M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentParahovnik Pavel
SubjectAtmospheric and Ocean's Interaction in Earth-Like Planets
DepartmentDepartment of Physics
Supervisor PROF. Giora Shaviv
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


We present a model which describes the concentration of carbon dioxide on Earth-like planets covered with water on time scales of hundreds of years. We show that atmospheric CO2 concentration is significantly different from existing models today.

The model is based on two boxes, one for the atmosphere and one for the mixed ocean layer and the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean. 

Standard textbooks treat CO2 in the atmosphere and in the ocean separately. We consider the atmosphere and the ocean as a single unit and apply the mass concentration law for the carbon atoms to it. This mass conservation law has so far been ignored by all treatments we could find.

Next, we apply the charge conservation law to find the pH of the water in a selfconsistent way. This approach should be contrasted with textbook practice in which the pH is taken as a free parameter. 

Our basic finding is that the behavior of CO2 concentration in the atmospheric is a function of temperature. Our free parameter is the total amount of carbon atoms in the atmosphere-ocean system. 

The basic assumption is that local equilibrium is reached within a few months and the validity of the model is based on time scales of one hundred years or less. Thus, the model ignores diffusion from the mixed ocean layer to greater depths, a process with a time scale on the order of 1,000 years.