Is the Earth Alive? Examining the Gaia hypothesis proposing that the earth is alive and behaves like a living system. Of course, many native peoples the world over have always believed and functioned on the premise that the earth is alive. And now contemporary scientists are talking more and more about the Gaia hypothesis: Gaia pronounced "Guy-uh" — was the Greek goddess of the earth.
British scientist James Lovelock, the person most responsible for the Gaia hypothesis, was working for NASA when he first reached his living system insight questioning is the earth alive?
Surprisingly, though, at the time he was creating tests to detect life on Mars! To test that idea, Lovelock looked at the atmosphere of our own planet.
Sure enough, earth's air contains large quantities of highly reactive gases — such as oxygen and methane — that naturally break down into other compounds. Something is maintaining numerous reactive gases in our atmosphere in an equilibrium steady state.
Mars, by the way, flunked the "active atmosphere" test. Continue Reading The second, and even more compelling, argument was that over the millenia the earth has somehow regulated its own temperature.
Yet, from then until now, the temperature of the earth's surface has remained within the critical life-supporting range of 15 degrees to 30 degrees Celsiu. The level of CO, has dropped a hundred fold in those four billion years, reducing the "greenhouse" heat-holding effect of the atmosphere even while the sun was radiating more heat.
The earth has kept itself at a constant temperature. Temperature and a reactive atmosphere are just two of the factors kept in balance by the earth. One must also notice that if — as Lovelock states — "humidity or salinity or acidity or any one of a number of other variables had strayed outside a narrow range of values for any length of time, life would have been annihilated.
Suppose there was a planet that supported only two plant species, white daisies and black daisies. Since the white ones reflect more heat than black ones, they would fare better when the planet was unusually hot.
The reverse would also be true: Black daisies, being better heat absorbers, could survive better during cool periods.
But what would happen if Daisy World was cool for an extended time? Black daisies would take over more and more of the land surface, increasing the absorption capacity of the planet and thereby warming it up. In time, the temperature would rise to the best range for white daisies. Those would spread, and the black ones would largely die back.
But that event would increase the heat reflectiveness of the planet, thus eventually cooling its surface. By such means, the black and white daisies would balance each other and keep the planet's temperature from ever getting too hot or too cold to support plant life.
On a much more complex level, the organisms on our own planet must work together to stabilize the earth. In sum again quoting Lovelock"The Gaia hypothesis sees the earth as a self-regulating system able to maintain the climate, the atmosphere, the soil, and the ocean composition at a fixed state that's favorable for life.
It's often taken that the capacity for self regulation in the face of perturbation, change, disasters, and so on is a very strong characteristic of living things and, in that sense, the earth is a living thing.
Lovelock is saying that the evolution of life and the evolution of the planet have not been separate phenomena but one single, tightly coupled process. Life does not simply adapt to its environment but, through various feedback loops, coevolves with it.
This unifying, whole systems view is beginning to gain ground with scientists. And the fascinating search for Gaia's mechanisms is already leading to new areas of exploration.
Biologist Lynn Margulis, who worked closely with Lovelock on the original hypothesis, now studies the roles that hardy microorganisms may play in regulating the atmosphere. She's found or so mostly dormant microorganisms in tiny culture samples, each ready under the right conditions — to perform its function and give off its particular gaseous emission, depending on surrounding conditions.
Atmospheric scientist Pat Zimmerman examined the intestinal bacteria of termites as a source of atmospheric methane and learned that since there are about 1, pounds of termites per human being on earth, and since the wood nibblers go through the equivalent of one-third of the new plant carbon created every year, they may produce half of the methane in the atmosphere!
But Lovelock's words have at times suggested that the planet's totality of life is deliberately working to better its condition and increase itself. Adding such an aspect of purposefulness even consciousness to Gaia grates on most otherwise sympathetic scientists.Apr 15, · If we have a lot of large cities, than how does our earth still look green from space??Status: Resolved.
Google Earth for mobile enables you to explore the globe with a swipe of your finger. Fly through 3D cities like London, Tokyo and Rome. Dive in to view the world at street level with integrated.
Jun 18, · The next day, at precisely 12 o'clock, Klaatu arranges for the world to "stand still" -- he shuts down all electrical power in the world, with the exception of essentials like hospitals and planes.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (a.k.a. Farewell to the Master and Journey to the World) is a American black-and-white science fiction film released by 20th Century Fox and produced by Julian Blaustein. Directed by Robert Wise, it stars Michael Rennie, Patricia .
Green Earth provides the alternative solution to traditional imported bottled water. We serve the most upscale bottled sparkling and still water to patrons in many country clubs and . The Day the Earth Stood Still: "Watching the Skies: In Search of Extraterrestrial Life", and "The Day the Earth was Green." Also included were three still galleries and the film's trailer.
Packaged with the film on a separate disc, is the original film.