Archives

Habitable Zones & Global Climate: August 2021


Some researchers hypothesize that ice sheets enveloped the earth during the Marinoan glaciation (650-535 million years ago) in what is dubbed the "Snowball Earth."

A new analysis of 2.5-billion-year-old rocks from Australia finds that volcanic eruptions may have stimulated population surges of marine microorganisms, creating the first puffs of oxygen into the atmosphere.

In the search for life elsewhere, astronomers have mostly looked for planets of a similar size, mass, temperature and atmospheric composition to Earth. However, astronomers from the University of Cambridge believe there are more promising possibilities out there.

Habitability has been generally defined as the capability of an environment to support life. Ecologists have been using Habitat Suitability Models (HSMs) for more than four decades to study the habitability of Earth from local to global scales.

Exoplanets that receive stellar irradiance of approximately Earth's or less have been discovered and many are suitable for spectral characterization.

Cloud is critical for planetary climate and habitability, but it is also one of the most challenging parts of studying planets in and beyond the solar system. Previous simulations using global general circulation models (GCMs) found that for 1:1 tidally locked (i.e., synchronously rotating) terrestrial planets with oceans, strong convergence and convection produce optically thick clouds over the substellar area.

Virtually all oxygen on Earth was and is produced by photosynthesis, which was invented by tiny organisms, the cyanobacteria, when our planet was still a rather uninhabitable place.