Venus could be turned into hell by trap volcanism

The hellish climate of Venus could have arisen as a result of several major volcanic events that occurred simultaneously. Scientists have studied trap formations on Earth and came to the conclusion that the same thing could happen to us if several such events occurred simultaneously.

Trap formation on Earth. Source: Wikipedia

Trap Volcanism on Earth

Scientists are interested in how volcanism on Earth and our neighbor Venus determines their climate. We know that greenhouse gases, of which there are many on the second planet from the Sun, and we have few, are produced by volcanoes.

In a new study published in The Planetary Science Journal, the authors examined trap formations present on Earth. These plains of volcanic origin were formed during disasters. The Earth’s crust was cracking and a large amount of lava was pouring out of it.

Due to the erosion of the surface, we cannot trace all such events in the history of our planet. However, even those 500 million years that have been preserved in the geological record allow us to track how often trap volcanism occurred in our planet, during which a large amount of carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere.

Scientists were very concerned about the question whether several such events could occur simultaneously and whether this could lead to the destruction of the planet’s climate. They came to the conclusion that there has never been more than one such event on our planet at the same time.

However, there are cases when trap volcanism occurred with an interval of a million years. This could theoretically lead to overlapping effects and disruption of the carbon cycle. But the fact that we are still alive indicates that climate destruction did not happen then.

Earth could become like Venus

However, calculations indicate that several ruptures of the earth’s crust that occur simultaneously may well release enough carbon dioxide to cause a significant greenhouse effect.

Volcano on Venus. Source: NASA

And it could trigger processes with positive feedback. An increase in temperature would cause increased evaporation of water from the oceans. And gaseous water is also a powerful greenhouse gas. The hotter it would get, the faster this process would go.

How everything could have ended is clearly visible on Venus. Our nearest neighbor is wrapped in a dense and hot atmosphere, consisting mainly of carbon dioxide. It is so massive that it even slows down the rotation of the planet. However, it is not known whether the above-mentioned scenario took place on it. The surface of Venus has not been sufficiently explored yet.

In any case, trap volcanism as a scenario of turning our neighbor into hell is possible, but not mandatory. Venus had many other reasons to come to its current state.

According to Р

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