Climate control on Venus: Comparison of the carbonate and pyrite models

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We review two models describing the Venus climate system: the carbonate and pyrite models. It has been argued carbonate and pyrite are potentially important minerals controlling the climate of Venus, though existence of either minerals has not been confirmed. Although it used to be proposed that carbonation reaction might explain the Venus' atmospheric CO2 abundance, it is unlikely Venus' surface is reactive enough to control the Venus' massive CO2 atmosphere. Venus' surface carbonate is also able to affect the climate through the reaction with atmospheric SO2 to form anhydrite. Under the carbonate model the climate state is not in equilibrium and would be unstable due to the reaction between carbonate and SO2. On the other hand, pyrite-magnetite reaction is proposed to explain the Venus' atmospheric SO2 abundance. Under pyrite-magnetite reaction, however, the climate would be stabilized such that the existing climate state is maintained over a geological timescale, while some observational facts such as atmospheric abundance of SO2 and surface temperature could also be reasonably explained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-848
Number of pages10
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Planetary atmosphere
  • Planetary climatology
  • Planetary geochemistry
  • Venus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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