The composition of the atmosphere, particularly the abundance of greenhouse gases, has an impact on the Earth’s climate. Purdue University researchers led by Stephanie Olson, assistant professor of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences, have discovered that the presence of salt in seawater can also have a significant impact on the habitability of Earth and other planets.
The researchers utilized a climate model to analyze the climates of planets with varying quantities of salt dissolved in seawater in order to predict that saltier oceans result in warmer climates, which may help a planet’s ability to sustain life.
Their findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
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