Millions of years ago, the Earth went through a greenhouse state. There was not as much ice at the poles, sea temperatures rose and great rain storms rushed over it. However, the future may not be much different from the past. This is confirmed by a team of Harvard scientists, who affirm that the floods will happen again as the Sun continues to increase in brightness and temperature.
The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that during greenhouse climates (times of extreme heat) the planet went through long cycles of droughts followed by storms of kilometer-long proportions. These were capable of shedding more rain in six hours than some tropical cyclones in the United States for days.
“This episodic flood cycle is a completely unexpected new atmospheric state,” said Robin Wordsworth, lead author of the research, in a Harvard University news release.
The results were obtained in atmospheric models by increasing the sea temperature to 54.4 ° Celsius either raising the sunshine by 10% or adding more CO2 in an amount 64 times higher than the current one.
However, raising the sea temperature by 30 ° would be impossible if only human activity is taken into account, even with its abysmal and incessant emission of CO2. Therefore, the answer to when and how the floods will return is our main star.
The Sun heats the oceans until their water boils and arrives in the form of water steam (an invisible state) to the atmosphere. Then, when condensing, it generates the clouds that contain the raindrops. Now this cycle does not change before our eyes, but as the Sun ages and goes to extinction it will do so drastically.
According to UniverseToday the brightness of the star king has increased its brightness by 30% in the last 4,500 million years and currently increases 1% every 100 million years. In that sense, 1.1 billion years from now, the Sun (reaching 10% brighter) will create a greenhouse climate on Earth and cause disastrous floods.
According to simulations, the absorption of sunlight by water vapor will warm the air in the lower atmosphere, but will create a kind of barrier (“Inhibition layer”) that will prevent convective clouds from rising to the upper atmosphere and thus forming rain clouds.
The result will be that evaporation from the oceans gets stuck in the lower atmosphere, while rains from high clouds will evaporate as they fall to the surface. This instability would result in long periods without drizzle even in the tropics, and when they do, they could be catastrophic.
“There is a ton of cooling high in the atmosphere and a ton of evaporation and warming near the surface, separated by this barrier. If something can break through that barrier and allow heat and moisture from the surface to enter the cold upper atmosphere, it will produce a huge storm, “explained climate scientist Jacob Seeley for Harvard University.
According to the researchers, the study also raises big questions about extreme climates on other planets.