Biotic feedback extends the life span of the biosphere

  title={Biotic feedback extends the life span of the biosphere},
  author={Timothy M. Lenton and Werner von Bloh},
  journal={Geophysical Research Letters},
The Sun is becoming more luminous with time and will eventually overheat the biosphere. However, life cools the Earth by amplifying the rate of silicate rock weathering and maintaining a low level of atmospheric CO2. Recent studies indicate a much stronger biotic weathering effect than in models used to estimate the life span of the biosphere. Here we show that the resulting feedback lengthens the survival of complex life by delaying the loss of CO2 from the atmosphere. The weathering biota can… 
Biogenic Enhancement of Weathering and the Stability of the Ecosphere
It can be shown that the biosphere is resilient to random perturbation of the global carbon cycle for the next 0.5-1.0 Gyr, which leads to an extension of the life span of theBiosphere by 0.7 Gyr compared to previous studies underestimating the effect of biogenic enhancement of weathering.
Causes and timing of future biosphere extinction
We present a minimal model for the global carbon cycle of the Earth containing the reservoirs mantle, ocean floor, continental crust, biosphere, and the kerogen, as well as the aggregated reservoir
The Impact of Life on Climate Stabilization Over Different Timescales
  • D. Höning
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
  • 2020
Surface life has been argued to be crucial in keeping a planet habitable in the long term. Biologically enhanced weathering compensates for increasing solar luminosity, and temperature‐dependent
Causes and timing of future biosphere extinctions
Abstract. We present a minimal model for the global carbon cycle of the Earth containing the reservoirs mantle, ocean floor, continental crust, biosphere, and the kerogen, as well as the combined
Atmospheric pressure as a natural climate regulator for a terrestrial planet with a biosphere
A simple model including the reduction of atmospheric pressure suggests that the life span of the biosphere can be extended at least 2.3 Ga into the future, more than doubling previous estimates and has important implications for seeking extraterrestrial life in the Universe.
Biogeosciences Causes and timing of future biosphere extinctions
We present a minimal model for the global carbon cycle of the Earth containing the reservoirs mantle, ocean floor, continental crust, biosphere, and the kerogen, as well as the combined ocean and
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
Cambrian explosion triggered by geosphere‐biosphere feedbacks
A new hypothesis for the cause of the Cambrian explosion is presented. For that the evolution of the planet Earth is described by the co‐evolution of the geosphere‐biosphere system. Here we specify
Group Report: Long-term Geosphere-Biosphere Coevolution and Astrobiology
This discussion group attempted a qualitatively new synthesis of long-term geosphere—biosphere coevolution, with the aim of understanding and presenting to the other groups the broadest possible
Weathering pathways and limitations in biogeochemical models: Application to Earth system evolution
Current biogeochemical box models for Phanerozoic climate are reviewed and reduced to a robust, modular system, allowing application to the Precambrian. It is shown that stabilisation of climate


Life span of the biosphere
There has been life on Earth for at least 3,500 Myr but the assumption that a comparable future lies ahead may not be justified. Main sequence stars appear to increase their burning rate as they age.
Reduction of biosphere life span as a consequence of geodynamics
The long-term co-evolution of the geosphere’biospere complex from the Proterozoic up to 1.5 billion years into the planet’s future is investigated using a conceptual earth system model including the
Life, Temperature, and the Earth: The Self-Organizing Biosphere
The idea that living things and the atmosphere, oceans, and soils comprise an interactive, self-regulating system-the Gaia concept-was first proposed nearly thirty years ago. Since then researchers
Quantification of the effect of plants on weathering: Studies in Iceland
The weathering of calcium and magnesium silicate minerals on the continents has exerted a major control on atmospheric CO 2 over geologic time, and vascular plants may have played an important role
A hybrid model of the CO2 geochemical cycle and its application to large impact events.
It appears unlikely, however, that an impact of a large asteroid or comet could create a "Strangelove ocean," in which surface waters remained corrosive to calcium carbonate for thousands or tens of thousands of years.
Geocarb III: A Revised Model of Atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic Time
  • R. Berner
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1994
Revision of the GEOCARB model (Berner, 1991, 1994) for paleolevels of atmospheric CO2, has been made with emphasis on factors affecting CO2 uptake by continental weathering. This includes: (1) new
Biological homeostasis of the global environment: the parable of Daisyworld
A model of animaginary planet having a very simple biosphere, consisting of just two species of daisy of different colours, sketches out the elements of a biological feedback system which might help regulate the temperature of the earth.
The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth
BBC 2's 1986 "Horizon" programme won many new followers for Jim Lovelock's startling new theory of life called Gaia. Existing theories held that plants and animals evolve on, but are distinct from,
Rapid, plant-induced weathering in an aggrading experimental ecosystem
To evaluate whether rates of weathering of primary minerals are underestimated in watershed mass-balance studies that fail to include products of weathering accumulating in plants and in developing
Mass Extinctions in the Marine Fossil Record
A new compilation of fossil data on invertebrate and vertebrate families indicates that four mass extinctions in the marine realm are statistically distinct from background extinction levels. These