Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Inner Solar System's Habitability Through Time

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
July 16, 2018
Filed under
The Inner Solar System's Habitability Through Time
Diverging planetary climates

Earth, Mars, and Venus, irradiated by an evolving Sun, have had fascinating but diverging histories of habitability. Although only Earth’s surface is considered to be habitable today, all three planets might have simultaneously been habitable early in their histories.

We consider how physical processes that have operated similarly or differently on these planets determined the creation and evolution of their atmospheres and surfaces over time. These include the geophysical and geochemical processes that determined the style of their interior dynamics and the presence or absence of a magnetic field; the surface-atmosphere exchange processes that acted as a source or sink for atmospheric mass and composition; the Sun-planet interactions that controlled escape of gases to space; and the atmospheric processes that interacted with these to determine climate and habitability. The divergent evolutions of the three planets provide an invaluable context for thinking about the search for life outside the Solar System.

Anthony D. Del Genio, David Brain, Lena Noack, Laura Schaefer
(Submitted on 12 Jul 2018)

Comments: Submitted review; 46 pages, 5 figures, 1 table
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1807.04776 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1807.04776v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Anthony Del Genio
[v1] Thu, 12 Jul 2018 18:21:21 GMT (1899kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻