Planet Earth has remained habitable for billions of years ‘because of good luck’, say researchers

Credit: earth.com

Greetings Earthlings, or should we say ‘habitable-zone-dwelling asteroid dodgers’? We even have the right amount of atmosphere — not too little (like Mars) or too much (like Venus), and the essential oxygen.
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Pure chance is the reason that Planet Earth has stayed habitable for billions of years.

A new study has found that it’s nothing more than good luck that has kept our world full of life, reports I-news.

Scientists at the University of Southampton have carried out a mass simulation of climate evolution of 100,000 randomly generated planets.

Each planet was simulated 100 times with random climate-altering events occurring each time in order to see if habitable life could be sustained for three billion years like on Earth.

Of these planets, 9 per cent (8,700) were successful at least once but, of those, nearly all (about 8,000) were successful fewer than 50 times out of 100 and most (about 4,500) were successful fewer than 10 times out of 100.

‘Puzzling’

Professor Toby Tyrrell, a specialist in Earth system science, said the results of the study, published in the Nature journal Communications Earth and Environment, suggested chance is a major factor in determining whether planets, such as Earth, can continue to nurture life over billions of years.

He said: “A continuously stable and habitable climate on Earth is quite puzzling. Our neighbours, Mars and Venus, do not have habitable temperatures, even though Mars once did.

“Earth not only has a habitable temperature today, but has kept this at all times across three to four billion years – an extraordinary span of geological time.”

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

https://ift.tt/2Xc6VtP

January 3, 2021 at 07:09AM

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