Stephen Hawking wants climate change deniers to correct their beliefs about global warming and its effects. He wants those who still do not think certain gasses are steadily increasing atmospheric temperatures on Earth to look at Venus and see what the heat-trapping greenhouse gasses can really do.
Hawking has even offered to pay the fare to take climate change deniers all the way to Venus so that they can see for themselves how climate change works and how it can wreak havoc on a planet, the Inquistr reports.
Appearing on a recent episode of CuriosityStream’s Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, he went on to describe just how similar Venus and Earth are including the atmosphere and size. “Venus is like Earth in so many ways, a sort of kissing cousin. She’s almost the same size as Earth, a touch closer to the sun. She has an atmosphere,” he said.
Venus has the hottest atmosphere among all planets in the Solar System with temperatures reaching nearly 864 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hawking said Earth could become like Venus if greenhouse gas and such emissions are not kept in check. Being closer to the Sun than Earth obviously makes Venus a lot hotter, but this is not the only reason for its high temperatures. For the first two billion years of its life, Venus was a planet that did not have such high temperatures. In fact, the temperate was congenial enough to allow humans to actually live there.
“Many of the same tools we use to model climate change on Earth can be adapted to study climates on other planets, both past and present. These results show ancient Venus may have been a very different place than it is today,” said Michael Way of Nasa.
Because of its proximity to the Sun, liquid water on Venus could eventually have evaporated. The planet’s atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, then proceeded to trap heat making it an uninhabitable furnace. The Earth is on a similar path, Hawking says.
Recent reports suggest that 2017 has been the hottest year on record if El-Nino influences are not taken into consideration. Erratic weather patterns all over the world have also become the norm and oceans are slowly dying.
Hawking has been quite vocal about working towards rectifying climate change, stressing the need for immediate action. He also condemned the administration of US President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate deal. Speaking to the BBC at the time, Hawking said: “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid.”