Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the gaia hypothesis

@article{Lovelock1974AtmosphericHB,
  title={Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the gaia hypothesis},
  author={James E. Lovelock and L. S. Margulis},
  journal={Tellus A},
  year={1974},
  volume={26},
  pages={2-10}
}
During the time, 3.2 × 10 9 years, that life has been present on Earth, the physical and chemical conditions of most of the planetary surface have never varied from those most favourable for life. The geological record reads that liquid water was always present and that the pH was never far from neutral. During this same period, however, the Earth's radiation environment underwent large changes. As the sun moved along the course set by the main sequence of stars its output will have increased… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Biosignatures and the Search for Life on Earth

Earth is the only life-hosting planet in the Universe that we currently know of; however, it is just a matter of time until other Earth-like planets are detected. At that time, by analysing their

Coevolution of the Earth’s environment and life: Goldilocks, Gaia and the anthropic principle

  • A. Watson
  • Geology
    Geological Society, London, Special Publications
  • 1999
Abstract Observation suggests that the Earth’s surface environment is maintained by processes in which non-living and living causes are linked inextricably. Once established on Earth, life rapidly

Life, hierarchy, and the thermodynamic machinery of planet Earth.

The past, present and future of nitrogenous compounds in the atmosphere, and their interactions with plants

Heterogeneous phase reactions, following atmospheric chemistry, have been proposed as a prebiotic NH 3 source and evidence for terrestrial ecosystems is found, where NO x .

Introduction: Biogeochemical Cycles as Fundamental Constructs for Studying Earth System Science and Global Change

The latter part of the 20th century has seen remarkable advances in science and technology. Accomplishments in biochemistry and medicine, computer technology, and telecommunications have benefited

How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?

  • A. Kleidon
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2012
It is shown that the ability of abiotic processes to generate geochemical free energy that can be used to transform the surface–atmosphere environment is strongly limited to less than 1 TW, substantiating the notion that a geochemical composition far from equilibrium can be a sign for strong biotic activity.

Beyond Gaia: Thermodynamics of Life and Earth System Functioning

Are there any general principles that govern the way in which life affects Earth system functioning? Most prominently, the Gaia hypothesis addresses this question by proposing that near-homeostatic

The World Ocean Mechanism or Machination

Despite the intensity of the geological cycling, the available evidence suggests that the sedimentary material produced has remained tolerably uniform in composition over the last two thousand million years or so, which implies a corresponding uniformity in the composition of sea water.

The end of life on Earth is not the end of the world: converging to an estimate of life span of the biosphere?

Abstract Environmental conditions have changed in the past of our planet but were not hostile enough to extinguish life. In the future, an aged Earth and a more luminous Sun may lead to harsh or even

The Earth in Time

The history of our planet is 4,500 million years old. During this time, it has undergone multiple changes that have clearly affected its global properties as seen from space. In this chapter, after
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 21 REFERENCES

Regulation of O 2 , N 2 and CO 2 in the atmosphere; thoughts of a laboratory chemist

The real system (air + sea + sediments) is compared with an equilibrium model, an imaginary system containing the same components at equilibrium. In the model, the presence of five aluminosilicate

Earth and Mars: Evolution of Atmospheres and Surface Temperatures

Solar evolution implies, for contemporary albedos and atmospheric composition, global mean temperatures below the freezing point of seawater less than 2.3 aeons ago, contrary to geologic and

Atmospheric CH4, CO, and CO2

The chemistry of atmospheric CH4, CO, and CO2 is treated with a one-dimensional model incorporating the effects of eddy diffusion in the altitude region of 0–120 km. Methane is well mixed up to about

The Physical Basis of Life

His cytological reflections on chromosomes as the physical basis of heredity, and on the Golgi bodies and mitochondria, illuminate the subject, while his all-too-brief discussion of certain facts of experimental embryology runs along a somewhat unfamiliar track.

Biological Effects on the Early Atmosphere

MANY authors tacitly assume that the presence of life had no significant effects on atmospheric composition until after the appearance of photosynthesis with evolution of oxygen (compare refs. 1 and

A PROOF THAT ESSERGY IS THE ONLY CONSISTENT MEASURE OF POTENTIAL WORK (FOR CHEMICAL SYSTEMS)

The proof indicates that negentropy is not as general a measure of potential work as is the quantity, essergy, an implication that might lead to a broader formulation about information and, thus, new insight into the foundations of information theory.

What Is Life

Preface A scientist is supposed to have a complete and thorough I of knowledge, at first hand, of some subjects and, therefore, is usually expected not to write on any topic of which he is not a