Why is Venus so hot?

Continuing in the correct tradition, Venus is hot MOSTLY due to internal (“geo”thermal) reasons – and NASA knows it.



No stupid runaway greenfraud effect necessary.


This article is dedicated to Hans Schreuder, R.I.P.

Update – 2020/01/14

Somebody complained that NASA’s diagram shows geothermal as being a little over 500K, which is not enough for Venus.

This has no credibility. Here is a zoom-in of the diagram:

Treating the 500 marking as pixel 0, the 2500 marking appears at pixel 546. This means that each pixel represents 2000 / 546 = 3.663 Kelvin

The center of the dark black geothermal line falls at pixel 65.

500 + 65 * 3.663 = 738.095

According to NASA, Venus’ surface is: 737K

Published by Zoe Phin


53 thoughts on “Why is Venus so hot?

  1. As in, outgoing radiation. I don’t care too much how much radiation is bounced around, absorbed, whatever. At the end of the day, how much is getting out? If it is significantly less than 16000, say, 10000, then how can that be explained?


    1. Venus appears colder than Earth from space.

      Sun is theorized to be a gas. So why can’t we see emission from the 15,000,000K degree core? Why we get only 5778K? Same reason.


      1. “If it is significantly less than 16000, say, 10000, then how can that be explained?”
        “Why we get only 5778K (out of 1.5e7 K)? Same reason.”
        And that is?


      2. Dissipation of the Sun’s fusion is mostly via the strong and weak interactions, not electromagnetic – i.e., the emission of particles, not radiation.


  2. This is part of the answer. Venusian clouds are sulfuric acid, the cloud droplets will coalesce, fall to the surface, and decompose by the volcanic heat to sulfur dioxide and water; the dioxide will oxidize to the trioxide by dust in the atmosphere, combine with water, with the release of an immense amount of heat. In this manner, volcanic heat becomes a permanent part of the Venusian atmosphere. The clouds are certainly not a static thing, they are continually formed and decompose. All of the free energy changes to this sequence are favorable at the T and P of Venus.

    Hansen wouldn’t think of it because he wasn’t a chemist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the full answer. I have searched the journals for diurnal changes at the surface. There is none. A few kilometers up, there is a little bit. This suggests to me that the surface is entirely geothermally controlled.


        1. Just a brief thought without much time going over any math or physical theory. So please cut me some slack.

          Because I am not as smart as you guys let me go through my thought process and work things out. Again, if you see a problem, please point it out.

          Let me begin by looking at the word temperature. I was always taught that this meant some measure of the warmth or coldness of something in reference to some standard value. That value is usually determined by a process like the freezing of water at a particular pressure.

          But this does not tell me very much. When you say that the atmosphere is ‘hot’ you are referring to the kinetic motion of the atoms that make up that atmosphere. But ‘hot’ compared to what? Note the need for a proper comparison here. The Earth’s atmosphere is not very impressive when compared to what we see on Venus. To get the same pressure on Earth as we have on the surface of Venus we need to be up around 50 to 60 km. Given that Venus is closer to the sun, I would expect that it would be heated more than Earth. But given those white sulfuric acid clouds, I doubt that any of the sunshine gets all that close to the surface.

          It seems to me that we need to figure out what the temperature of Venus is at altitudes where it approximates terrestrial surface pressures. We then need to go to the surface and imagine what terrestrial temperatures would be if the atmosphere were the same thickness. Sorry but I don’t see the Venus hype as much more than that; hype.

          What did I miss?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. There is indeed a link between pressure and temperature, but the cause is temperature to pressure. Gravitational Pressure is counterbalanced by Atmospheric Pressure – which is an outward force caused by kinetic energy (Temperature).

          Pressure itself can only raise temperature once. Gravity wants to crush all the molecules to the surface, but Temperature (kinetic energy) won’t let it.


  3. Zoe, Venus is one strange place. I get the geothermal temperature of the surface of Venus. The gas laws also give approximately the same temperature. I assume that the think atmosphere on Venus is due to previous volcanic activity. While the slow rotation of Venus doesn’t produce a magnetic field, there is a magnetic field from the interaction of the upper atmosphere with the solar wind. Gravity on Venus is about the same on the Earth. Gravity working on the relatively heavy CO2 molecules allows Venus to keep much of its atmosphere despite a weak magnetic field. While most of the sunlight striking Venus doesn’t make it to the surface, some does. I am surprised that there doesn’t seem to be a role of the sun in determining the surface temperature. I am always puzzled when I see people explain that Venus is hot due to a strong greenhouse effect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Venus is a new planet, so it defies NASA creation myths. Some of us think that these planets can come from huge comets, and the act of a huge comet breaking into the inner solar system will tend to create a lot of heat energy.

      If you look at comets you see all these extra neutrons in the the atoms of the entourage, that is dragging behind them. The oxygens will have these extra neutrons, there is deuterium in the water vapour, the carbon atoms will be highly isotopic, and if we could look at the rocks flying behind that nucleus we can expect all this helium 3 and other isotopes of metals on the surface of these rocks.

      So when this is all amalgamated together, in a new planet, then there is likely to be a lot of heat, and a great deal of heat creation, within the centre of the new planet. But if you accept the NASA dust amalgamation creation myths, then you are unlikely to give the new planet story a fair go.


    2. Gas Laws:


      “Gay-Lussac’s law states that the pressure of a given mass of gas varies directly with the absolute temperature of the gas”


      “Gay-Lussac’s Law states that the pressure of a given mass of gas varies directly with the absolute temperature of the gas”

      All 3 sources say that P is dependant on T, not vice versa.


      1. Zoe, while all of these laws hold under various conditions, the atmosphere of a planet is tricky. None of these laws explicitly deal with gravity. Why? Because they were developed by observing properties of gas in laboratory conditions. If you fix the volume, the pressure obviously increases when you increase temperature. Increased temperature is nothing more than increased motion and increased motion causes greater hits to the side of the container increasing pressure. Pressure is nothing more that the number of molecules hitting the pressure gauge.

        The atmosphere of a planet is tricky as you know. You have to consider gravity that increases pressures the closer you are to the surface, which in turn increases temperatures. The 3 sources you cite for P being dependent on T don’t generalize to the atmosphere where autocompression is at work. The set up for Gay-Lassac’s law leaves only temperature as a way to effect pressure.

        Whats interesting about the ideal gas law and combined gas law are that they include V, T and P. This is why they have some use in describing temperatures we observe on planets with atmospheric pressures above some minimal amount. A planet without an atmosphere with mass has little surface pressure. Why? There is no mass for autocompression from gravity to work on.

        Getting back to Venus. If the atmosphere of Venus was blown away, the surface temperature would not stay the same. The surface on the dark side would drop. THe geothermic gradient would still be at work, but the cold from space would drive surface temperature well below what the current thermal gradient shows. Much like in winter where the temperature can be well below freezing for several feet below the surface. The frost line changes with latitude, getting deeper the further north you go. Even so, you don’t have to go under very far until the geothermal forces dominate. I have done a lot of caving in WVA. In the coldest days of winter, you still get nice 55 degree temperature once you down a cave like Senate.

        While I think we basically agree, I don’t think the gas laws that just have 2 of P,V and T are much use for understanding temperatures on a planet with an atmosphere that can expand and contract. To me, the biggest failure of the CO2 crowd is to ignore convective forces, which dominate heat transfer in the Troposphere. By the same reasoning, I find that models that use averages for insolation worthless. The convective forces are unleased by differential radiative effects by latitude combined with the spinning earth that causes longitudinal differences at the same time. The surface at the equator receives about 800 w/M^2 at noon from the sun and none at night. Hadley Cells, Ferrell cells, jet streams, trade winds , EPO, WPO, NAO, ENSO, the various ocean current are all a result. The few watts per meter squared from doubled CO2 are at best 3rd order effects in this world.


      2. Careful. Venus has a huge amount of gas in its atmosphere and T varies by altitude. We need to compare temperatures at the same pressure so we get the same values for both the Earth and Venus. Give the Earth the same number of molecules in its atmosphere and the temperature at the surface would be similar. There is a lot of complexity to sort through and most of the smart people here have a tendency to underestimate all of the factors that need to be accounted for.


        “Gay-Lussac’s law states that the pressure of a given mass of gas varies directly with the absolute temperature of the gas”

        Venus has a great deal more mass of gas than Earth.


        1. That begs the question. Why does Venus have a thick atmosphere? Because it’s hotter.

          You just stated Gay-Lussac’s Law. It specifically tells you causation: Temperature -> Pressure, and not vice versa.


        2. Venus has about 4.8 x 10^20 kg and Earth has about 5.1 x 10^18 kg of gas

          Or Venus atmosphere is about 94 times more massive than Earth’s atmosphere
          At sea level pressure on Earth {1 atm}, Venus air temperature is around 70 C.

          Venus get no direct sunlight at it’s surface. Rather the sunlight is diffused like sunlight would be
          on Earth if shining thru a cloud. Of course, Venus sunlight is shining thru a cloud, as Venus cloud coverage is
          global. But even if Venus surface ever had a clear day, the sunlight would weaken {diffused going thru all that
          atmosphere]. Or at noon and sun at zenith the sun going thru 94 Earth atmospheres.

          You can see our sun go thru more than 10 earth atmosphere, by look at sun at dawn or near sunset. Or whenever sun is 30 degree above the horizon it’s going thru 2 Earth atmospheres. And 15 degrees above horizon {roughly an hour after dawn or before sunset], it’s 3.81 times 1 air mass:
          And same ‘rules” apply to Venus. Or when sun is 30 degree above horizon it’s going 2 times 94 atm of atmosphere.
          So on Venus surface when sun is at zenith, the sunlight is weak, but at other parts of day times it’s much weaker or or earlier or later in the day, twilight conditions during the “daytime”.
          Another thing is if at say 50 degree latitude on Venus, the sun does ever get close to zenith- most day is very dim.
          Or in terms of greenhouse effect, there is very little light reaching that greenhouse.

          I say Venus is heated by sunlight at it’s cloud layer. And Venus quite range of it’s cloud layer, but “The upper cloud deck of Venus is between 60-70 km altitude.” And Earth atmosphere pressure is at about 50 km from the surface.
          50 km: air temp: 75 C and at 1.066 atm
          60 km: air temp: −10 C and at 0.2357 atm
          And basically in our atmosphere in troposphere the average velocity of molecules is going same velocity, and when go higher there less molecule per a volume, say 1 cubic meter of air.
          And temperature of air is kinetic energy: 1/2 mass times velocity squared. Less mass is less temperature of air. More mass more temperature of air.
          Or on Venus the average molecule velocity of air is same at 50 km as it is at 60 Km. And if add energy to air molecules [make them go faster] at 60 km, they will make air molecules at 50 Km move faster.
          Or on Earth cold air that falls, can heat warm air below it.
          Something cold, can heat something which is warmer.
          And chemical heat also, if those strong acid cloud get any water, they will heat up. Though if sunlight heats them, they give up their water. Wiki:
          “Venusian clouds are thick and are composed mainly (75-96%) of sulfuric acid droplets”

          There a lot water in 75% sulfuric acid, and a lot less in 96% sulfuric acid.


      3. They are interdependent. T is most certainly dependent on P. If you compress a gas, its temperature will rise. If you expand a gas, its temperature will fall. This is taught in 1st semester chemistry.


  4. “If the atmosphere of Venus was blown away, the surface temperature would not stay the same. The surface on the dark side would drop.”

    Supposing that only some of the atmosphere was blown away. And that Venus was left with an atmosphere not too much thicker than earths. Its still going to take a very long time for Venus to cool down. Being heated from the inside out. Sure the massive atmosphere slows the process. But its still going to be a slow process.


    1. Yes. Hard to know what to make of that exactly. We may wish to be comparing the moons of Saturn and Jupiter and see what the comparisons will yield. Although even there we have complications. Both Jupiter and Saturn have a proton wind. When I see that I assume electrical transfer and these two will be producers of light radiation as well.


    1. What would you like me to say? The uniformitarian principle is ultra convenient for scientists. Nature makes itself convenient for a popular assumption? Doubtful. There is a reason science is a branch of philosophy.

      This paper is not “wrong”, but certainly more speculative than today’s norm.


      1. How long do we have to wait before you post the next article, Zoe? I check your blog daily to see if there is any new material


        1. Sorry 😦 It’s been hard to write new posts when my children have no other place to be. I could write a long post about how the authorities need a good spanking … but you probably already know that.

          I hope to finish a post next week, and 3 total in August. You know I gather the best research with original graphics and code.


    2. I think Earth is billions of years old.
      And I regard idea of Earth and everything else being about 6000 years old as pseudo science.
      But one could say calling it, pseudo science is being over generous, as pseudo science is making
      some effort to pretend/appear to be science.
      I also say the global warming religion is pseudo science, but again the people involve are making
      little effort disguising it, as science.
      Also calling it religion or religious is heaping too praise upon, cult probably is more accurate.
      I also call global warming a cargo cult. Which pretty good term. Wiki says this:
      “Cargo culting was a specific phenomenon and later a general concept. The specific phenomenon was the belief which began among Melanesians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that various ritualistic acts such as the building of an airplane runway would result in the appearance of cargo via airplanes, even though they did not have a specific reason to believe that airplanes would land on their site. The term was then debated as a more general concept in anthropology and sociology afterward. More recently, “cargo culting” is a general term to describe the adoption of a technology or practice based on the observation that it has been used elsewhere, without understanding the motivation for its use elsewhere.”
      Though not sure I like how Wiki talks about it. I think mostly about people not being educated.
      It would be as if billions of people who lived centuries ago, popped into existence in present world, and given a brief and bad education- or almost evidence or follows the logic, that life is simulation, which is more of this cult/religion/pseudo science type thing.
      Anti-science could also be a way of explaining it, or anti-science is the trajectory, it’s taking.

      Anyhow, I believe, everyone has a religion/worldview, and therefore I would have some kind of religion, and would say my religion doesn’t care if Earth is billions of years old, or if Earth existence is a simulation {it “really” has not existed- other than some AI program or something}. And what I mean by “care” is it could be either way, it could be billion of year old or it could be “just a simulation”- though it would a fantastic simulation and I am quite happy with it.
      But what It Is, does probably matter to other people, and I “care” about that.

      Now, one thing about 6000 year old world, is it is fairly boring. Or lot’s interesting stuff which as far as I am concerned, occurred before 6000 year ago. Or the movie, it’s only 6000 years old, is bad movie which requires one accept silly/unreasonable premises. But not sure how damage it does to other people. Whereas the global warming cult, has obvious damage to other people. So, I am quite opposed to that cult.

      In terms other people, I think one can look at the “great religions” we have:
      “Major religious groups
      Christianity (31.2%)
      Islam (24.1%)
      Hinduism (15.1%)
      Buddhism (6.9%)
      Folk religions (5.7%)
      Judaism (0.2%)”
      [And list doesn’t include atheism and/or marxism- which are quite silly.]
      I would say the atheists {though having hopelessly flawed ideology} are working
      harder. Or seems in comparison the others being quite lazy, I wish they would
      try harder.


  5. Venus is implicated in the driver of the 405,000-year climate cycle, the largest of the glacial cycles.


    In my mind, it requires a post-Einstein theory of gravity ‘to make it work’. I postulate that Jupiter is responsible for the regular 100kyr glacial cycle via increasing tides which brings heat to the polar regions, increasing precipitation. Venus is responsible for the additional driving force.

    It has implications for our current climate change, especially in the Northern hemisphere.

    I managed to convince a science journalist of a UK newspaper about a post-Einstein gravity hypothesis during a telephone interview. He wrote a quick outlining article:



  6. I’ve just found an article which states the ocean tidal range is increasing (although they obviously blame humans!)
    I emailed the author straight away:
    Hi, thank you for your wonderful article of 6th July 2020 in FUTURE online magazine ‘How Humans Are Altering The Tides Of The Oceans’. 

    You say ” But oceanographers have recently started to realise that tides in many places around the world are undergoing notable changes, in ways that can’t be explained by interactions among celestial bodies.” yet there *is* a way that distant planets can alter the tidal ranges via post-Einstein gravity theory. In this case, it would be the inner core dark matter of Jupiter interacting with the dark matter core of the Earth. 

    I’m a former defence scientist. I was sponsored to study astronomy, physics & computing at the University of Hertfordshire and awarded a joint prize for best student out of 300+. I was then sponsored to study simulation modelling at Brunel University at masters level.

    I am currently lobbying the science community to take this new hypothesis seriously. I managed to convince a science journalist of a UK newspaper to write an article about the fundamentals. This insight has beauty https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1308437/dark-matter-news-scientist-moon-core-theory-newton-einstein

    It’s not the amount of actual dark matter at the cores which is increasing, it’s the amount of time Earth spends on the solar plane because gravity is much stronger there. It’s analogous to the Moon creating Spring tides when on the equatorial plane.

    It is surely worthy of your scientific expertise and attention?

    Kind regards 
    Alan Lowey 


  7. Hi Zoe, I’ve made a connection between Venus’s orbital period of 225 years and the solar cycle of ~200 years which is found in paleoclimate data
    The sunspot cycle has been recorded by eye for centuries:

    Tidal forcing is based on the idea of planets with very low tilt affecting the Sun’s core which affects Earth’s core via a strong gravitational interaction on the orbital plane.

    It fits very well for Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.

    I know you like data (!) and was wondering whether you might like to search for Mercury’s 88-day signal in tidal gauge data, which is predicted by this hypothesis.

    Feel free to tell me where to go.. 🙂


    1. I’ll tell you honestly: I very much doubt tidal forcing has any serious thermodynamic effect. If it does, it’s too weak to notice.

      Just take a pan of hot water. Point a FLIR camera on it. And then tilt the pan back and forth, making the water slosh. No discernible thermal difference.

      We don’t think of ordered motion as kinetic – i.e random motion.

      Though it’s possible for tides to alter the spatial distribution of heat, I don’t see how it raises temperature.

      Work is done one way, then the other. Net work is zero?

      Maybe I’m wrong.

      I do understand that a planet’s proximity to the sun will obviously alter things, and there are indeed cycles of varying proximity.

      My focus is elsewhere, so excuse me if I seem dismissive.


      1. That’s okay.. tidal forces act across the globe causing a third of the planet to bulge.
        The equatorial warm waters are pushed poleward, this has the effect of warming the mid-latitudes and the Arctic basin via increased Gulf Stream.

        No worries, thanks for the reply.


  8. Tidal forces are the drivers of heat on Io, Jupiters moon aren’t they?
    Could Moon-Earth tidal forces be driving some heating on earth? Maybe not because it would have to express itself in some change in relative motion, but interesting to throw in the mix. Might it even affect the earth’s magnetic poles? Just busking.


  9. Hi Zoe!,

    I’m not sure if you have seen this formula from my latest paper;

    Holmes, R. I. (2019). On the Apparent Relationship Between Total Solar Irradiance and the Atmospheric Temperature at 1 Bar on Three Terrestrial-type Bodies. Earth, 8(6), 346-351. (doi: 10.11648/j.earth.20190806.15)


    Te=∜0.523 x Tv

    The temperature on Earth can be easily calculated from Venus.
    It’s not necessary to know anything about the Earth or it’s atmosphere or what gases are in it.

    All one needs is to measure the temperature in the Venusian atmosphere at 1 bar, and to know the relative average difference in insolation of Venus and Earth.

    i.e. Temp in Venus atm at 1 bar = 339 Kelvin
    Relative insolation 0.523

    Te = 0.85 x 339
    = 288 Kelvin

    NOTE; Venus has 96.5% GHG and Earth has 2.5% GHG.

    Earth’s surface temperature can also be worked out in the same way from Titan’s temperature at 1 bar.

    Conclusion; ‘GHG’ have no special warming effect.

    This proves there is no such thing as a “Greenhouse Effect” from ‘GHG’ on Earth, Venus or Titan.

    Best Regards,
    Dr Robert Ian Holmes (1000Frolly)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. General comments;

    We need to ask ourselves some questions; what is atmospheric temperature?
    – Temperature is merely a measure of the kinetic energy in the parcel of gas where we have the thermometer.

    What causes and maintains that kinetic energy level in a thick atmosphere, close to the surface?
    – Atmospheric convection in a gravitational field.

    – Because when a parcel of gas descends in a gravitational field, it undergoes auto-compression and it loses potential energy and gains kinetic energy, through a change in enthalpy.

    Why is this important?
    – Because this process accounts for all of the difference between the calculated and the measured temperature on planetary bodies with thick atmospheres; so obviating any warming from the so-called ‘greenhouse gases’.

    Dr Robert Ian Holmes


    1. Hi,

      Just a small question. Equally many parcels of gas must ascend as descends, right? So the distribution between potential energy and kinetic energy in this regard, should stay constant. I guess I am missing the point being made. Can you please explain?


      1. Jarle,
        Good question.
        Yes, at any one time, 50% of the troposphere is descending and 50% of the troposphere is ascending.
        And the ascending parcels are of course gaining potential energy – and losing kinetic energy (i.e. getting cooler) as they ascend.
        Even though the “distribution between potential energy and kinetic energy stays constant” all this STILL causes a thermal gradient to form in the troposphere, which meteorologists know as the lapse rate.
        And this leads to a surface thermal enhancement.
        In other words; no input from any so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ is needed to explain what we observe!
        Best Regards,
        Dr Robert Ian Holmes


  11. “ all this STILL causes a thermal gradient to form in the troposphere, which meteorologists know as the lapse rate.
    And this leads to a surface thermal enhancement.
    In other words; no input from any so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ is needed to explain what we observe!”

    Dr Holmes, I certainly agree that convection causes a lapse rate. But that is not enough to explain the surface temperature. The temperature with height could be T=300-L*z , or T=200-L*z, or T=1000-L*z …

    Many factors work together to determine the surface temperature, the greenhouse effect is one of them. I know you have found a formula which relates the temperatures of Venus and Earth at a certain pressure, but finding a line through two points does not mean you have found a real theory. For example the formula does not work accurately for other pressures (e.g. half an atmosphere), and it is not very accurate for Titan…


    1. “I calculated how much power the surface of a black body Venus has to radiate in order for the surface temperature to be at the observed 735 K: 1.655 W·m-2 x 10^4. Therefore, this much power has to pass through every square meter of the crust. Furthermore, that much power must also pass through the entire 50 km thick block of the crust”

      This is stupid.

      He’s trying to argue that Venus’ geothermal flux would have to be 16550 W/m^2.

      He’s using absolute radiation. He needs NET radiation between the surface and, say, a meter of atmo above it.


      1. So rerun his calculations to solve for whatever net you want. You’ll see that the needed power coming through the crust still is impossibly large, if you continue to insist that there is no greenhouse gas effect contributing to the atmosphere.


        1. Seriously? You can’t see the blatant flaw in his approach?

          There is no heat transfer of 16550 W/m^2 from the surface, so he shouldn’t use that value at all.

          Imagine there is a hole/cave somewhere inside Earth, and it’s 2000K there. The bottom flux doesn’t need to be 907,200 W/m^2 to make it so. So his approach is ridiculous.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: