Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What would happen?

  1. Feb 27, 2008 #1
    If the Earth was forcibly moved 1% off it's current orbit, What would happen to life? How would it be any different from what it is now? Will we die?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2008 #2
    We won't die. Since a stable distance is needed to maintain a certain temperature which allows life possible on earth (with greenhouse effect in play as well, else wise the average surface temperature would be -18 with its current position), the 1% off its current orbit wont move us far enough where temperature would decrease and making earth cold.
  4. Feb 27, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Considering that the Earth varies its distance from the Sun by some 2.6% already just by virtue of the eccentricity of its orbit, I don't think you'd notice much difference.
  5. Feb 27, 2008 #4
    The two cases are different. The Earth's orbit is elliptical with the difference is 2.6%, but the heat at periphelion can be preserved to the aphelion time because we have a lot of water.
    If the Earth were 1% further off, the total energy the Earth received is also off by square.
    I don't think we would die, but the temperature would drop quite considerably.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook