Water minimises the climatic effects of a cooler or warmer sun suggests Hsien-Wang Ou, researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, USA. The Sun has got about 30 per cent hotter since the world began. Geological imprints of global temperatures from four billion years ago suggest that at that time the Earth was warm enough to support water in liquid form. Global average temperatures seem not to have varied much since then. Ou claims that water establishes lower and upper boundaries on how far the temperature can change (Journal of Climate, Vol 14, p2976).
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