Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 3:00pm
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HUCE Seminar Room 440, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Special Harvard Climate Seminar

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences host Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Halley Professor of Physics, University of Oxford, who will give a talk on "Climate Dynamics of Lava Planets."

Lava planets are rocky planets in orbits sufficiently close to their host stars that they are tide-locked with a substellar temperature above the liquidus of typical silicate minerals. Such planets have a permanent dayside magma ocean.  Corot 7b was the first lava planet to have been discovered, but many more have entered the catalogue since, of which the best characterized so far is 55 Cancri e. I will discuss the atmospheric dynamics of lava planets, with particular emphasis on 55 Cancri e, for which case we conclude that the best fit to the observed phase curve demands a moderately thick non-condensible background atmosphere rather than a thin mineral vapor atmosphere localized to the dayside. Our earlier work on this problem made use of idealized gray-gas radiation with diagnostic clouds. In this lecture I will present updated results with real-gas radiative transfer for CO dominated atmospheres, and simulations incorporating multi species mineral vapor cloud physics. As in our idealized simulations, the dayside is largely clear-sky, with clouds forming only on the nightside. The simulation exhibits a rich variety of clouds, which will have a strong effect on the thermal emission signature. 

Contact Name: 

Sabinna Cappo

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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