Lecture18 - Lecture#18 Venus atmosphere and climate Properties of the atmosphere Greenhouse Effect Climate Implications Readings Chapters 9.5 9.6

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1 Astro 102/104 1 Lecture #18: Venus atmosphere and climate • Properties of the atmosphere. • Greenhouse Effect. • Climate Implications. • Readings: –Chapters 9.5, 9.6, 10.5, 10.6. Astro 102/104 2 The Main Point Venus has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere that creates an extreme greenhouse effect. Earth and Venus have had divergent evolutionary histories despite similar sizes and compositions. Astro 102/104 3 Atmospheric Composition • Composition determined by spectroscopy from ground based telescopes and direct sampling from landers and balloons (!) The Atmospheres of Venus and Earth Gas Venus Earth Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) 96.0% 0.03% Nitrogen (N 2 ) 3.5 78.1 Argon (Ar) 0.006 0.93 Oxygen (O 2 ) 0.003 21.0 Neon (Ne) 0.001 0.002 Astro 102/104 4 Atmospheric Structure • Atmosphere divided into layers like Earth's. • Enormous clear and hot troposphere. • Clouds of sulfuric acid! (not water!) •CO 2, Sulfur may be volcanic in origin, but we have not yet detected any direct evidence for active volcanism now. • Surface temp ~ 480°C. • Surface pressure ~ 90 bars (same pressure as ~1 km under water). (artistic license: no proof)
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2 Astro 102/104 5 Atmospheric Circulation • Winds near the surface are only strong enough to move sand grains and dust (10-20 km/hr). • But the upper layers of the atmosphere move very fast ( > 175 km/hr). They circle the planet every four days, a pattern called super-rotation . • Venus also has atmospheric circulation patterns between the equatorial and polar areas, similar to those on Earth. • Also: several Venus probes returned data indicating lightning activity in the atmosphere! Astro 102/104
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2008 for the course ASTRO 1102 taught by Professor Squyres,s/margot,j during the Spring '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Lecture18 - Lecture#18 Venus atmosphere and climate Properties of the atmosphere Greenhouse Effect Climate Implications Readings Chapters 9.5 9.6

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