Salt could be the key to extraterrestrial life


According to the results, the presence of salt in the ocean can also significantly influence the habitability of Earth and other worlds.

New research suggests that salt may be essential for life on Earth and beyond.

The composition of the atmosphere, in particular the abundance of greenhouse gases, impacts the Earth’s climate. Purdue University researchers led by Stephanie Olson, assistant professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, have found that the presence of salt in seawater can also have a significant impact on the habitability of Earth and other planets.

Researchers used a climate model to analyze the climates of planets with varying amounts of dissolved salt in seawater to predict that saltier oceans lead to warmer climates, which can help a planet’s ability to sustain life.

Their findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

This study focused on the impact of the amount of dissolved salt in seawater on global climate. Scientists have found that saltier waters lead to warmer climates. This salt could have been a key factor in the habitability of early Earth when the sun was less bright.

This discovery could have implications for the habitability of other planets, possibly allowing life to survive further from its host star than previously thought.

Reference: “The Effect of Ocean Salinity on Climate and Its Implications for Earth’s Habitability” by Stephanie Olson, Malte F. Jansen, Dorian S. Abbot, Itay Halevy and Colin Goldblatt, May 24, 2022, Geophysical Research Letters.
DOI: 10.1029/2021GL095748

The study was funded by " data-gt-translate-attributes="[{" attribute="">Nasa NASA Habitable Worlds and Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research.


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