The life span of the biosphere revisited

  title={The life span of the biosphere revisited},
  author={K. Caldeira and J. Kasting},
A DECADE ago, Lovelock and Whitfield1 raised the question of how much longer the biosphere can survive on Earth. They pointed out that, despite the current fossil-fuel induced increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration, the long-term trend should be in the opposite direction: as increased solar luminosity warms the Earth, silicate rocks should weather more readily, causing atmospheric CO2 to decrease. In their model1, atmospheric CO2 falls below the critical level for C3 photosynthesis, 150… Expand
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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.Expand
Long-term stability of the Earth's climate.
  • J. Kasting
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Global and planetary change
  • 1989
Long-term climatic evolution has thus far been studied only with one-dimensional, globally-averaged climate models, and although such models can provide a qualitative understanding of climate history, they rely on a number of assumptions that may not have been valid in the past. Expand
Runaway and moist greenhouse atmospheres and the evolution of Earth and Venus.
A one-dimensional climate model is used to study the response of an Earth-like atmosphere to large increases in solar flux, and the critical solar flux at which a runaway greenhouse occurs, that is, the oceans evaporate entirely, is found to be 1.4 times the present flux at Earth's orbit. Expand
Climatic consequences of very high carbon dioxide levels in the earth's early atmosphere.
The possible consequences of very high carbon dioxide concentrations in the earth's early atmosphere have been investigated with a radiative-convective climate model, and Earth's present atmosphere appears to be stable against a carbon dioxide-induced runaway greenhouse. Expand
A negative feedback mechanism for the long‐term stabilization of Earth's surface temperature
We suggest that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is buffered, over geological time scales, by a negative feedback mechanism in which the rate of weathering of silicateExpand
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Annihilation of ecosystems by large asteroid impacts on the early Earth
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Implications of Solar Evolution for the Earth's Early Atmosphere.
The roughly 25 percent increase in luminosity over the life of the sun shared by many different solar models is shown to be a very general result, independent of the uncertainties suggested by theExpand