Saturday, April 03, 2010

Why was the ancient Earth so warm?

Early Earth: Faint young Sun redux Early in the Earth's history (several billion years ago) it is thought that the Sun was dimmer, so much so that the oceans would have been frozen. However there is ample evidence that the oceans were mostly liquid during that period. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have kept the Earth warm. But there's a new theory that the Earth's surface may have also been darker in the past, allowing it to retain more heat from the fainter sun and resulting in warmer temperatures.

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