Dynamique troposphérique et évolution climatique de Titan et de la Terre primitive

Abstract : This thesis focuses on the study of the atmospheres of Titan and the early Earth with Global Climate Models (GCM). First, I analysed the thermal structure and the dynamics of Titan's lower troposphere. This analysis allowed a full caracterization of the planetary boundary layer and revealed the existence of a boundary layer circulation which impacts every aspect of Titan's weather (wind patterns, atmospheric waves, dune and cloud formation, exchange of momentum with the surface, and development of the superrotation). Thanks to this study, I proposed a new hypothesis to explain the eastward orientation of Titan's dunes that implies a coupling between tropical storms and the superrotation. This has been validated with mesoscale simulations and provided a general framework to explain Titan's dune formation and features. Then, I participated to the development of a generic GCM, designed to study any kind of atmosphere. I applied it to Titan's paleoclimates, when the atmosphere was depleted of methane. In such a case, the climate should have been different from today, with potentially fundamental geological consequences, in particular for the erosion and the age of the surface. Finally, I applied this GCM to the case of the early Earth using greenhouse gas abundances constrained by mineralogical data. I showed that despite a weaker solar insolation, the Archean Earth's climate may have been temperate. In particular, the Earth may have avoided a full glaciation and remained suitable for the development of life thanks to cloud feedback, even assuming a amount of CO2 just a little larger than today.
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Benjamin Charnay. Dynamique troposphérique et évolution climatique de Titan et de la Terre primitive. Autre [cond-mat.other]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014PA066034⟩. ⟨tel-00987546⟩

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