We present a summary of the posters of this astronomical topic. If you want to see the full poster, click on the document:
Title: The role of continents on the global surface temperature of an Earth-like planet
Alejandra Meza and Patricio Rojo
Department of Astronomy, University of Chile
Abstract: One of the requirements for habitability is liquid water. Its presence depends strongly on temperature and this, in turn, is determined by the distance between the planet and its host star. However, there are also other factors that are less studied such as the geodynamic and geophysical environments.
Hence, the objective of this research is to study the effect of the amount of continental land on global surface temperature: what would be the temperature that our planet would have if it had only 4 continents instead of 6? What if there were no continents at all?
To answer these questions, we used a climate model of intermediate complexity for Earth and other planets, known as Planet Simulator (PlaSim). Through this, we started with a planet identical to Earth and we suppressed continents one by one, so we could study how the temperature varied.
The results show that the global surface temperature varies depending on the position of each extracted continent, although it has a tendency to decrease. We found the main responsible for this change in temperature is the change in albedo produced by the different landmass configurations.