Vernadsky was a ukrainian geochemist and was one of the first scientists to recognize that the oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere result from biological processes. During the 1920s he published works arguing that living organisms could reshape the planet as surely as any physical force. Vernadsky was a pioneer of the scientific bases for the environmental sciences. 34 His visionary pronouncements were not widely accepted in the west, and some decades later the gaia hypothesis received the same type of initial resistance from the scientific community. Also in the turn to the 20th century Aldo leopold, pioneer in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation, suggested a living Earth in his biocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. It is at least not impossible to regard the earth's parts—soil, mountains, rivers, atmosphere etc,—as organs or parts of organs of a coordinated whole, each part with its definite function. And if we could see this whole, as a whole, through a great period of time, we might perceive not only organs with coordinated functions, but possibly also that process of consumption as replacement which in biology we call metabolism, or growth. In such case we would have all the visible attributes of a living thing, which we do not realize to be such because it is too big, and its life processes too slow.
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The flow of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the soil is therefore regulated with the help of living beings. When CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere the temperature increases and plants grow. This growth brings higher consumption of CO2 by the plants, who process it into the soil, removing it from the atmosphere. History edit Precedents edit "Earthrise" taken from Apollo 8 on December 24, 1968 The idea of the earth as an integrated whole, a living being, has a long tradition. The mythical gaia was the primal save Greek goddess personifying the earth, the Greek version of " Mother Nature " (from ge earth, and aia pie grandmother or the earth Mother. James lovelock gave this name to his hypothesis after a suggestion from the novelist William Golding, who was living in the same village as lovelock at the time ( Bowerchalke, wiltshire, uk). Golding's advice was based on gea, an alternative spelling for the name of the Greek goddess, which is used as prefix in geology, geophysics and geochemistry. 32 Golding later made reference to gaia in his Nobel prize acceptance speech. In the eighteenth century, as geology consolidated as a modern science, james Hutton maintained that geological and biological processes are interlinked. 33 Later, the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt recognized the coevolution of living organisms, climate, and Earth's crust. 33 In the twentieth century, vladimir Vernadsky formulated a theory of Earth's development that is now one of the foundations of ecology.
Calcium carbonate is used by living organisms to manufacture carbonaceous tests and shells. Once dead, qualitative the living organisms' shells fall to the bottom of the oceans where they generate deposits of chalk and limestone. One of these organisms is Emiliania huxleyi, an abundant coccolithophore algae which also has a role in the formation of clouds. 30 CO2 excess is compensated by an increase of coccolithophoride life, increasing the amount of CO2 locked in the ocean floor. Coccolithophorides increase the cloud cover, hence control the surface temperature, help cool the whole planet and favor precipitations necessary for terrestrial plants. Citation needed lately the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased and there is some evidence that concentrations of ocean algal blooms are also increasing. 31 Lichen and other organisms accelerate the weathering of rocks in the surface, while the decomposition of rocks also happens faster in the soil, thanks to the activity of roots, fungi, bacteria and subterranean animals.
26 Since the start of the cambrian period, atmospheric oxygen concentrations have fluctuated between 15 and 35 of atmospheric volume. 27 Traces of methane (at an amount of 100,000 tonnes produced per year) 28 proposal should not exist, as methane is combustible in an oxygen atmosphere. Dry air in the atmosphere of Earth contains roughly (by volume).09 nitrogen,.95 oxygen,.93 argon,.039 carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases including methane. Lovelock originally speculated that concentrations of oxygen above about 25 would increase the frequency of wildfires and conflagration of forests. Recent work on the findings of fire-caused charcoal in Carboniferous and Cretaceous coal measures, in geologic periods when O2 did exceed 25, has supported lovelock's contention. Citation needed Processing of CO2 edit see also: Carbon cycle gaia scientists see the participation of living organisms in the carbon cycle as one of the complex processes that maintain conditions suitable for life. The only significant short natural source of atmospheric carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) is volcanic activity, while the only significant removal is through the precipitation of carbonate rocks. 29 Carbon precipitation, solution and fixation are influenced by the bacteria and plant roots in soils, where they improve gaseous circulation, or in coral reefs, where calcium carbonate is deposited as a solid on the sea floor.
Current period is at the left. See also: geological history of oxygen The gaia hypothesis states that the earth's atmospheric composition is kept at a dynamically steady state by the presence of life. 25 The atmospheric composition provides the conditions that contemporary life has adapted. All the atmospheric gases other than noble gases present in the atmosphere are either made by organisms or processed by them. The stability of the atmosphere in Earth is not a consequence of chemical equilibrium. Oxygen is a reactive compound, and should eventually combine with gases and minerals of the earth's atmosphere and crust. Oxygen only began to persist in the atmosphere in small quantities about 50 million years before the start of the Great Oxygenation event.
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One suggested explanation lies in the formation of salt plains throughout Earth's history. It is hypothesized that these are created by bacterial colonies that fix ions and heavy metals during their life processes. 22 In the biogeochemical processes of the earth, sources and sinks are the movement of elements. The composition of salt ions within our oceans and seas are: sodium (na chlorine (Cl sulfate (SO42 magnesium (Mg2 calcium (Ca2) and potassium (K). The elements that comprise salinity do not readily change and are a presentation conservative property of seawater. 22 There are many mechanisms that change salinity from a particulate form to a dissolved form and back. The known sources of sodium.
Salts is when weathering, erosion, and dissolution of rocks transport into rivers and deposit into the oceans. The mediterranean sea as being gaia's kidney is found ( here ) by kenneth. Hsue a correspondence author in 2001. The " desiccation " of the mediterranean is the evidence of a functioning kidney. Earlier "kidney push functions" were performed during the " deposition of the Cretaceous ( south Atlantic jurassic ( Gulf of Mexico permo-Triassic ( Europe devonian ( Canada cambrian / Precambrian ( Gondwana ) saline giants." 24 Regulation of oxygen in the atmosphere edit levels of gases.
Currently the increase in human population and the environmental impact of their activities, such as the multiplication of greenhouse gases may cause negative feedbacks in the environment to become positive feedback. Lovelock has stated that this could bring an extremely accelerated global warming, 18 but he has since stated the effects will likely occur more slowly. 19 daisyworld simulations edit Plots from a standard black white daisyworld simulation main article: daisyworld James lovelock and Andrew Watson developed the mathematical model daisyworld, in which temperature regulation arises from a simple ecosystem consisting of two species whose activity varies in response to the. The model demonstrates that beneficial feedback mechanisms can emerge in this "toy world" containing only self-interested organisms rather than through classic group selection mechanisms. 20 daisyworld examines the energy budget of a planet populated by two different types of plants, black daisies and white daisies. The colour of the daisies influences the albedo of the planet such that black daisies absorb light and warm the planet, while white daisies reflect light and cool the planet.
As the model runs the output of the "sun" increases, meaning that the surface temperature of an uninhabited "gray" planet will steadily rise. In contrast, on daisyworld competition between the daisies (based on temperature-effects on growth rates) leads to a shifting balance of daisy populations that tends to favour a planetary temperature close to the optimum for daisy growth. It has been suggested that the results were predictable because lovelock and Watson selected examples that produced the responses they desired. 21 Regulation of oceanic salinity edit Ocean salinity has been constant at about.5 for a very long time. 22 Salinity stability in oceanic environments is important as most cells require a rather constant salinity and do not generally tolerate values above. The constant ocean salinity was a long-standing mystery, because no process counterbalancing the salt influx from rivers was known. Recently it was suggested 23 that salinity may also be strongly influenced by seawater circulation through hot basaltic rocks, and emerging as hot water vents on mid-ocean ridges. However, the composition of seawater is far from equilibrium, and it is difficult to explain this fact without the influence of organic processes.
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14 Regulation of global surface temperature edit rob Rohde's palaeotemperature graphs see also: Paleoclimatology since life started on Earth, the energy provided by the sun has increased by 25 to 30; 15 however, the surface temperature of the planet has remained within the levels. Lovelock has also hypothesised that study methanogens produced elevated levels of methane in the early atmosphere, giving a view similar to that found in petrochemical smog, similar in some respects to the atmosphere on Titan. 7 This, he suggests tended to screen out ultraviolet until the formation of the ozone screen, maintaining a degree of homeostasis. However, the Snowball Earth 16 research has suggested that "oxygen shocks" and reduced methane levels led, during the huronian, sturtian and Marinoan / Varanger Ice Ages, to a world that very nearly became a solid "snowball". These epochs are evidence against the ability of the pre Phanerozoic biosphere to fully self-regulate. Processing of the greenhouse gas CO2, explained below, plays a critical role in the maintenance of the earth temperature within the limits of habitability. The claw hypothesis, inspired by the gaia hypothesis, proposes a feedback loop that operates between ocean ecosystems and the earth 's climate. 17 The hypothesis specifically proposes that particular phytoplankton that produce dimethyl sulfide are responsive to variations in climate forcing, and that these responses lead to a negative feedback loop that acts to stabilise the temperature of the earth's atmosphere.
In this view, the atmosphere, the seas and the terrestrial crust would be results of interventions carried out by gaia through the coevolving diversity of living organisms. Details edit The gaia hypothesis posits that the earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled improvement as an evolving system. The hypothesis contends that this system as a whole, called gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life. 12 gaia evolves through a cybernetic feedback system operated unconsciously by the biota, leading to broad stabilization of the conditions of habitability in a full homeostasis. Many processes in the earth's surface essential for the conditions of life depend on the interaction of living forms, especially microorganisms, with inorganic elements. These processes establish a global control system that regulates Earth's surface temperature, atmosphere composition and ocean salinity, powered by the global thermodynamic disequilibrium state of the earth system. 13 The existence of a planetary homeostasis influenced by living forms had been observed previously in the field of biogeochemistry, and it is being investigated also in other fields like earth system science. The originality of the gaia hypothesis relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of keeping the optimal conditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them.
work of an individual but a collective of Russian scientific research that was combined into this peer reviewed publication. It states the coevolution of life and the environment through microforces 11 and biogeochemical processes. An example is how the activity of photosynthetic bacteria during Precambrian times have completely modified the earth atmosphere to turn it aerobic, and as such supporting evolution of life (in particular eukaryotic life). Since barriers existed throughout the Twentieth Century between Russia and the rest of the world, it is only relatively recently that the early russian scientists who introduced concepts overlapping the gaia hypothesis have become better known to the western scientific community. 11 These scientists include: piotr Alekseevich Kropotkin (18421921) Rafail Vasilevich rizpolozhensky (18471918) Vladimir ivanovich Vernadsky (18631945) Vladimir Alexandrovich Kostitzin (18861963) biologists and Earth scientists usually view the factors that stabilize the characteristics of a period as an undirected emergent property or entelechy of the system;. Opponents of this view sometimes reference examples of events that resulted in dramatic change rather than stable equilibrium, such as the conversion of the earth's atmosphere from a reducing environment to an oxygen -rich one at the end of the Archaean and the beginning. Less accepted versions of the hypothesis claim that changes in the biosphere are brought about through the coordination of living organisms and maintain those conditions through homeostasis. In some versions of gaia philosophy, all lifeforms are considered part of one single living planetary being called gaia.
Gaia, the primordial goddess who personified the earth. In 2006, the, geological Society of London awarded lovelock the, wollaston Medal in part for his work on the gaia hypothesis. Topics related to the hypothesis include how the biosphere and the evolution loyalty of organisms affect the stability of global temperature, salinity of seawater, atmospheric oxygen levels, the maintenance of a hydrosphere of liquid water and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth. The gaia hypothesis was initially criticized for being teleological and against the principles of natural selection, but later refinements aligned the gaia hypothesis with ideas from fields such as Earth system science, biogeochemistry and systems ecology. 4 5 6 lovelock also once described the "geophysiology" of the earth. 7 further explanation needed even so, the gaia hypothesis continues to attract criticism, and today some scientists consider it to be only weakly supported by, or at odds with, the available evidence. 8 9 10 Contents Introduction edit gaian hypotheses suggest that organisms co-evolve with their environment: that is, they "influence their abiotic environment, and that environment in turn influences the biota by darwinian process ". Lovelock (1995) gave evidence of this in his second book, showing the evolution from the world of the early thermo-acido-philic and methanogenic bacteria towards the oxygen-enriched atmosphere today that supports more complex life.
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The study of planetary habitability is partly based upon extrapolation from knowledge life of the. Earth 's conditions, as the earth is the only planet currently known to harbour life. The, gaia hypothesis ( /ɡaɪ.ə ghy-ə, /ɡeɪ.ə gay-ə also known as the, gaia theory or the. Gaia principle, proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on, earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. The hypothesis was formulated by the chemist. James lovelock 1 and co-developed by the microbiologist, lynn Margulis in the 1970s. 2, lovelock named the idea after.