Data gathered from European Space Agency’s Venus Express is invaluable to climate scientists modeling Earth’s climate to predict its future.Astrobiologist David Grinspoon believes that scientists should look at our neighboring planets to help understand the perils of global warming.“It seems that both Mars and Venus started out much more like Earth and then changed. They both hold priceless climate information for Earth.”
Climate scientists believe that Venus experienced a runaway greenhouse effect as the Sun gradually heated up. Astronomers believe that the young Sun was dimmer than the present-day Sun by 30 percent. Over the last 4 thousand million years, it has gradually brightened. During this increase, Venus’s surface water evaporated and entered the atmosphere.
“Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas and it caused the planet to heat-up even more. This is turn caused more water to evaporate and led to a powerful positive feedback response known as the runaway greenhouse effect,” says Grinspoon.