Climate change studies vexed by Vesta

Paleoclimate studies, where scientists look into the past to try and understand changes in Earth’s climate, may be a waste of time if astronomers are correct in their theory that relatively minor bodies like the asteroid Vesta can cause chaotic fluctuations in Earth’s orbit. NASA’s Dawn space-probe flew by Vesta last Saturday.

The journal Astronomy & Astrophysics has published numerical simulations of the long-term evolution of the orbits of Ceres and Vesta, which are the largest bodies in the asteroid belt. Although Ceres and Vesta are relatively small (Ceres is only 1/80th the mass of the Moon and Vesta is around 1/300th the mass of the moon), the calculations show that they can exert a disproportionate effect on their large neighbors and, in particular, the Earth. The computations were compiled by French astronomer Jacques Laskar, from the Observatoire de Paris, and his co-researchers.

The new calculations show that Ceres and Vesta gravitationally interact with themselves and with the other planets of the solar system. Because of these interactions, they are continuously pulled or pushed slightly out of their initial orbit. The calculations show that, over time, these effects do not average out. Consequently, their orbits are chaotic, meaning that we cannot predict their positions over long periods.

According to the figures, Ceres and Vesta’s interactions with the Earth cause our planet’s orbit to become unpredictable after only 60 million years. This means that the Earth’s eccentricity, which can cause major climatic variations, cannot be traced back more than 60 million years. This calls into question all Paleoclimate studies that seek to look back further than this point.

Related:
CO2 behind prehistoric global cooling
Global warming estimates “fundamentally wrong,” contends new study
More evidence for asteroids creating life on Earth
Rosetta anomaly stumps scientists

Astronomy & Astrophysics

, ,

Comments are closed.

Antique Empire  Match Holder Vesta Case Gunmetal Turquoise Stones Royal Estate picture

Antique Empire Match Holder Vesta Case Gunmetal Turquoise Stones Royal Estate

$1300.00



MASSIVE MATCH SAFE VESTA SAFE COLLECTION FROM AN ESTATE OF A COLLECTOR 1100 PLUS picture

MASSIVE MATCH SAFE VESTA SAFE COLLECTION FROM AN ESTATE OF A COLLECTOR 1100 PLUS

$140000.00



Antique Match Safe Vesta Sportsman Duck Hunter W/ Hunting Dog & Boat Motiff picture

Antique Match Safe Vesta Sportsman Duck Hunter W/ Hunting Dog & Boat Motiff

$149.95



VINTAGE DIETZ VESTA B & LERR 7158 NEW YORK RAILROAD LANTERN BLUE GLASS picture

VINTAGE DIETZ VESTA B & LERR 7158 NEW YORK RAILROAD LANTERN BLUE GLASS

$174.99



Brass Victorian Toby Man Hinged Vesta Match Safe Original picture

Brass Victorian Toby Man Hinged Vesta Match Safe Original

$150.00



Photo:Lockwood,Vesta 9 picture

Photo:Lockwood,Vesta 9

$15.00



Late 1800s / Early 1900s CAPSTAN Cigarettes Small Brass Vesta Case. picture

Late 1800s / Early 1900s CAPSTAN Cigarettes Small Brass Vesta Case.

$38.96



RARE C. 1904 MASONIC DOUBLE SIDED ETCHED EMBOSSED FUNCTIONAL VESTA MATCH SAFE picture

RARE C. 1904 MASONIC DOUBLE SIDED ETCHED EMBOSSED FUNCTIONAL VESTA MATCH SAFE

$68.00



Unique Vesta Bread Maricopa Pottery Bowl 3x6 picture

Unique Vesta Bread Maricopa Pottery Bowl 3x6

$149.00



Fantastic Gorham Antique Victorian Silverplate Vesta Case Match Striker Holder picture

Fantastic Gorham Antique Victorian Silverplate Vesta Case Match Striker Holder

$295.00



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes