We use a Mars general circulation model to examine the effect of orbital changes on the planet's general circulation and climate system. Experiments are performed for obliquities ranging from 0° to 60° for two different longitudes of perihelion. Each experiment simulates a full Mars year assuming a fixed atmospheric dust distribution and fixed amount of CO 2 in the atmosphere/cap system. We find that global mean surface temperatures and pressures decline with increasing obliquity due to the increasing extent of the winter polar caps. The seasonal CO 2 cycle and intensity of the solstice circulation amplify considerably with increasing obliquity such that global dust storms are likely at both solstices. The most significant feature of the high obliquity solstice circulations is the development of an intense low-level jet associated with the return branch of the Hadley circulation. Model surface stresses are used to map regions of preferred dust lifting, which are defined in terms of an annual deflation potential. For the present obliquity, the model-predicted regions of high deflation potential are in good agreement with Cantor et al.'s (2001, J. Geophys. Res.106, 23653-23688) observations, which gives us some confidence in the model's ability to predict where lifting might occur when Mars' orbit parameters are different than they are today. In general we find that the dust lifting potential increases sharply with obliquity and is greatest at times of high obliquity when perihelion coincides with northern summer solstice. Over an obliquity cycle, the model global annual deflation potential ranges from several tenths of a millimeter at 0° obliquity to almost 15 mm at 60° obliquity. Much higher values are possible when the atmosphere is very dusty. We find a strong correlation between the deflation potential and surface thermal inertia: regions of high deflation potential correspond to regions of high thermal inertia (high rock abundance), and regions of low deflation potential correspond to regions of low thermal inertia (high dust/sand abundance). Furthermore, while the regions of preferred lifting (high deflation potential) expand somewhat with increasing obliquity and dust loading, the central parts of Tharsis, Arabia, and Elysium show no tendency for significant lifting at any obliquity or longitude of perihelion. These regions may therefore be very old and represent net long-term sinks for atmospheric dust. It is the topography of the planet, through its influence on surface pressure and wind systems, which ultimately determines where dust accumulates. Finally, as was found by Fenton and Richardson (2001, J. Geophys. Res.106, 32885-32909), we find no tendency for the development of east-southeasterly winds at the Pathfinder site for any of our orbital change experiments. This suggests that the ancient wind regime discussed by Greeley et al. (2000, J. Geophys. Res.105, 1829-1840) was produced by other factors, such as polar wander.