Modelling the ocean climate for the early archaean

B. Henderson-Sellers*, A. Henderson-Sellers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A solution to the enhanced surface temperature, lowered solar luminosity "paradox" of the early Archaean Earth is presented in terms of albedo modifications due to the presence of a near global ocean and fewer clouds. An interlinked suite of three ocean thermodynamic/dynamic models is used to cross-substantiate the viability of an oceanic climate in which zonal transports are enhanced, pole-to-equator transports diminished and surface temperatures are only a few degrees below present day values throughout the year. This provides substantiation for one of the two radiative explanations for the "remarkable" stability of the Earth's surface temperature for the whole of the geological record. Although an "alternative" (for the ocean-dominated Archaean Earth) to the previously well-discussed "radiation-trapping by greenhouse gases" mechanism, it is likely that both mechanisms operated during the early phases of the Earth's history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-221
Number of pages27
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989


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