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Monday, February 9, 2009

Greenhouse Gases Destroyed Venus

Venus is an inferno planet due to the effects of greenhouse gases. European Space Agency’s Venus Express is orbiting the planet to explain how Earth’s twin differs so much from our own third rock from the Sun.

Venus and Earth are two peas in the cosmic pod. They were both formed 4.5 billion years ago with much the same composition yet only Earth is conducive to life. Why?

Venus named for the Roman goddess of love is a swirling inferno. The surface of it’s orb is high enough at 457 degrees to melt steel. It’s now known that it’s more Earth like than it was once believed. That revelation though is hardly one that is reassuring.

While the Earth’s temperature has remained fairly stable and the atmosphere is a balance of gases Venus has clouds laced with sulphuric acid. There is no oxygen to be found and water is a distance memory.

The news from ESA that is frightening though is at one time Venus is believed to have had water before global warming took it away.

“Probably because Venus was closer to the sun, the atmosphere was a little bit warmer and you got more water very high up,” Hakan Svedhem, an ESA scientist and lead author of one of eight studies published in the British journal Nature on Wednesday said.

The Earth and Venus both have about the same amount of CO2. The Earth’s though is locked up in the soil, rocks and oceans that cover it’s orb. The CO2 on Venus has been pushed into the atmosphere.

“You wound up with what we call a runaway greenhouse effect,” Svedhem said.

“It reminds us of pressing problems caused by similar physics on Earth.”

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