Oceans pivotal in sustaining alien life: Study
A new study has revealed that oceans are vital in moderating climate on Earth-like planets, thus sustaining alien life.
According to the researchers from University of East Anglia, 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.
The research team from UEA's schools of Mathematics and Environmental Sciences created a computer simulated pattern of ocean circulation on a hypothetical ocean-covered Earth-like planet and looked at how different planetary rotation rates would impact heat transport with the presence of oceans taken into account.
David Stevens from UEA's school of Mathematics said that the number of planets being discovered outside our solar system is rapidly increasing and this research will help answer whether or not these planets could sustain alien life.
Stevens added that oceans have an immense capacity to control climate and are beneficial because they cause the surface temperature to respond very slowly to seasonal changes in solar heating and also help ensure that temperature swings across a planet are kept to tolerable levels.
The study was published in the journal Astrobiology.
(Posted on 21-07-2014)