Volume 522, November 2010
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||28 October 2010|
Is Gliese 581d habitable? Some constraints from radiative-convective climate modeling
Laboratoire de Métérologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre Simon
2 Université de Bordeaux, Observatoire Aquitain des Sciences de l’Univers, 2 rue de l’Observatoire, BP 89, 33271 Floirac Cedex, France
3 CNRS, UMR 5804, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux, 2 rue de l’Observatoire, BP 89, 33271 Floirac Cedex, France
4 Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion de l’Énergie, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
Accepted: 20 July 2010
The recently discovered exoplanet Gl 581d is extremely close to the outer edge of its system’s habitable zone, which has led to much speculation on its possible climate. We have performed a range of simulations to assess whether, given simple combinations of chemically stable greenhouse gases, the planet could sustain liquid water on its surface. For best estimates of the surface gravity, surface albedo and cloud coverage, we find that less than 10 bars of CO2 is sufficient to maintain a global mean temperature above the melting point of water. Furthermore, even with the most conservative choices of these parameters, we calculate temperatures above the water melting point for CO2 partial pressures greater than about 40 bar. However, we note that as Gl 581d is probably in a tidally resonant orbit, further simulations in 3D are required to test whether such atmospheric conditions are stable against the collapse of CO2 on the surface.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: surfaces / planetary systems / planet-star interactions / convection / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2010
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