Archive of terrestrial-type climate simulations

Temperature map

This archive compiles results obtained from a large number of climate simulations of terrestrial-type planets. The purpose of these simulations is to understand how variations of planetary quantities not measurable with present observational techniques may affect the surface temperature and habitability of extrasolar planets. The simulations have been performed using the ESTM, an energy balance model complemented by a physical parameterization of the meridional transport, radiative-convective column calculations, and schematic descriptions of surface and cloud properties (Vladilo et al. 2015). The ESTM is calibrated with Earth experimental data and validated with 3D climate models.

The parameters that have been varied in the current set of simulations are: orbital semi-major axis, orbital eccentricity, obliquity of the rotation axis, surface geography, and surface atmospheric pressure. For the simulations with Earth-type geography, the CO2 partial pressure has also been varied. For each simulation one can recover the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of surface temperature, a number of mean orbital climate quantities and a few indices of surface habitability which are defined in Vladilo et al. (2013) and Silva et al. (2017).

Each climate simulation proceeds until a convergence is found. We define a run to have converged when the mean orbital global temperature variation is below a given threshold. All results refer to the last orbit, unless otherwise specified. The results of the simulations can be filtered according to the input parameters and/or the resulting quantities. In the following table, we report a short description of the available simulation results. Short explanations are also visible in the context help in the archive page.

Results of the simulation
Mean temperature
Mean orbital global surface temperature [K]
Liquid water habitability
Pressure-dependent liquid water index of habitability, as defined in Vladilo et al (2013)
Complex life habitability
Complex-life index of habitability, as defined in Silva et al (2017)
Continous habitability
Fraction of the surface that is continuously habitable during the whole orbit, according to the pressure-dependent liquid water definition (Vladilo et al 2013)
Mean albedo
Mean orbital global top-of-atmosphere albedo
Mean cloud coverage
Mean orbital global cloud coverage. Cloud model can be found in Vladilo et al (2015)
Nr. of orbits before convergence
Number of orbits integrated by the ESTM model before convergence is achieved (see above)
Mean ice coverage
Mean orbital ice coverage. Ice model is described in Vladilo et al. (2015)
Equator-pole temperature difference
Mean orbital temperature difference between the equator and the North pole
Mean OLR
Mean orbital global outgoing longwave radiation.
Mean ASR
Mean orbital global absorbed stellar radiation. [This quantity is currently not available].

The following quantities can be searched in the database by giving a minimum and a maximum value in the two boxes at the right side of each parameter. In the near future we plan to add simulations where the currently fixed values will be varied.

Parameter Name
Semi-major axis
0.9-1.5 (AU)
Planet radius
Currently fixed to Earth radius
Planet rotation period
Currently fixed to Earth value
Obliquity of rotation axis 0-45 (degrees)
Surface gravity
Currently fixed to Earth value
Planet geography
0: constant fraction of oceans in all latitude bands;
1: present Earth (Willians & Kasting 97) [ not selectable ]
2: equatorial continent (Williams & Kasting, 1997)
3: polar continent (Williams & Kasting, 1997)
4: present Earth (sampled over 46 latitude strips and
    interpolated to the desired number of strips
Const. fraction of oceans
0.1-0.9 [only applies to Planet geography = 0]
CO2 partial pressure 0.01, 10, 100 times the reference Earth value (380 ppmv). Currently only available for Earth geography
CH4 partial pressure Currently fixed to the reference Earth value (1.8 ppmv)
Object name
Name of the simulation - not available for selection
File name
Conventional file name of the simulation - not available for selection

Use of the archive

You can select intervals of input parameters, or interval of results, or both, by introducing the minimum and maximum values in the two boxes at the right side of each parameter. If you choose limits in more than one parameter/result, you will get outputs that match both criterions (logical and). A table with the selected data will be produced. You can choose which parameters or results should be displayed in the table by marking (clicking) the small box at the left side of each parameter. You can download the table itself, or one or more FITS file. You can download all the FITS files by creating a tarball, using the appropriate button. The input parameters and output quantities of each simulation are displayed as keywords in the header of the FITS file. The FITS file contains a binary table with the temperature as a function of latitude and time (phase of the orbit). You can preview the image of this table by moving the mouse over the file name.

You are free to use data from the present archive for scientific reasons within the limits and context of applicability of the ESTM described in Vladilo et al. (2015). We decline responsability for inappropriate use of the results. Please acknowledge the use of the database in your publications. Feel free to contact us for questions or feedback.

IT infrastructure and archive management are powered by the Italian Center for Astronomical Archives (IA2)

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Reference papers

Silva, L., Vladilo, G., Schulte, P. M., Murante, G., Provenzale, A. (2017), IJAb, in press (arXiv:1604.08864)
From climate models to planetary habitability: temperature constraints for complex life

Vladilo, G., Silva, L., Murante, G., Filippi, L., Provenzale, A. (2015) ApJ 804, 50
Modeling the Surface Temperature of Earth-like Planets

Vladilo, G., Murante, G., Silva, L., Provenzale, A., Ferri, G., Ragazzini, G. (2013) ApJ 767, 65
The Habitable Zone of Earth-like Planets with Different Levels of Atmospheric Pressure

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