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Venus Atmosphere Temperature and Pressure Profiles

Shade Tree Physics

Installed 04 Feb 2001 - Latest update 27 Jul 2014.
Text additions or modifications are in bold.

A reviewer of the article (Influenza 1918, A Venus Connection?) stated that influenza viruses are designed to grow at 37 degrees C (Celsius) [98.6 degrees F (Fahrenheit)] and to replicate using mammalian cell enzymes and that a long period of host and pathogen co-evolution is required.

The following graphs are provided as a first step in checking up on whether or not a suitable temperature, pressure, and chemically friendly environment for the production or replication of viruses exists in the Venusian atmosphere.

These first two graphs (before my additions and extensions), were originally published by J.M. Jenkins, P. G. Steffes, D.P. Hinson, J.D. Twicken, and G.L. Tyler in their article, Radio Occultation Studies of the Venus Atmosphere with the Magellan Spacecraft, Icarus, Vol. 110, 79-94, 1994. (The kind permission to use the graphs does not constitute endorsement of the hypothesis under evaluation in this article.) See: Other Temperature and Pressure Profiles. [Thanks to the visitors from Gprs Pune, Maharashtra, India and Skylogic Germany Gmbh for finding that this link needed updating. 7 Jun 2013]

Venus atmosphere temperature vs altitude

The stated 37 degrees C (which is the average human body temperature prior to viral attack) corresponds to 310 Kelvin (K) (Celsius temp plus 273). If we enter the Venus altitude-versus-temperature graph at 310 K and go straight up (red line) to the temperature profile, and then horizontally to the left axis we find a corresponding altitude of 52.5 kilometers (33 miles).

online degrees

Now, as a rough cross-check, we enter the Venus altitude-versus-atmospheric pressure graph at 1000 millibars (the Earth's average sea level atmospheric pressure) and go up to intersect the altitude-pressure profile line, and across to the left axis where we find the corresponding altitude of 49.5 kilometers (31 miles). This altitude is only three kilometers (or six percent) different than we found from the temperature graph.

So, in spite of the surface temperature of Venus being on the order of 864 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a region in the Venusian atmosphere which approximates that of Earth with respect to temperature and pressure. But there may be problems.

52.5 kilometers above the Venusian surface turns out to be in the middle of the Venusian cloud blanket which is made up largely of sulfuric acid droplets. (The cloud bottoms are estimated to be 30 to 35 km above the surface and the tops are estimated to be from 60 to 75 km above the Venusian surface.) This upper altitude limit is perhaps a fuzzy estimate. The cloud tops temperature has been reported to be 260 K (-13 degrees C or 9 degrees F). According to the temperature profile above (green line) this temperature corresponds to an altitude of 58 km (36 miles) for the cloud tops. (For stratus clouds there will be thermal equilibrium between the atmosphere and the cloud tops.)

Is this acidic cloud environment good or bad for the formation of viral precursors and/or virus building processes? (a) Do sulfuric acid (H2SO4) droplets in a reducing atmosphere assist or preclude the formation or preservation of amino acids and other RNA building blocks? (b) Can sufficient solar ultraviolet energy penetrate the clouds to this depth? If either answer is harmful to the hypothesis then we can ask whether or not the Venusian atmosphere above the clouds, say 60 km (37 miles) and up, could be (or not be) a candidate region for the biological processes in question. The lack of sufficient ultraviolet penetration will not be a problem above the clouds. So, what are the lowest temperature and pressure constraints for reasonable biological activity?

Another factor that must be dealt with is whether or not the Venusian atmosphere near the cloud tops contains the chemical elements (in sufficient quatities) required to build RNA molecules as well as their cellular (bacterial) hosts? The findings from a search for this information will be placed here.

Here is a chart showing temperature versus pressure for the Venusian atmosphere. It is derived from the two graphs above.

Temperature vs Pressure -
Venusian atmosphere
[Installed on 16 Aug 2011.]

The Digital Dutch 1976 Standard Atmosphere Calculator was used in plotting Earth's standard atmosphere curve.

* * *

What about the surface of Venus?
(The high temperature - high pressure regime.)

It may turn out that the surface temperature of Venus (864 F) is not so inhospitable to all life forms as we might imagine.

The article Looking for clues to our mineral wealth, published by the Australian Academy of Science, describes unusual life forms associated with oceanic subsurface volcanic chimneys (black smokers).

"The environment around black smokers forms the habitat for a number of highly specialized animals. Species of tube worms, bivalves, gastropods and crustaceans are capable of surviving in complete darkness, under extreme pressures and at water temperatures that range from 10C to 400C. These organisms survive by eating bacteria that use hydrogen sulfide as their primary energy source."

Hydrogen sulfide powered bacteria, if they can actually make it at 400 C (720 F), might, with special conditioning, qualify for life on the "ocean floor" of the Venusian atmosphere. Dietary considerations would, of course, be in order.

Here is a diagram showing blackbody radiation for 750 K, which is approximately equal to the surface temperature of Venus.
[Added 11 Feb 2010.]

Black body radiation for 750 K

The spectral bandpasses of the Venus Express Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) are inserted at the top left of the graph. (There's more to them than is shown.) The vertical orange stripes represent idealized infrared spectral windows in the Venusian atmosphere used by VIRTIS to look down through cloud gaps directly at the planet's lower atmosphere and hot surface.
[Added 11 Feb 2010.]

* * *

According to Velikovsky(1), the high temperatures of Venus's lower atmosphere and surface result primarily from [the energetics involved with] its recent expulsion from Jupiter. See Velikovsky Pages. [Added 19 Jan 2006. Modified 12 Feb 2010.]


At the top of this page it was stated that the temperature and pressure profiles were a first step in checking up on whether or not a suitable temperature, pressure, and chemically friendly environment for the production or replication of viruses exists in the Venusian atmosphere. The following two graphs provide what may be evidence of biological particulate matter in the Venusian atmosphere. They are also intended as a foundation for suggesting that one or more outbreaks of new influenza (or influenza-like) diseases may occur globally between 1 June and 15 August 2012. This (or these) would be in connection with the June 6 Venus inferior conjunction. The rationale behind this prediction is in Influenza 1918, A Venus Connection? [Added 20 May 2012. Updated 26 May 2012.]

Bacterial events

[Added 20 May 2012] Source is from Ref(2).



New flu onsets vs conjunctions

[Added 19 May 2012] See Ref(3).

For an example of a suggested advanced outbreak see the Special Problem in the last half of West Nile Virus.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the following web page to read about a possible prophylactic against lipid coated viruses.
BHT's Use as an Antiviral [Added 30 Aug 2012.]

References

(1) Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, MacMillan and Company, New York, (1950), pp 59-60.

(2) Donald R. Barber, "Invasion by Washing Water," Perspective, 5, 201-208 (1963)
The Focal Press Ltd., 31 Fitzroy Square, London, W.I.
The Focal Press Inc., 20 East 46th Street, New York (10017) N.Y., U.S.A.

(3) Is Venus a New Planet?

Related Links/Articles

J. K. L. Leong, W. W. Schultz, E. Zebovitz, and N. A. Schlamm, System for Studying Uninfected and Virus-Infected Cell Cultures in Hyperbaric Chambers Applied Microbiology, 1973 September; 26(3): 258263. [Added 10 Nov 2013]

A curious cold layer in the atmosphere of Venus - Venus Express - European Space Agency. Chilly layer of air (around -75 degrees Centigrade) at 125 Km altitude. [Added 26 Feb 2013.]

An Alternate View of Venus - John Ackerman [Added 3 Jul 2012]

Acidic clouds of Venus could harbour life - NewScientist.com 26 Sep 2002.

Chemical that could power microbes is found at Jupiter moon. The "signature" for sulfuric acid, found in acid rain and car batteries on Earth, has been found on Europa. ... Ken Nealson, head of JPL's astrobiology unit said the acid's presence excited him about the possibility of life on Europa. ... Bacteria are very good at exploiting chemical energy sources, even inorganic sources like sulfuric acid, NASA's Mark Anderson said.
Source: CNN.com sci-tech > space > story page 01 Oct 1999. [Page no longer available.]

Defining Life "We can conceive of chemistries that might occur in sulfuric acid as a solvent as on Venus." Astrobiology Magazine, 5 Aug 2002.

Prospecting for Viruses "Under scalding acidic conditions, scientists wonder, how do life processes function?" ... "To me, the most interesting aspect is why the RNA does not hydrolyse, as it should quite rapidly according to general phosphate chemistry if at 90 degrees C and pH 2." Astrobiology Magazine, 5 Aug 2002.

Adel, A., "Note on the Temperature of Venus," Astrophysics Journal, 86, 337 (1937)
The distribution of intensity of absorption in the fine structure of the Carbon dioxide bands in the Spectrum of Venus provides an independent approach to the problem of the planet's temperature. The temperature of the surface appears to be greater than 50C.

Comments/questions? Contact Robert Fritzius
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