Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets

  title={Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets},
  author={J{\'e}r{\'e}my Leconte and François Forget and Benjamin Charnay and Robin D. Wordsworth and Aliz{\'e}e Pottier},
The increase in solar luminosity over geological timescales should warm the Earth’s climate, increasing water evaporation, which will in turn enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Above a certain critical insolation, this destabilizing greenhouse feedback can ‘run away’ until the oceans have completely evaporated. Through increases in stratospheric humidity, warming may also cause evaporative loss of the oceans to space before the runaway greenhouse state occurs. The critical insolation… 

The runaway greenhouse radius inflation effect

Planets similar to Earth but slightly more irradiated are expected to enter into a runaway greenhouse state, where all surface water rapidly evaporates, forming an optically thick H2O-dominated

Transition to a Moist Greenhouse with CO2 and solar forcing

It is shown with three-dimensional aqua-planet simulations that CO2-induced forcing as readily destabilizes the climate as does solar forcing, and that the climate transition cannot be reversed by removing the additional forcing.

Evidence for Radiative‐Convective Bistability in Tropical Atmospheres

Earth's energy balance requires that energy absorbed and emitted at the top of the atmosphere be equal; to first order this balance is maintained via the Planck feedback: outgoing longwave radiation

Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth‐Like Planets

Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain

The evolution of habitable climates under the brightening Sun

On water‐dominated planets, warming from increased solar insolation is strongly amplified by the water vapor greenhouse feedback. As the Sun brightens due to stellar evolution, Earth will become

Evaluating Climate Sensitivity to CO2 Across Earth's History

CO2‐driven changes to climate have occurred during many epochs of Earth's history when the solar insolation, atmospheric CO2 concentration, and surface temperature of the planet were all

Beyond Runaway: Initiation of the Post-runaway Greenhouse State on Rocky Exoplanets

The runaway greenhouse represents the ultimate climate catastrophe for rocky, Earth-like worlds: when the incoming stellar flux cannot be balanced by radiation to space, the oceans evaporate and


A radiative-convective climate model is used to calculate stratospheric temperatures and water vapor concentrations for ozone-free atmospheres warmer than that of modern Earth. Cold, dry

Climates of Warm Earth-like Planets. I. 3D Model Simulations

A large ensemble of simulations of an Earth-like world with increasing insolation and rotation rate and two types of oceans are presented, one without ocean heat transport between grid cells as has been commonly used in the exoplanet literature, while the other is a fully coupled dynamic bathtub type ocean.

Initiation of a Runaway Greenhouse in a Cloudy Column

A one-dimensional radiative‐convective equilibrium model is used to investigate the influence of clouds on the onset of a runaway greenhouse under strong solar forcing. By comparing experiments with



The runaway greenhouse: implications for future climate change, geoengineering and planetary atmospheres

  • C. GoldblattA. Watson
  • Physics, Environmental Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2012
The good news is that almost all lines of evidence lead us to believe that it is unlikely to be possible, even in principle, to trigger full a runaway greenhouse by addition of non-condensible greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Runaway and moist greenhouse atmospheres and the evolution of Earth and Venus.

3D climate modeling of close-in land planets: Circulation patterns, climate moist bistability and habitability

The inner edge of the classical habitable zone is often defined by the critical flux needed to trigger the runaway greenhouse instability. This 1D notion of a critical flux, however, may not be so

Relative humidity changes in a warmer climate

[1] Key climate feedback due to water vapor and clouds rest largely on how relative humidity ℛ changes in a warmer climate, yet this has not been extensively analyzed in models. General circulation

The faint young Sun problem revisited with a 3-D climate-carbon model – Part 1

Abstract. During the Archaean, the Sun's luminosity was 18 to 25% lower than the present day. One-dimensional radiative convective models (RCM) generally infer that high concentrations of greenhouse

Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

It is shown that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets, and it is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.


Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a


The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and