The orbiting spacecraft sampled Venus’ atmosphere from top to bottom, enabling the scientists to establish the exact amounts of sunlight absorbed at various places in the atmosphere and at the surface. Measurements of atmosphere composition, temperature profiles and radiative heating predicted Venus’ surface temperature very accurately.
Although the planet is closer to the Sun than Earth, and has a relatively thin atmosphere like Earth’s, that atmosphere consists of more than 90 percent of carbon dioxide, compared to less than four percent for Earth. Thus, the much higher percentage of carbon dioxide in Venus’ atmosphere traps much more heat radiation than does Earth.
Amazing! Scientists in 1981 almost as stupid as Hansen. Venus has an extremely thick atmosphere, and very little sunlight reaches the surface because of thick clouds. You can’t heat a greenhouse without sunlight. Hot temperatures on Venus have just about nothing to do with the greenhouse effect.
The Venus studies are believed to be important to the understanding of posssible adverse effects on Earth’s agriculture and sea levels that could result from society’s long-term use of fossil fuels, which add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
The findings, released recently by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, were made by a team of scientists from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., and the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Illustrations: Photo of a mummy cat