The effect on Earth's surface temperature from variations in rotation rate, continent formation, solar luminosity, and carbon dioxide
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
Copyright 1989 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 94, Issue D8, pages 11129–11136, 20 August 1989
How to Cite
1989), The effect on Earth's surface temperature from variations in rotation rate, continent formation, solar luminosity, and carbon dioxide, J. Geophys. Res., 94(D8), 11129–11136, doi:10.1029/JD094iD08p11129., , and (
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 FEB 1989
- Manuscript Received: 18 APR 1988
Proposed evolutionary histories of solar luminosity, atmospheric carbon dioxide amounts, Earth rotation rate, and continent formation have been used to generate a time evolution of Earth's surface temperature. While speculative because of uncertainties in the input parameters, such a study does help to prioritize the areas of most concern to paleoclimatic research while illustrating the relationships and mutual dependencies. The mean temperature averages about 5 K higher than today over most of geologic time; the overall variation is less than 15 K. The evolution of Earth's rotation rate makes a significant contribution to the surface temperature distribution as late as 0.5 b.y. ago. While there is little change in equatorial temperatures, polar temperatures decrease, being some 15 K lower 3.5 b.y. ago than with present day rotation. The effect of continent growth on albedo is of secondary importance.