Effect Of Vegetation On The Temperatures Of Trappist-1 Planets

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 27, 2020
Filed under
Effect Of Vegetation On The Temperatures Of Trappist-1 Planets
Temperature profiles for the cases without (left column) and with vegetation (central column) and the fraction of vegetation coverage A (right column) at different time steps of the simulation. Each row corresponds to a different planet of the Trappist-1 system. Different colors correspond to different times of the simulation. Times in the legends are in years.

TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf hosting a system consisting of seven planets. While orbital properties, radii and masses of the planets are nowadays well constrained, one of the open fascinating issues is the possibility that an environment hospitable to life could develop on some of these planets.

Here we use a simple formulation of an energy balance model that includes the vegetation coverage to investigate the possibility of life affecting the climate of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Results confirm that planet T-e has the best chance for a habitable world and indicate that vegetation coverage significantly affects the resulting temperatures and habitability properties. The influence of vegetation has been evaluated in different scenarios characterized by different vegetation types, land-sea distributions and levels of greenhouse effect.

While changes in vegetation type produce small changes, about 0.1%, in the habitable surface fraction, different land-sea distributions, by also affecting the vegetation growth, produce different temperature distributions. Finally at latitudes where vegetation grows, the lowering of local albedo still represents a relevant contribution in settling the planetary temperature profiles even when levels of greenhouse effect higher than the Earth-like case are considered.

Antonio Vecchio, Leonardo Primavera, Fabio Lepreti, Tommaso Alberti, Vincenzo Carbone
(Submitted on 24 Jan 2020)

Comments: 11 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2001.08946 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2001.08946v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Fabio Lepreti Dr.
[v1] Fri, 24 Jan 2020 11:19:54 UTC (199 KB)

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) 🖖🏻