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zompist bboard • View topic - A planet undergoing a runaway greenhouse effect

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:55 pm 
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How long did it take for the runaway greenhouse effect to strip Venus of its hydrogen as its oceans boiled? What temperature was required for the water vapor feedback to enter a "runaway" stage (I'm assuming something over 100 degrees)? Did Venus have a "cold trap" in the tropopause before the oceans started boiling away, and if so, how did it lose it?

I'm working on a conworld in which civilization is forced underground as runaway global warming slowly destroys the planet.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:53 am 
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It is not certain whether Venus even had water or not. The planet has always been volcanically active, and as far as we know, has never had life on it. We know (or at least are pretty sure) that liquid water can't exist on Venus because of its proximity to the sun. No liquid water likely means no life. No life means no conversion of all that CO2 into Oxygen. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and a significant contributor to rising temperatures. If the CO2 has always been there, then so has the planet's greenhouse effect.

Given external temperature from your planet's star, I might give it anywhere from 100-200 years or so. Water will not help much here because if your planet had life then it will also be cold enough to have liquid water. In this case water would act more like a moderator of temperature than a contributor to a runaway greenhouse effect. You will still have a greenhouse effect, but at the very most, it will just mean your people will need to adapt to the surface conditions rather than hide from them.

Changing the planet's environment in other ways might make a difference, though. Earth has been through several greenhouse effects in the past and its surface wasn't destroyed then, making me think that you may need something extra that wasn't there before to create the kinds of conditions you are looking for.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:45 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:04 pm 
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MI DRALAS, KHARULE MEVO STANI?!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:29 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Eh. WOuld going underground really be the best way out? Wouldnt it be wiser to move to the poles, or have they already done that and now theyre living in the caves at hte poles? If the only place cool enough for humans to survive is underground at 90 degrees latitude I think the planet is pretty much cooked (no pun intended). Humans are pretty tough when it comes to temperature, and if the world is too hot for humans, it's probably too hot for just about everything else except reptiles and a few exotic lifeforms that are not good for food sourcces.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:42 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Some scientists have speculated that humans could move to Venus (now) by living in balloons filled with Earth air, which would float in the Venusian atmosphere. I don't know if that could work out in this situation, but considering a runaway greenhouse effect and that by the time it's like Venus the surface temperature melts lead...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Sunàqʷa the Sea Lamprey says:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:04 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:53 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:29 pm 
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It might be interesting to add to the conversation that there's evidence that Venus' crust around 500 million years ago. Now there's a planet-wide disaster scenario.

-Rob


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:06 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:19 pm 
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Yeah I don't think a white giant would last long enough. They live for like 2 hours then KABLOOIE

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