Presentation #429.03 in the session Multi-Faceted Views of Planet Formation IV: Connecting planetary demographics and atmospheres to planet formation.
A major goal for exoplanet atmosphere characterization is to connect the present-day atmospheric composition to the planet’s formation conditions and evolution. Over the last decade, there has been substantial progress on the observational side: abundances of the dominant carbon- and oxygen-bearing molecules can now be measured to better than 0.5 dex for benchmark targets. On the other hand, a number of theoretical complications have emerged in the interpretation of these data, including chemical evolution of the protoplanetary disk, the dominant growth mode of the planets, compositional gradients in the planet’s envelopes, and several other factors. In this talk I will (1) discuss the state of the art in precise atmospheric composition measurements for gas giants, (2) compare these measurements to predictions from planet formation models, and (3) outline the expected progress and challenges in the years ahead.