Study of exoplanets reveals uniqueness of Earth’s climate

Studies of terrestrial exoplanets have highlighted that the water balance between the Earth is very unusual and unique to our planet.

researchers from international institute of space sciences He studied how the evolution of continents and waters shaped the evolution of exoplanets outside our solar system. This discovery was presented at the 2022 Europlanet Science Conference in Granada.

The results show that while these planets have an 80% chance of being covered by Earth and 20% made up of water, less than 1% of the exoplanets have an Earth- and water-like climate.

‘Earth-like’ exoplanets

Exoplanets exist outside Earth’s solar system, and their first discovery dates back to 1917. Current data indicates that there are more than 5,000 in 3,804 planetary systems, some of which contain more than one planet.

Scientists estimate that there are about 11 billion potentially habitable planets in the entire Milky Way, rising to 40 billion if planets orbiting red dwarfs are taken into account.

Astronomer Carl Sagan previously suggested that researchers should look for a “pale blue spot” with Earth-like properties. However, the new study concludes that the dry and cool “faint yellow dots” best represent exoplanets. The researchers also concluded that searching for exoplanets like this would lead to a Better chance of discovery.

Professor Tilman Spoon, Executive Director of the International Space Institute, said: “We earthlings enjoy a balance between the land and ocean regions of our planet. It is tempting to assume that a second Earth will be just like our own, but our modeling results suggest that this is unlikely to be the case. is the case.”

Similarities and differences between planets

Models produced by the team indicate that the average surface temperature of an exoplanet is similar to the average surface temperature of Earth, with a difference of about five degrees Celsius, but the main difference lies in the distribution of water on land.

An oceanic planet with less than 10% land mass would likely be wetter and warmer than Earth, reflecting the balance on our planet before the asteroid collision that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The land-heavy exoplanets, which contain less than 30% of the oceans, will have cooler, drier, and harsher climates. The interior of the Earth was likely occupied by cold deserts, which reflected the Earth’s climate during the last Ice Age, which saw the development of large-scale ice sheets and glaciers.

The climate of the exoplanets in general has been found to be much harsher than the equilibrium on present-day Earth. Our planet’s climate is appropriately balanced, with continents growing through volcanic activity and eroded by weathering over time.

Photosynthesis allows life to thrive on Earth, where there is direct access to solar activity and the oceans provide a huge reservoir of water. This enhances precipitation and prevents the current climate from becoming too dry.

“In the engine of Earth’s tectonic plates, internal heat drives geological activity, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain formation, and leads to the growth of continents. Earth erosion is part of a series of cycles that exchange water between the atmosphere and the interior. Our digital models of how these cycles interact show that the present-day Earth It may be an exceptional planet, and the Earth’s mass balance may be unstable over billions of years. While all the planets that have been designed can be considered habitable, their fauna and flora may be very different,” concluded Professor Spoon.