UNITED STATES: The planet Venus, which is enveloped in clouds, is named after the goddess of love. Often referred to as the sister of Earth, Venus has a surface that is hot enough to melt lead.
Due to the thick atmosphere, the Sun only appears as a smudge of light from the surface.
Venus used to be like Earth; it wasn’t a mirror image, but there were a lot of similarities. So why did everything suddenly shift, turning the planet—dubbed the mysterious twin of Earth—into an acidic wasteland?
As a well-known case study of climate change, the planet intrigues scientists, who are eager to unravel its mysteries.
Due to a recent study, we now have a clearer understanding of how Venus changed from a temperate, moist world to an acidic hothouse.
Similar histories of Earth and Venus
Researchers found that it was brought on by centuries- to millennia-long volcanic activity that spewed massive volumes of debris.
Dr. Michael J. Way of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said in a statement: “We can determine whether these occurrences may have contributed to Venus’ current state by understanding the history of large igneous provinces on Earth and Venus.” The Planetary Science Journal has published the full details of the research.
The report also talks about huge igneous provinces that occurred on Earth in the past and led to several major extinctions on our planet millions of years ago.
“Large-scale volcanism has kept Earth habitable for a very long time.” Contrary to popular belief, volcanism has had the greatest impact on it and has been the primary cause of significant mass extinction events throughout Earth’s history, according to the study.
Massive-scale volcanism that lasted for tens of thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of years produced large igneous provinces. More than 100,000 cubic miles of volcanic rock can be deposited by them on the surface.
The greenhouse effect on Venus
According to the study, the planet’s ancient high-temperature circumstances may have been brought on by enormous volcanic eruptions.
A runaway greenhouse effect would have resulted from a number of these eruptions occurring within a million years, a short period of geologic time.
Today, Venus has an atmosphere with a surface pressure 90 times that of Earth and an average temperature of 462 degrees Celsius.
The frequency of the events that produced these fields is unknown, but by looking at Earth’s past, it is possible to limit it.
According to this study and others that came before it, Earth has survived five mass extinction events, and the bulk of these extinction events were brought on or made worse by the types of eruptions that result in huge igneous provinces.
The climate changes brought on by these occurrences on Earth were not as severe as those that led to Venus’ runaway greenhouse effect.