By Robert Vislocky, Ph.D.
From the “whatever happened to the 1.5* C tipping point” school of climate, researchers have identified 24 planets that are likely to be more suitable for life than Earth.
Here is news release from Washington State University and accompanying journal article:
What is especially eye-catching is the criteria behind why these planets are considered super-habitable: “older, a little larger, slightly warmer and possibly wetter than Earth.” Say what? How can warmer & wetter be better for life on Earth? Aren’t we near a tipping point where another 0.5* C of warming becomes an existential threat to humanity, as claimed by certain climate scientists, news outlets, and politicians?
Even more intriguing is what the researchers (the lead author of which is a geobiologist) consider to be “slightly warmer”. This is clarified farther into the article where it states “a mean surface temperature of about 5 degrees Celsius (or about 8 degrees Fahrenheit) greater than Earth, together with the additional moisture, would be also better for life.” Wow!!
That certainly blows away the so-called 1.5* C tipping point, which we all know is a number picked out of a hat for political reasons. More importantly, their research begs the deeper question on exactly what is the optimal temperature for life on this planet. This is certainly a question which should be addressed before implementing any public policy (such as the Green New Deal) that could significantly impact the economy and quality of life.