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Journal Article

Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planet


Popp,  Max
Director’s Research Group OES, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey;

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Popp, M., & Eggl, S. (2017). Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planet. Nature Communications, 8: 14957. doi:10.1038/ncomms14957.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-07D5-2
The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet’s climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet’s as well as to the binary’s orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially.