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The study was presented yesterday (Sept. 20th) at the 2019 Joint Meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC-DPS), which took place from Sept. 15th to 20th in Geneva, Switzerland. It was here that Michael Way and Anthony Del Genio of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) shared a new take on Venus’s climatic history, which could have implications in the search for habitable exoplanets.
In three of the five scenarios, Way and Del Genio assumed that the topography of Venus was much as the same as it is today, the ocean ranged from a minimum depth of 10 m (~30 ft) to a maximum of about 310 m (~1000 ft) and a small amount of water was locked in the soil. They also considered a scenario with Earth’s topography and a 310-meter ocean, and another where Venus was entirely covered in an ocean 158 m (~500ft).
As Way explained it:
“Our hypothesis is that Venus may have had a stable climate for billions of years. It is possible that the near-global resurfacing event is responsible for its transformation from an Earth-like climate to the hellish hot-house we see today.
By about 715 million years ago, according to Way and Del Genio’s study, the atmosphere would have been similar to what Earth’s is like today – composed predominantly of nitrogen gas with trace amounts of CO² and methane. These conditions could have remained stable up until present times were it not for a massive outgassing event.
This flies in the face of conventional notions of habitability, which state that Venus’ orbit places it beyond the inner edge of our Sun’s habitable zone (HZ). Within this “Venus Zone”, according to conventional wisdom, a planet absorbs too much solar radiation to ever be able to maintain liquid water on its surface.
But as Way indicated, their simulations all indicated otherwise: “Venus currently has almost twice the solar radiation that we have at Earth. However, in all the scenarios we have modelled, we have found that Venus could still support surface temperatures amenable for liquid water.”
originally posted by: moebius
a reply to: gortex
Or Venus could have been the way it is from the beginning.
But it is interesting that a planet in a venus orbit could sustain liquid water. I guess the Goldilocks Zone needs some adjustments.
A more exciting explanation for the dark streaks is that they are evidence of microbial life. “It’s a possibility we can’t overlook,” says Limaye, who is a member of the Venera-D science definition team....
…[In] a region beginning around 50 kilometers in altitude and extending a dozen kilometers outward is a sweet spot where the temperature ranges between 30ºC and 70ºC (86ºF to 158ºF) and the pressure is similar to Earth’s surface. Life could potentially survive in this zone where the dark-streaking UV absorber is found.
It is likely that the sun was much cooler during this epoch and of course that would also have meant that Venus may have bean much like the earth is today back then, perhaps with very long night's and day's that served as it's summer and winter
“In the GISS model’s simulation, Venus’ slow spin exposes its dayside to the sun for almost two months at a time,” co-author and fellow GISS scientist Anthony Del Genio said. “This warms the surface and produces rain that creates a thick layer of clouds, which acts like an umbrella to shield the surface from much of the solar heating. The result is mean climate temperatures that are actually a few degrees cooler than Earth’s today.”
originally posted by: Hefficide
What I'm about to say is completely unscientific and I expect that I may well get roasted for expressing my thoughts here... But nonetheless.
From a fairly young age I've always had this abstract idea that the rocky, internal planets, are all representative of something like an assembly line... IE once upon a time Venus was much as Earth is now and Earth was possibly more like Mars...
Further that, in time, Venus will start to seem more like Mercury, Earth will become like current Venus and Mars will end up the planet with the Earth like atmosphere.
It's just an abstraction and mostly my "feels" but it's always made sense to me for some reason.