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Mars is a very windy place, so windy, in fact, that bright, oxidized Martian soil is being scoured away by Martian winds and dust devils to reveal darker, sub-surface soil with the end result of making the whole planet warmer. Mars is experiencing its own brand of climate change. Is this related to planet earth’s greenhouse gas driven climate change? No. Is understanding the process important for our understanding of how planets evolve and change over time? Absolutely.
Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
I don't think too many scientists (not even in NASA) refer to Mars as a "dead planet" anymore. If they were so sure it was a dead planet, they wouldn't bother spending hundreds of millions of dollars in spaceprobes to look for the signs of life, or at least the potential to support life.