Venus our close sister. Almost the same size as Earth, almost the same distance from the Sun. Once a planet just like us, probably with water and a nice habitable temperature. It may even have supported some primitive life before Earth did. Then it all went wrong and now Venus is hellish. Super hot temperatures, massive thick atmosphere, covered in volcanoes, snowing metals and raining sulfuric acid.
New research from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York shows how beautiful it once was. This modelling was carried out by adapting Earth climate models and shows what happens in runaway climate change. “Many of the same tools we use to model climate change on Earth can be adapted to study climates on other planets, both past and present,” said Michael Way, a researcher at GISS. We, on Earth, got lucky. We spin faster and had less dry land, and, being further away, received less sunlight.
Now, with sudden climate change caused by human’s burning fossil fuels, our own atmosphere is following exactly what these same models predict. This study of Venus shows that it time to start looking after ourselves. When it comes to humanity, there is no plan-et B.