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"Mars is not a dead planet -it undergoes climate changes that are even more pronounced than on Earth."
James Head, planetary geologist, Brown University
The prevailing thinking is that Mars is a planet whose active climate has been confined to the distant past. About 3.5 billion years ago, the Red Planet had extensive flowing water and then fell quiet - deadly quiet. It didn't seem the climate had changed much since. However, studies by scientists at Brown University have shown that Mars' climate has been much more dynamic than previously believed.
This high-resolution image above, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows the rock debris that Brown scientists believe was left by a glacier that rose at least one kilometer from the surrounding plain and flowed downward onto the canyon.
So, if this is true, then would there be periods of less hostility? We have recently figured out that Mars' atmosphere is saturated with water so will there be a time when that water would be on the ground?
In contrast to Earth's ice ages, a Martian ice age expands when the poles warm, and water vapor is transported toward lower latitudes. Martian ice ages wane when the poles cool and lock water into polar icecaps.