Habitable Zones & Global Climate: January 2018

The ice-albedo feedback on rapidly-rotating terrestrial planets in the habitable zone can lead to abrupt transitions (bifurcations) between a warm and a snowball (ice-covered) state, bistability between these states, and hysteresis in planetary climate.

Oceanic tides are a major source of tidal dissipation. They drive the evolution of planetary systems and the rotational dynamics of planets.

Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet.

Given the fact that Earth is so far the only place in the Milky Way galaxy known to harbor life, the question arises of whether the solar system is in any way special. To address this question, I compare the solar system to the many recently discovered exoplanetary systems.

The galactic environment has been suspected to influence planetary habitability in many ways. Very metal-poor regions of the Galaxy, or those largely devoid of atoms more massive than H and He, are thought to be unable to form habitable planets.

The extent to which a magnetosphere protects its planetary atmosphere from stellar wind ablation depends upon how well it prevents plasma from entering and how well it traps otherwise escaping plasma.

We model the evolution of ocean temperature and chemistry for rocky exoplanets with 10-1000 times Earth's H2O but without H2, taking into account C partitioning, high-pressure ice phases, and atmosphere-lithosphere exchange.