A Hazy View of the Early Earth

My MS paper, “A Revised, Hazy Methane Greenhouse for the Archean Earth“, just appeared in the journal Astrobiology! You can view a PDF of the article on my research page.

We argue that the warm, ice-free climate of the early Earth (2.8 billion years ago) was maintained by a water vapor/carbon dioxide/methane/ethane atmospheric greenhouse effect that offset the ~20% reduction in solar luminosity from the faint young sun. Furthermore, a stabilizing feedback between life and the climate system may have resulted in a thin stratospheric organic haze that maintained above-freezing temperatures and shielded ultraviolet radiation. An excellent write-up of our work is available at The Planetologist.

I’ve given this talk several times over the past couple years, most recently on the Forum for Astrobiology Research (which should eventually be available as a podcast), and it feels good to finally see the paper come out.

Tags: , , , ,