Venus ‘Suggests’ that Climate Change Should be Taken Seriously

Venus ‘Suggests’ that Climate Change Should be Taken Seriously

The climatic destruction of Venus offers a great example to take a lead from and we need to mold our ways immediately to preserve our planet.

The recent studies at NASA suggest that about 2 billion years ago, Venus was once a habitable planet with shallow, liquid-water oceans and a habitable surface. Contrary to that, the present-day Venus is nothing but a barren wasteland with a thick Carbon Dioxide atmosphere. Temperatures on Venus can reach up to 462o C on its surface.

Years ago, scientists theorized that Venus had almost the same composition as Earth but the evolution of both the planets was quite different from each other. Venus is relatively close to the Sun and receives more direct radiation than Earth. As a result, Venus lost its water (through evaporation) at a much faster rate than Earth. Similarly, the bombardment of Ultra-violet (UV) rays split the water molecules to release Hydrogen into space.

Due to this, Carbon Dioxide accumulated into the atmosphere and turned it into an inhabitable one. Research suggests that the rate at which a planet spins is directly affected by its climate. This hints towards the fact that the old Venus might have a completely different rotation speed as compared to the modern-day Venus.

Modern research shows that Earth and Venus had almost the same rotation speed years ago. However, a day on Venus is about 177 days on Earth. It is very much possible that Earth might face this very issue in the future. Michael Way, a researcher at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), talked about the similarities between the Earth and Venus and said,

“Many of the same tools we use to model climate change on Earth can be adapted to study climates on other planets, both past, and present. These results show ancient Venus may have been a very different place than it is today.”

Nowadays, Earth is affected by the same phenomenon where greenhouse gases are constantly being released into the atmosphere. Certain experts think that the history of Venus should be used as a warning for the future of the Earth as the water in the oceans is evaporating rapidly.

Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. The trapped radiation is then reflected on the surface of the Earth. This results in the overall temperature of the planet to rise. All this gives birth to a phenomenon called ‘Global Warming’.

The global temperatures have already risen by almost 2o F since World War 2. In these circumstances, Venus is now considered a ‘laboratory’ for studying climate change and its effects. The Fourth National Climate Assessment states that Earth’s climate is changing faster than ever, and it is a critical threat to the well-being’ of humans. Furthermore, the rapid climate change could also result in a loss of $2 trillion as the gross domestic product decays.

The amount of human-induced pollution has increased dramatically with the advancement of technology. Many of these technologies are focused on reducing pollution to a minimum but the unfortunate fact is, the number of pollutants greatly outweigh the efforts being done to reduce the damage.

According to an estimate, man-made sources of pollution contribute to a whopping 2.7 million pounds of Carbon Dioxide per second. To put it into perspective, the amount is equivalent to about five World War 2 nuclear weapons exploding per second. David Grinspoon, a Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist at the Planetary Science Institute, referred to the severity of the situation by saying,

“I’ve had some conversations with people in that camp that have been fruitful because I’ve used the example of Venus. It allows you to sort of reframe the question — you’re not just talking about policy choices on Earth. It’s not a cure-all for that difficult conversation, but I do think it can help. I’m not saying, ‘Oh, that’s about to happen to Earth.’ But the overall lesson still stands that climate stability is not something you can take for granted.”

It’s about time we realize the harsh reality that awaits the Earth in the future. So far, Global Warming has been spiraling out of control for years now. A temperature increase of 2o F may not seem a lot but when there’s a global increase of this amount, it’s a surefire sign for trouble for the planet.

According to research, in order to contain this increase in global temperatures, the power sectors all around the world will need to be shifted to non-carbon sources. This will not stop the temperature from rising completely but it will surely impede the rate at which the temperatures are increasing.

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