posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 02:53 PM
I am certainly not an expert, but I think there are some flaws in your reasoning.
First of all, the Martian surface can certainly get warm enough for us to assume that ice would melt into water. However, Mars' atmosphere is
somewhere around 1/100 of our own. Look at some steam tables and you'll see that the vapor pressure of water, even just above freezing, is quite
large. Even the vapor pressure of ice at that pressure is certainly not negligible. In other words, it is a correct statement to say that liquid water
does exist on Mars, but only as an extremely short-lived intermediate between the solid phase and vapor phase...for all intents and purposes, it does
NOT exist in any environment we have found on Mars. The enthalpic change of melting would guarantee that the water would have continued on into the
vapor dome before the smallest droplet could collect.
Water does still move around the planet and have a large influence in shaping the terrain, but ONLY in the form of ice and vapor.
For another point, I know that all of our tests and measurements have confirmed that the soil is both magnetic (mostly from high iron content, as well
as nickel and cobalt) and contains a fair amount of peroxides (which would react immediately with liquid water anyways to give off oxygen). If
anything, these two characteristics would reinforce each other. Fe3O4, or hematite, which is the oxide of iron in the highest reasonably-seen
oxidation state, is the most magnetic of the oxide/hydroxides, if I remember correctly. So I'm not sure why you say that intrinsic magnetism and an
oxidizing environment are mutually exclusive?
Its not that I don't believe in the possibility of life existing now or having existed in the past (Mars probably used to have liquid water all over
the place). But it seems like, except for a couple microscopic fossils that resemble the basic shape of a microorganism, there is zero actual evidence
pointing towards life.