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Our neighbouring planets can help us understand Earth’s climate change


Studying the atmospheres of Venus and Mars can help us learn how Earth’s climate will look in the future, says David Grinspoon



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31 August 2022

Michelle D’urbano

VENUS and Mars are the closest we will ever come to controlled experiments for Earth. Take three rocky planets, two roughly the same mass, one about one-tenth of that mass. Add water. Make one of the big planets a little closer to your star and the small one a little further out. Now wait 4 billion years and observe.

This is a golden age of comparative planetology. Spacecraft within our solar system, combined with new awareness of exoplanets, are bringing the diversity of planets into focus, which also gives us a new understanding of our home world. As a comparative planetologist, I …



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