The other planets in our solar system have the ability to influence climate change on earth according to a new study conducted by Austrian, British and American scientists.
The research suggests that the other planets had an impact on the Earth’s climate 200 million years ago.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the University of Vienna on Tuesday, 8th November, saying: “The celestial bodies of our solar system also influence the climate cycles of our Earth.”
An international team of experts made up of geoscientists and climate scientists from the University of Vienna, along with other experts in the United Kingdom and in the United States, investigated “how this astronomical ‘heartbeat’ changed the Earth’s climate in an early interglacial period.”
Using a combination of simulations and drill core data, they showed that “astronomical cycles – in addition to shifting continental plates and fluctuating levels of CO2 in the atmosphere – drove climate changes around 200 million years ago.”
They are hoping that the new data will “be of interest for improved forecasts”.
The statement said: “It has been clear for the past three million years that the interactions between the celestial bodies in the solar system have periodically changed the Earth’s climate.”
Palaeoclimate researcher Jan Landwehrs from the University of Vienna explained: “We know, among other things, that ice age cycles were caused by the fact that the Earth’s orbit and its own rotation were altered by the gravitational forces of the planets and the Earth’s moon periodically change – and this in turn influences solar radiation and thus the climate.”
The statement added: “These cycles are one of the most important natural drivers of global climate change in recent Earth history and are particularly responsible for the past ice ages.”
But it was so far unclear how this impacted warmer climate phases with higher greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth’s earlier history.
So the Austrian scientists, working with geologists and climate researchers from the University of Vienna, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Universities of Southampton (UK) and Columbia (USA) came up with the new climate model to show how astronomical forces influence the Earth’s climate.
The statement said: “The new study also shows the influence of other celestial bodies on the Earth’s climate for the late Triassic and early Jurassic (i.e. about 230 to 200 million years ago), a time of global warming and high CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, in which also dinosaurs populated the supercontinent Pangea.
“The research team examined sediment cores from the Newark-Hartford Basin in the eastern United States, which lay 233 to 199 million years ago in the tropics of Pangea and slowly migrated north (from 5 degrees to 20 degrees).”
Landwehrs, a doctoral student at the Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences (VISESS) at the University of Vienna, who also does research at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, explained: “From this geological archive it can be read that the water level of large lakes rose and fell again and again within a few thousand years.
“Based on this, we were able to show through climate simulations that the astronomical forces, in addition to the CO2 content in the atmosphere and the tectonic plate movements, play an important role factor in climate change.”
The statement explained that in order to depict “the extraterrestrial influence, simulations were carried out with the newly developed CLIMBER-X Earth system model”, with Georg Feulner from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research saying: “This particularly fast model made it possible for the first time to dynamically simulate such climatic cycles for long periods of time.”
Study co-author Michael Wagreich from the Institute of Geology at the University of Vienna said that the results explain the past, but are also interesting for the future, “with regard to how the current climate crisis and a future greenhouse climate can be simulated and thus predicted.”
The study also said: “At the Triassic-Jurassic border 200 million years ago, the climate changed drastically, among other things due to volcanic CO2 emissions, and one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the Earth occurred.
Even if many factors interacted and earlier changes often extended over much longer periods of thousands of years, the strong influence of CO2 on the climate is evident in each case.”
Wagreich warned: “If we do not quickly limit the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, our time as the of the sixth great mass extinction in the history of the Earth.”
The results of their findings were published in the academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) on Monday, 7th November.
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