Earth’s climate pattern are greatly influenced by other planets in the solar system – specifically Venus and Jupiter – a new research has claimed.
Researchers say they have found evidence that Jupiter and Venus have a great impact on Earth’s climatic conditions because of their gravitational influence on Earth. The two planets are said to be causing a change in Earth’s orbit around the sun. This change is said to happen every 405,000 years thereby indirectly impacting weather patterns on Earth.
For the purpose of the study, Dennis Kent and his team from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Rutgers University studied the cores of rocks in two different areas. They examined 1,500-feet cores of rock from Arizona’s Petrified National Forrest which dates back from 209 million to 215 million years ago. They also analyzed rock samples from New York and New Jersey which were formed over 200 million years ago.
On comparing the rock samples, it was found that the samples contained evidence of contrasting wet and dry periods during the same time. The team believed that this might be a clue to the 405,000-year cycle. The rock samples correlated with a remarkably continuous cycle that goes all the way back some 215 million years to the Triassic Period.
Scientists have previously examined the relationship between the Earth’s orbit and climate in terms of Milankovitch cycles that detail the changes in the Earth’s movement related to climate. The Milankovitch cycles describe the shifts in the Earth’s orbit, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and the impact on the weather.
“The climate cycles are directly related to how the Earth orbits the sun and slight variations in sunlight reaching Earth lead to climate and ecological changes,” Kent said.
He added that scientists can now link changes in the climate, environment, dinosaurs, mammals, and fossils around the world to this 405,000-year cycle in a very precise way. It is believed that the new research will change the way that scientists examine life on Earth and the studies related to the dinosaurs.
The study appeared in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.