According to a new study which the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently published, early Earth’s climate was not extreme, as previously thought. Instead, it seems that it was almost the same as it is now. This research is interesting because it contradicts the general idea that early Earth’s climate was either extremely cold or extremely hot. According to the researchers from the University of Washington who conducted this study, theories regarding the temperatures during that period can still vary. However, their simulations regarding the temperature of early Earth suggest that back then, the average temperature was the same.
It’s worth noting that many other studies have claimed that during the Archean period, which was 4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago, the temperature was very low. Almost as low as -25 degrees Celsius or -13 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s even more interesting is that other studies have said that the temperatures were as high as 85 degrees Celsius or 185 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the exact opposite. This new study contradicts both theories.
Early Earth’s climate was not as extreme as previously thought
It seems that the temperatures on the earliest version of our planet were actually more moderate than previously believed. The range of temperatures was reportedly between 0 to 50 degrees Celsius (32 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit). When it comes to the cause of these temperatures, experts think that it was because of the weathering feedbacks. They were the ones keeping the climate habitable.
The team of experts was very surprised about this finding, especially considering what prior studies said. Most importantly, this discovery could help in the search for alien life. It suggests that planets in the habitable zone might have a stabile climate and therefore, support life. As for the weathering feedbacks, they could exist on other planets too, in the same forms.
Image source: flickr