Global Climate & Habitability: April 2013

An international team of researchers, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, geochemist James Day, has found new evidence that material contained in oceanic lava flows originated in Earth's ancient Archean crust. These findings support the theory that much of the Earth's original crust has been recycled by the process of subduction, helping to explain how the Earth has formed and changed over time.

A research team of biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside has provided a new view on the relationship between the earliest accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere, arguably the most important biological event in Earth history, and its relationship to the sulfur cycle.

We explore the minimum distance from a host star for an exoplanet to be potentially habitable, in order to maximize future chances of finding other habitable worlds. We find that the inner edge of the Habitable Zone (HZ) for hot desert worlds is at 0.5 AU around a solar-like star (well within the orbit of Venus).

In part two of The Great Exoplanet Debate, the panel of experts discuss current concepts of habitability and how these concepts are changing as our knowledge of life's potential grows. This debate comes from a plenary session hosted by Astrobiology Magazine at the 2012 Astrobiology Science Conference. The sesstion was titled: "Expanding the Habitable Zone. The Hunt for Exoplanets Now and Into the Future."