Chance played a role in determining whether Earth stayed habitable

  title={Chance played a role in determining whether Earth stayed habitable},
  author={Toby Tyrrell},
  journal={Communications Earth \& Environment},
  • T. Tyrrell
  • Published 1 December 2020
  • Environmental Science
  • Communications Earth & Environment
Earth’s climate has remained continuously habitable throughout 3 or 4 billion years. This presents a puzzle (the ‘habitability problem’) because loss of habitability appears to have been more likely. Solar luminosity has increased by 30% over this time, which would, if not counteracted, have caused sterility. Furthermore, Earth’s climate is precariously balanced, potentially able to deteriorate to deep-frozen conditions within as little as 1 million years. Here I present results from a novel… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Towards a Classification Scheme for the Rocky Planets based on Equilibrium Thermodynamic Considerations
A classification scheme for rocky planets is proposed, based on a description of the Earth System in terms of the Landau-Ginzburg Theory of phase transitions. Three major equilibrium states can be


Evolution of a Habitable Planet
■ Abstract Giant planets have now been discovered around other stars, and it is only a matter of time until Earth-sized planets are detected. Whether any of these planets are suitable for life
Superhabitable worlds.
It is illustrated how tidal heating can render terrestrial or icy worlds habitable beyond the stellar HZ and why the principle of mediocracy cannot be used to logically explain why Earth should be a particularly habitable planet or why other inhabited worlds should be Earth-like.
Gaian bottlenecks and planetary habitability maintained by evolving model biospheres: the ExoGaia model
The search for habitable exoplanets inspires the question - how do habitable planets form? Planet habitability models traditionally focus on abiotic processes and neglect a biotic response to
An objective Bayesian analysis of life’s early start and our late arrival
  • D. Kipping
  • Physics, Economics
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2020
The chronology of Life emerged on Earth within the first quintile of its habitable window, but a technological civilization did not blossom until its last, and for intelligence evolution, it is found that a rare-intelligence scenario is slightly favored at 3:2 betting odds, but intelligence may not be as inevitable.
No snowball on habitable tidally locked planets
The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All orbit nearby M-stars and are likely
The Goldilocks Planet? How Silicate Weathering Maintains Earth “Just Right”
Earth's climate is buffered over long timescales by a negative feedback between atmospheric CO2 level and surface temperature. The rate of silicate weathering slows as the climate cools, causing CO2
The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events
Surprisingly it is found that although human life is somewhat fragile to nearby events, the resilience of Ecdysozoa such as Milnesium tardigradum renders global sterilisation an unlikely event.
Evolution of the Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Regulation on Earth
14 The existence of stabilizing feedbacks on Earth is generally thought to be necessary for the persistence of 15 liquid water and life. Earth’s atmospheric composition appears to have adjusted to
Habitability and Cosmic Catastrophes
Catastrophes in our solar system have played a big role especially during its early evolution, e.g., the formation of the Earth’s moon or the slow retrograde rotation of our sister planet Venus can
The faint young Sun problem
For more than four decades, scientists have been trying to find an answer to one of the most fundamental questions in paleoclimatology, the `faint young Sun problem'. For the early Earth, models of