Why is Venus so hot?

While a surface temperature of 462°C, Venus is definitely not the ideal holiday destination. Its unique climate contribute to the most powerful greenhouse effect in the solar system, with an atmospheric pressure ago the planet was much like Earth, with a significantly lower temperature and vast oceans of water. However, its proximity to the Sun meant this liquid water evaporated into the atmosphere. This in turn sublimated carbon in rocks and mixed with the oxygen in the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide, which no accounts for about 95% of the atmosphere.

This is known as a ‘runaway greenhouse effect’, as the creation of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere released more carbon from the ground, repeating the process. Only 10% of incoming solar radiation reaches the surface, but almost all of this stays trapped inside the atmosphere, giving rise to a temperature difference of almost 500°C between the surface and the cloud layer.