Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

How Likely Is a Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Earth?

RATE THIS! +1
Posted in Science on 14th Jan, 2012 09:00 PM by APM

Sometime in the last few billion years, disaster struck one of Earth's nearest neighbours. Planetary geologists think there is good evidence that Venus was the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect which turned the planet into the boiling hell we see today.

 

A similar catastrophe is almost certain to strike Earth in about 2 billion years, as the Sun increases in luminosity.

 

But that raises an important question: is it possible that we could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect ourselves by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

 

According to the climate scientist James Hansen, that's a distinct possibility. A couple of years ago, he wrote: "If we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there's a substantial chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty."

 

Today, Colin Goldblatt at the University of Victoria in Canada and Andrew Watson at the University of East Anglia in the UK, publish an interesting analysis of this question and, while they are nowhere near as pessimistic as Hansen, their conclusion is not entirely re-assuring.

 

Here's the background. The fear is that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is warming the planet and increasing evaporation from the oceans. The extra water vapour, itself a greenhouse gas, causes more warming and more evaporation in a vicious cycle of temperature increases that eventually result in the ocean boiling away.

 

This runaway greenhouse only stops when the atmosphere reaches some 1400 degrees C, causing it to emit thermal radiation at a wavelength that water vapour does not absorb and so can radiate into space.



Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-10-22 20:21:21
    Moon colonization: many lava tube caves, water and high.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-10-22 20:09:36
    Localethereum promises quick and easy.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-10-22 20:05:14
    Doctors May Have Found a New Use for Ketamine..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-10-22 04:22:31
    Blue Origin’s Breakthrough Means SpaceX Finally Has a.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-10-22 04:17:51
    Bitcoin boom prompts growth of coin-mining malware..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me