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Oceans vital for alien life on other planets

Posted on Jul 21 2014 | IANS

London, July 21 : Oceans have an immense capacity to control climate and they are vital in sustaining life even in case there is any on other planets, says a study.

"The number of planets being discovered outside our solar system is rapidly increasing. This research will help answer whether these planets could sustain alien life," said professor David Stevens from University of East Anglia in Britain.

Until now, computer simulations of habitable climates on Earth-like planets have focused on their atmospheres. But the presence of oceans is vital for optimal climate stability and habitability.

"We found that heat transported by oceans would have a major impact on the temperature distribution across a planet, and would potentially allow a greater area of a planet to be habitable," Stevens added.

Oceans help to make a planet's climate more stable so factoring them into climate models is vital for knowing whether the planet could develop and sustain life.

"This new model will help us to understand what the climates of other planets might be like with more accurate detail than ever before."

The study appeared in the journal Astrobiology.

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