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Runaway greenhouse effect on Venus

The other planets in our Solar System which have atmospheres also have weather, although their weather is very different from ours. Venus, the planet with the orbit nearest Earth's, has an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide and so has a runaway gr...

Venus
Venus. Forum News Service file photo.

The other planets in our Solar System which have atmospheres also have weather, although their weather is very different from ours. Venus, the planet with the orbit nearest Earthโ€™s, has an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide and so has a runaway greenhouse effect. The sky is perpetually cloudy and the air temperature at the surface hovers near 900 degrees year around. The clouds do produce occasional rain, but the rain is made of sulfuric acid, and mostly evaporates before reaching the ground. Air pressure at the Venusian surface is 90 times higher than here on Earth, about like what a diver would feel a thousand feet under the ocean. Although the thick canopy of clouds makes visible observation of the Venusian surface impossible, mechanical probes and remote sensing techniques have revealed volcanoes, rift valleys, and the presence of continents riding tectonic plates. There are no oceans on Venus, however. Itโ€™s too hot.   

 

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