Planet Earth has managed to remain habitable for a long time for one simple reason: good luck.
Researchers at the University of Sourthhampton have mass simulations of the climate evolution of 100,000 randomly generated planets.
Each planet was simulated 100 times with random, climate-changing events occurring each time to see if habitable life could last as long as three billion years as Earth.
Of these planets, 9 percent (8700) have been successful at least once, but among these, nearly all of them (about 8000) have succeeded less than 50 times out of 100 and most of them (about 4,500) were less than 10 times successful than Origin 100..
Professor Toby Terrell, a specialist in Earth system science, said the results of the study, published in Nature Journal Communications Earth and Environment, indicate that serendipity is a key factor in determining whether planets, like Earth, can continue to fuel more life. Of billions. Years.
Professor Terrell said: “The stable and habitable climate on Earth is very confusing. Our neighbors, Mars and Venus, do not have habitable temperatures, despite Mars previously.”
“Earth’s temperature is not only habitable today, but it has maintained it at all times over three to four billion years – an extraordinary period of geological time.
We can now understand that Earth has remained suitable for life for a long time due to luck, at least in part. ”
A number of other major events could have happened to alter Earth’s habitability, such as whether a slightly larger asteroid collided with Earth, or it happened at a different time.
Professor Terrell added: “If an intelligent observer was present on Earth early with the evolution of life for the first time, and was able to calculate the chances of the planet remaining habitable for several billion years to come, then the calculations may have revealed very bad prospects.” .
These poor prospects mean that the chances of finding habitable “twin planets” elsewhere in the universe are extremely slim – something astronomers have particularly focused on as the interstellar missions increase.
Additional reporting by agencies