Faint young Sun paradox remains

Faint young Sun paradox remains

Nature 474, 7349 (2011). doi:10.1038/nature09961

Authors: Colin Goldblatt & Kevin J. Zahnle

Arising from M. T. Rosing, D. K. Bird, N. H. Sleep & C. J. Bjerrum, Nature464, 744–747 (2010)The Sun was fainter when the Earth was young, but the climate was generally at least as warm as today; this is known as the ‘faint young Sun paradox’. Rosing et al. claim that the paradox can be resolved by making the early Earth’s clouds and surface less reflective. We show that, even with the strongest plausible assumptions, reducing cloud and surface albedos falls short by a factor of two of resolving the paradox. A temperate Archean climate cannot be reconciled with the low level of CO2 suggested by Rosing et al.; a stronger greenhouse effect is needed.

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