NASA: Climate modeling suggests Venus may have been habitable - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA: Climate modeling suggests Venus may have been habitable

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We missed it by just 2 billion years. NASA says at one time, Venus was habitable. 

Today, Venus has a massive carbon dioxide atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth's. There is almost no water vapor and temperatures reach 864 degrees at its surface. Scientists thoughts that Venus formed out of similar ingredients to Earth's, but it is closer to the sun and received far more sunlight. As a result, scientists say the planet's ocean evaporated and carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere. 

"Previous studies have shown that how fast a planet spins on its axis affects whether it has a habitable climate," NASA says. "A day on Venus is 117 Earth days. Until recently, it was assumed that a thick atmosphere like that of modern Venus was required for the planet to have today’s slow rotation rate. However, newer research has shown that a thin atmosphere like that of modern Earth could have produced the same result. That means an ancient Venus with an Earth-like atmosphere could have had the same rotation rate it has today."

“In the GISS model’s simulation, Venus’ slow spin exposes its dayside to the sun for almost two months at a time,” co-author and fellow GISS scientist Anthony Del Genio said. “This warms the surface and produces rain that creates a thick layer of clouds, which acts like an umbrella to shield the surface from much of the solar heating. The result is mean climate temperatures that are actually a few degrees cooler than Earth’s today.”

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