Tech & Science Weird but true: Orbits of Jupiter and Venus affect Earth’s climate, new study says

10:05  08 may  2018
10:05  08 may  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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Every 405,000 years, gravitational tugs from the planets Jupiter and Venus gradually affect Earth ' s climate and life forms, according to a new study .

True , Throw them in the millpond and see if they float. Tom in Florida says Between 2008 and 2012, my thinking on this conundrum drifted towards a simple spin- orbit coupling mechanism that involved the planets Venus , Earth and Jupiter .

Jupiter © NASA file photo Jupiter Who knew? The orbits of planets hundreds of millions of miles away can change weather patterns here on Earth.

Every 405,000 years, gravitational tugs from the planets Jupiter and Venus gradually affect Earth's climate and life forms, according to a new study published Monday.

In fact, this pattern has been going on for at least 215 million years and allows scientists to more precisely date geological events like the spread of dinosaurs.

"Scientists can now link changes in the climate, environment, dinosaurs, mammals and fossils around the world to this 405,000-year cycle in a very precise way," said study lead author Dennis Kent, an expert in paleomagnetism at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Rutgers University.

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Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has no natural satellite. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows.

The gravitational pull of Saturn and Jupiter in particular has changed Earth ' s axial tilt, affecting the way sunlight falls and therefore Earth ' s climate . Monet also studied creative writing at Eugene Lang College in New York and Mills College in Oakland.

The cycle has been happening for hundreds of millions of years, from before the rise of dinosaurs, and is still active today, scientists say.

“The climate cycles are directly related to how the Earth orbits the sun and slight variations in sunlight reaching Earth lead to climate and ecological changes,” said Kent, who studies Earth’s magnetic field.

Jupiter and Venus are such strong influences because of their size and proximity. Venus is the nearest planet to us — at its farthest, only about 162 million miles — and roughly similar in mass. Jupiter is much farther away, but is the Solar System's largest planet.

The study says that every 405,000 years, due to wobbles in our orbit caused by the gravitational pulls of the two planets, seasonal differences here on Earth become more intense. Summers are hotter and winters colder; dry times drier, wet times wetter.

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Mitrovica has used numerical simulations to show that these aspects of the Earth ' s orbit have been affected by the gravitational attraction of Saturn and Jupiter . (1997, December 18). Other Planets Influence Earth ' s Climate , University Of Toronto Scientist Says .

Long before Mercury, Venus , Earth , and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may Earth ' s magnetic field is not about to reverse, study finds. Apr 30, 2018 14. European astronomers have found two new Jupiter -sized extra-solar planets, each orbiting one star of a binary-star system.

At the height of the cycle, more rain falls in the tropics, allowing lakes there to fill up. This compares to the other end of the cycle, when seasonal rains in the tropics "are less and lakes have much less of a tendency to become as full," Kent said.

The results showed that the 405,000-year cycle is the most regular astronomical pattern linked to the Earth's annual turn around the sun, he said.

Right now, we are in the middle of the cycle, as the most recent peak was around 200,000 years ago.

The climate impact from the planets pales when compared to how humans are affecting the planet from burning fossil fuels, for example. "It's pretty far down on the list of so many other things that can affect climate on times scales that matter to us," Kent said.

"All the carbon dioxide we're pouring into the air right now is the obvious big enchilada. That's having an effect we can measure right now. The planetary cycle is a little more subtle."

The study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

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