Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth by James E. Lovelock

By James E. Lovelock

During this paintings that keeps to motivate its many readers, Jim Lovelock places ahead his concept that existence on the earth features as a unmarried organism. Written for non-scientists, Gaia is a trip via time and area looking for proof with which to help a brand new and noticeably various version of our planet.

In distinction to standard trust that dwelling topic is passive within the face of threats to its life, the booklet explores the speculation that the Earth's residing subject air, ocean, and land surfaces types a posh procedure that has the means to maintain the Earth a healthy position for all times. considering that Gaia was once first released, a lot of Jim Lovelock's predictions have come precise and his concept has turn into a hotly argued subject in clinical circles. This ebook is meant for college students in class or university following classes in environmental experiences, ecology, or common stories; environmentalists.

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If the planet was kept warm, in spite of the weaker sun, by the blanket effect of these gases, a fall in surface temperature would surely have followed this depletion. Climates are inherently unstable. We are now fairly certain, thanks to the Yugoslav meteorologist Milankovitch, that the recent periods of glaciation were a consequence of quite small changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun. A mere 2 per cent decrease in the heat received by one hemisphere is enough to establish an Ice Age. We now begin to see the awesome consequences to the infant biosphere of feeding on the atmospheric blanket, for at that critical time the sun's output was not just 2 per cent but 30 per cent less than it is now.

The only explanations offered to account for this 'unseasonal winter warmth' are protection by the 'greenhouse' gas carbon dioxide, or a lower albedo due to a different distribution of the Earth's land masses at that time. Both are possible explanations up to a point. It is where they break down that 20 Gaia: A new look at life on Earth Fig. 1. 5 aeons ago is all within the narrow bounds of the horizontal lines between 10° and 20°C. If our planetary temperature depended only on the abiological constraints set by the sun's output and the heat balance of the Earth's atmosphere and surface, then the conditions of either the upper or lower extremes, marked by the lines A and C, could have been reached.

It reflects about 45 per cent of the incoming sunlight. It was warm and comfortable for embryo life, in spite of the weaker flux of heat from the sun. The only explanations offered to account for this 'unseasonal winter warmth' are protection by the 'greenhouse' gas carbon dioxide, or a lower albedo due to a different distribution of the Earth's land masses at that time. Both are possible explanations up to a point. It is where they break down that 20 Gaia: A new look at life on Earth Fig. 1. 5 aeons ago is all within the narrow bounds of the horizontal lines between 10° and 20°C.

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