Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Early Earth

Faint young Sun redux

Given that the Sun was dimmer in its youth, our planet should have been frozen over for much of its early history. That it evidently wasn't is a puzzle that continues to engage the attention of Earth scientists.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Possible variation in atmospheric CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) during Earth's history.

References

  1. Sagan, C. & Mullen, G. Science 177, 52–56 (1972).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Rosing, M. T., Bird, D. K., Sleep, N. H. & Bjerrum, C. J. Nature 464, 744–747 (2010).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Holland, H. D. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 361, 903–915 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Kuhn, W. R. & Atreya, S. K. Icarus 37, 207–213 (1979).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Owen, T., Cess, R. D. & Ramanathan, V. Nature 277, 640–642 (1979).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Walker, J. C. G., Hays, P. B. & Kasting, J. F. J. Geophys. Res. 86, 9776–9782 (1981).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. von Paris, P. et al. Planet. Space Sci. 56, 1244–1259 (2008).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Haqq-Misra, J. D., Domagal-Goldman, S. D., Kasting, P. J. & Kasting, J. F. Astrobiology 8, 1127–1137 (2008).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Kiehl, J. T. & Dickinson, R. E. J. Geophys. Res. 92, 2991–2998 (1987).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Rondanelli, R. & Lindzen, R. S. J. Geophys. Res. 115, doi:10.1029/2009JD012050 (2010).

  11. Goldblatt, C. et al. Nature Geosci. 2, 891–896 (2009).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Knauth, L. P. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 219, 53–69 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ohmoto, H., Watanabe, Y. & Kumazawa, K. Nature 429, 395–399 (2004).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Rye, R., Kuo, P. H. & Holland, H. D. Nature 378, 603–605 (1995).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sheldon, N. D. Precambrian Res. 147, 148–155 (2006).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Gough, D. O. Solar Phys. 74, 21–34 (1981).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kasting, J. Faint young Sun redux. Nature 464, 687–689 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/464687a

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/464687a

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing