estimate a time constant for the decay (##~e^{-t/\tau}~##) and call ##\approx 5\tau## the lifetime.

Can you provide more context or information? Additionally, the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere of Mars can vary depending on factors such as atmospheric conditions and human activity. It is estimated that the CO2 in Mars' atmosphere has been present for billions of years, but it is constantly being cycled through processes such as weathering and volcanic activity. Without more specific information, it is difficult to provide an accurate estimate of the lifetime of CO2 in Mars' atmosphere.

## 1) How long does CO2 stay in the atmosphere of Mars?

The lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere of Mars is estimated to be around 30-50 million years. However, this is a rough estimate and can vary depending on various factors such as solar activity and the presence of other gases in the atmosphere.

## 2) How does the lifetime of CO2 on Mars compare to Earth?

The lifetime of CO2 on Mars is significantly longer compared to Earth, where it is only about 5-200 years. This is due to the thinner atmosphere on Mars, which does not have the same mechanisms for removing CO2 as Earth's thicker atmosphere does.

## 3) What causes the CO2 on Mars to have such a long lifetime?

The long lifetime of CO2 on Mars is primarily due to the lack of a strong magnetic field and a thin atmosphere. Without a magnetic field, solar winds can strip away the upper atmosphere, leading to a slower rate of atmospheric escape. Additionally, the thin atmosphere means there are fewer particles to absorb or scatter the CO2, allowing it to remain in the atmosphere for longer.

## 4) How does the lifetime of CO2 on Mars impact the planet's climate?

The long lifetime of CO2 on Mars plays a significant role in the planet's climate. It is one of the main contributors to the planet's greenhouse effect, which helps to keep the surface warm enough for liquid water to exist. However, it also means that any changes in the composition of the atmosphere, such as an increase in CO2 levels, can have a long-lasting impact on the planet's climate.

## 5) Can the lifetime of CO2 on Mars be changed or altered?

The lifetime of CO2 on Mars is largely determined by the planet's characteristics and cannot be easily changed or altered. However, human activities, such as terraforming, could potentially impact the composition of the atmosphere and the lifetime of CO2. Further research and scientific advancements are necessary to fully understand and manipulate the atmosphere on Mars.

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