ExoClimes Conference 2012 - The diversity of planetary atmospheres
This meeting brings together Earth, Solar System and exoplanet specialists to discuss recent results and the way ahead, and put our own climate in the wider context of the trials and tribulations of planetary atmospheres.
Planetary atmospheres are complex and evolving entities, as mankind is rapidly coming to realise whilst attempting to understand, forecast and mitigate human-induced climate change. In the Solar System, our neighbours Venus and Mars provide striking examples of two endpoints of planetary evolution, runaway greenhouse and loss of atmosphere to space. The variety of extra-solar planets brings a wider angle to the issue: from scorching "hot jupiters" to ocean worlds, exoatmospheres explore many configurations unknown in our Solar System, such as iron clouds, silicate rains, extreme plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes.
Exoplanetary atmospheres have recently become accessible to observations. Two questions are the key drivers for the 2012 exoclimes conference: What observations are possible in the foreseeable future? And how will they constrain the climate on other worlds?