With new research results, scientists are warning Venus syndrome could eventually become the destiny for planet earth.
Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system, may have experienced runaway greenhouse effect early in its history. Venus has a thick atmosphere that is 96.5 percent carbon dioxide, which keeps its surface at nearly 900°F. The planet’s water boiled off to space long ago.
Climate scientist James Hansen points out as carbon dioxide warms the planet through the greenhouse effect, more water evaporates from the ocean—which amplifies the warming, because water vapor is a greenhouse gas too. This is a positive feedback and it is proven to be happening now. Hansen argues that fossil-fuels burning could cause the process to run out of control, vaporizing the entire ocean and sterilizing the planet.
In the past few years, physicists have been using supercomputers to calculate climate models. In a paper published this week in Nature Geosciences, the conclusion is the runaway greenhouse may be much easier to initiate than previously thought.
Venus’s past seems to point towards Earth’s future. However, if it makes it a little better, it’s going to be in somewhere between half a billion and a billion years.
Maybe it’s not to late for us to try to stop global warming after all.