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Hot weather makes people more hostile, selfish


An artist’s rendition of the KELT-9 system. The star HD 195689 – also known as KELT-9 – is 2.5 times more massive than the sun and has a surface temperature of almost 10,000°C. Its planet, KELT-9b, has a surface temperature of 4300°C PHOTO CREDIT: DailyMailUK Online

Rainfall in tropical regions will increase as planet continues to warm
Astronomers reveal hottest planet, KELT-9b, with surface temperature of 4,300°C

Scientists have discovered more effects of warming planet as the surface temperatures on Earth continue to soar.

According to new research, warm weather makes us feel distinctly frosty towards our fellow humans.

Scientists found as the mercury rises, men and women become less sociable and less inclined to help others.

In fact, the hotter it is, the more drastic the drop in people prepared to offer their assistance. In one experiment, a 5F rise in temperature led to a 50 per cent drop in willingness to help.


One theory behind the research is that we have evolved to be more selfish in order to preserve our own energy resources during periods of excess heat.

The research, published in the European Journal Of Psychology, involved several experiments to assess the affects of heat on human social behaviour. One involved subjects being told a non-profit organisation serving children and the underprivileged wanted help with a survey.

Half were located in a room where the temperature was 26.7F, and the others, where it was 20.6F. The subjects in the warmer room answered significantly fewer questions than those in the cooler room.

Just 63.9 per cent of those in the hot room helped by answering at least one question, compared to 94.6 per cent in the cooler room.

Meanwhile, another research suggests that as Earth continues to warm, the amount of rain that will fall in tropical regions will increase.

The study found that global climate models might underestimate the amount of rain that will fall in these regions, because they underestimate decreases in high clouds over the tropics seen in recent United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) observations.

The research, led by Dr. Hui Su of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, also found that the increased tropical rainfall would warm the air up again to balance the cooling from the high clouds shrinking.

Rainfall warming up the air also sounds counter-intuitive, as people are used to rain cooling the air around them. However, several miles up in the atmosphere, a different process occurs.

When water evaporates into water vapor on Earth’s surface and rises into the atmosphere, it carries with it the heat energy that made it evaporate.

But when the vapor reaches the cold upper atmosphere, it condenses into liquid droplets or ice, releasing its heat and warming the atmosphere.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, says the decrease in high tropical cloud cover is one result of a planet-wide shift in large scale-scale airflows occurring as Earth’s temperature warms.

Also, scientists recently discovered the hottest planet ever found – with a surface temperature greater than some stars.

As the hunt for planets outside our own solar system continues, we have discovered many other worlds with extreme features. And the ongoing exploration of our own solar system has revealed some pretty weird contenders, too.


How hot a planet gets depends primarily on how close it is to its host star – and on how hot that star burns. In our own solar system, Mercury is the closest planet to the sun at a mean distance of 57,910,000km. Temperatures on its dayside reach about 430°C, while the sun itself has a surface temperature of 5,500°C. But stars more massive than the sun burn hotter.

Christian Schroeder, Lecturer in Environmental Science and Planetary Exploration, University of Stirling in an article originally published on The Conversation noted that the star HD 195689 – also known as KELT-9 – is 2.5 times more massive than the sun and has a surface temperature of almost 10,000°C. Its planet, KELT-9b, is much closer to its host star than Mercury is to the sun. Though we cannot measure the exact distance from afar, it circles its host star every 1.5 days (Mercury’s orbit takes 88 days). This results in a whopping 4300°C – which is hotter than many of the stars with a lower mass than our sun.

The rocky planet Mercury would be a molten droplet of lava at this temperature. KELT-9b, however, is a Jupiter-type gas giant. It is shrivelling away as the molecules in its atmosphere are breaking down to their constituent atoms – and burning off.


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