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Understanding Titan’s weather, climate, and paleoclimate

Presentation #210.01 in the session Plenary Session: Prize Talks.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Understanding Titan’s weather, climate, and paleoclimate

Titan’s atmosphere supports a vigorous methane cycle, through which we can probe various aspects of its climate and paleoclimate. The Cassini-Huygens mission revolutionized our understanding of this uniquely Earth-like world with, for example, observations of methane storms, precipitation, lakes, and seas. Interpretation of these observations, alongside modeling efforts, has revealed the importance of the surface and the distribution of surface liquid on the climate system. In turn, many types of surface features offer a window into the behavior of the atmosphere and its evolution, which we are beginning to understand. In this talk, I will discuss Titan’s methane weather, its implications for the climate and surface–atmosphere interactions, and the indications we have of long-term climate change. Myriad puzzles remain, and I will explore some of the intriguing mysteries that future investigations are poised to address.

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