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Name: Christopher
Status: educator
Grade: 12+
Country: United Kingdom
Date: Fall 2012

Venus has a very high surface temperature (about 700 K). How much of this is due to greenhouse effect, and how much is due to its proximity to the sun? In a YouTube presentation by Dr. David Archer of the University of Chicago, he says the temperature without the atmosphere would be about 250 K.

The simple answer is that the difference is due to the greenhouse effect. Part of the reason the 250 K number is so low is because the cloud cover of Venus is so reflective, very little solar energy actually reaches the lower atmosphere and surface.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D., M.Ed. Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Wyoming

Dear Christopher.

Very good question; l go to the head of the class. The answer is simple: it is almost entirely due to the runaway greenhouse effect. It is amplified somewhat by its proximity to the Sun, but that greenhouse effect makes the planet a real hell. It is too hot even for protected spacecraft.

Sincerely David H. Levy

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