Toward a Future for Gaia Theory

  title={Toward a Future for Gaia Theory},
  author={Tyler Volk},
  journal={Climatic Change},
  • T. Volk
  • Published 25 March 2002
  • Environmental Science
  • Climatic Change
The three papers in this issue of Climatic Change (Kirchner, 2002; Kleidon, 2002; Lenton, 2002) are probably the most concentrated effort in recent years by several prominent theoreticians of the biosphere to set forth their views on the current status and future of Gaia theory. (Also see the forthcoming volume by M.I.T. Press of the proceedings from the Second Chapman Conference on the Gaia Hypothesis, Valencia, Spain, 2000.) The three papers offer strikingly different renderings. Axel Kleidon… 
Developing the Gaia Theory. A Response to the Criticisms of Kirchner and Volk
This paper is a response to the recent criticisms of Gaia theory by Kirchner and Volk, in this journal (Kirchner, 2002; Volk, 2002). As noted by Kirchner, there is a need for more dialogue on this
The Gaia Hypothesis: Conjectures and Refutations
Gaia theory predicts that organisms alter their environment to their own benefit, but throughout most of the surface ocean, nutrient depletion by plankton has almost created a biological desert, and is kept in check only by the nutrient starvation of the plankton themselves.
Thermodynamics and environmental constraints make the biosphere predictable – a response to Volk
I do not think that Volk makes convincing arguments that contradict MEP, although I certainly agree that there is a lot more work to be done to fully recognize the great importance that thermodynamics and MEP play in shaping the Earth’s biosphere and its evolutionary history.
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
On the homeostasis and bistability on a Gaian planet
Lovelock ' s initial hypothesis
  • Geology
  • 2018
The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis proposing that the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth (atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere) are closely integrated to
A century of biodiversity: some open questions and some answers
The study the biodiversity is not just an attempt to understand the differences or similarities between species, habitats or genomes. It also includes an understanding of how nature regulates the
The properties of organisms are not tunable parameters selected because they create maximum entropy production on the biosphere scale: A by-product framework in response to Kleidon
It is argued that biological effects on environmental entropy production can be expected to include both positive and negative examples, because these effects are merely by-products of the actual processes that are selected for by evolution.
A Response to Kirchner and Volk
Richard Feynman, arguably the greatest physicist of the last half-century said: ‘Anyone who claims to understand quantum theory probably does not’. The same, although for different reasons, is true
The Flask model: emergence of nutrient‐recycling microbial ecosystems and their disruption by environment‐altering ‘rebel’ organisms
A new model of life-environment interaction is introduced, which simulates an evolving microbial community in a 'Flask' of liquid with prescribed inputs of nutrients, which results in the emergence of ecosystems that tend toward a state where nutrients are efficiently utilised and differentially recycled.


Testing the Effect of Life on Earth's Functioning: How Gaian Is the Earth System?
It is concluded that life has indeed a strong tendency to affect Earth in a way which enhances the overall benefit (that is, carbon uptake), however, this does not imply that the biota regulates Earth's environment for its own benefit.
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
The Simulated Evolution of Biochemical Guilds: Reconciling Gaia Theory and Natural Selection
Simulations of Gaian emergence based on an artificial-life model involving genetic algorithms and guilds of simple metabolizing agents illustrate that standard individual-based natural selection is sufficient to explain Gaian self-organization, and help clarify the relationships between two key metrics ofGaian activity: recycling and regulation.
Gaia's body : toward a physiology of earth
The concept of Gaia resonates with a wide range of people -- from nature lovers, theologians, and philosophers to environmental and earth systems scientists. The term, which scientist James Lovelock,
Testing Gaia: The Effect of Life on Earth's Habitability and Regulation
The Gaia theory proposes that the Earth system self-regulates in a habitable state. Here the effect of life on the state of the Earth and its response to forcing and perturbation is considered. It is
The Gaia Hypothesis: Fact, Theory, and Wishful Thinking
The Gaia hypothesis advances three central propositions: that biologically mediated feedbacks contribute to environmental homeostasis, that they make the environment more suitable for life, and that such feedbacks should arise by Darwinian natural selection.
Biotic enhancement of weathering and the habitability of Earth
AN important question in the Earth sciences is the role of the biota in the chemical weathering of silicate rocks, which affects atmospheric CO2 and therefore climate1-10. No comprehensive study of
Coupling of Soils and Vegetation in Peatland Succession
Evidence for coupling between vegetation and soils is examined along a successional sequence from forest to bog in southeast Alaska. Soil morphology and taxonomy were determined at 19 sites along an