(logo) Natural Genesis (logo text)
A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
Table of Contents
Genesis Vision
Learning Planet
Organic Universe
Earth Life Emerge
Genesis Future
Recent Additions

III. Ecosmos: A Revolutionary Fertile, Habitable, Solar-Bioplanet, Incubator Lifescape

3. Earth Alive: An Ovular GaiaSphere Sustains Her/His Own Viability

Passion for Earth: A New Era for Geoscience. en.sif.it/courses/passionforearth2022. This site is an Italian Physics Society conference held in Milan in October 2022 about a novel interdisciplinary enhancement of Earth Systems Science. In regard, see an a review Passion for Earth: A New Beginning by Francesco Vissani at arXiv:2306.13655 on a vital appreciation of our learned Earthropocene bioworld.

Geophysical and Geochemical techniques have been greatly refined in recent years using computer, geological, physical and chemical tools in synergy. This meeting, "Passion for Earth", will be an occasion for an up to date on the structure of the Earth and on the new techniques now available. Researchers working in various sectors will shed light on the composition of the Earth, the balance of terrestrial heat, seismology and the structure of the Earth, dynamic law, geo-neutrinos and their impact on geo-science, muography, neutrino tomography, and more.

In this essay, I discuss an interdisciplinary science that is just blossoming: that of geo-neutrinos. I begin with some episodes from the history of thought, showing the deep roots of Earth science and its many connections with microphysics. I then recount how the present stage of atomic and cosmic knowledge of neutrinos was reached. I conclude with a discussion of the state of the field and its prospects for the near future. (Vissani)

Meyers, Stephen and Alberto Malinverno. Proterozoic Milankovitch Cycles and the History of the Solar System. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115/6363, 2018. University of Wisconsin and Columbia University geoscientists expand Earth’s environs to include a dynamic spacescape and temporal depth to its earliest origin. See also Exo-Milankovitch Cycles II: Climates of G-dwarf Planets at arXiv:1805.00283.

Periodic variations in Earth’s orbit and rotation axis occur over tens of thousands of years, producing rhythmic climate changes known as Milankovitch cycles. The geologic record of these climate cycles is a powerful tool for reconstructing geologic time, for understanding ancient climate change, and for evaluating the history of our solar system, but their reliability dramatically decreases beyond 50 Ma. Here, we extend the analysis of Milankovitch cycles into the deepest stretches of Earth history, billions of years ago, while also reconstructing the history of solar system characteristics, including the distance between the Earth and Moon. Our results improve the temporal resolution of ancient Earth processes and enhance our knowledge of the solar system in deep time. (Significance)

Milankovitch cycles describe the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements on its climate over thousands of years. The term is named for Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milanković. In the 1920s, he hypothesized that variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit resulted in cyclical variation in the solar radiation reaching the Earth, and that this orbital forcing strongly influenced climatic patterns on Earth. (Wikipedia)

Alvarez, Walter. A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves. New York: Norton, 2016. In a novel volume, the eminent UC Berkeley geologist joins this popular union of human temporal appearance with a cosmic evolutionary rooting. We log in at the same time as David Christian’s Big History and David Grinspoon’s The Earth in Human Hands. But the three otherwise fine works reflect a tacit mindset, or lack thereof, that this grand cosmos to culture vista yet results from random contingency or chance, a lottery without occasion or destiny, not to occur elsewhere or again.

One in a million doesn’t even come close. Not when we’re talking about the odds that you would happen to be alive today, on this particular planet, hurtling through space. Almost fourteen billion years of cosmic history, over four billion years of Earth history, a couple million years of human history, the rise and fall of nations, the unbroken string of generations necessary to lead to you―it’s staggering to consider. Yet behind everything in our world, from the phone in your pocket to even the force of gravity itself, lies a similarly grand procession of highly improbable events. This panoramic viewpoint has captured the imagination of historians and scientists alike, and together they’ve created a new field―Big History―that integrates traditional historical scholarship with scientific insights to study the full sweep of our universe and its past. Famed geologist Walter Alvarez―best known for the impact theory explaining dinosaur extinction―has championed a science-first approach to Big History, and A Most Improbable Journey is one of the first Big History books to be written by a scientist rather than a historian. (Publisher)

Arenes, Alexandra, et al. Giving Depth to the Surface: An Exercise in the Gaia-Graphy of Critical Zones. Anthropocene Review. Online June, 2018. We note this entry by a landscape planner A. Arenes, the sociologist of science Bruno Latour and geochemist Jerome Gaillardet, as a visual exercise to take in the whole bio-regulated Earth as some manner of solar heated, life bearing, people evolving, preciously fertile abode.

Foregrounding the importance of soil and more generally the surface of the Earth – what is now often called the critical zone (CZ) – remains very difficult as long as the usual planetary view, familiar since the scientific revolution, is maintained. In this joint effort coauthored by a landscape architect, a historian of science and a geochemist, we propose what is called in history of drawing an anamorphosis, a change in perspective that allows us to shift from sites located in the geographic grid, to a representation of events located in what we call a Gaia-graphic view. We claim that such a view is much better suited to situate the new actors of the Anthropocene because it brings pride of place to the CZ. (Abstract edits)

Arney, Giada, et al. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth. Astrobiology. 16/11, 2016. In the thrall of our global collaboration, an astroscientist team from the USA, UK, and France cast back some 2.6 billion years to reconstruct ancient climates, photochemistry, and especially fractal atmospheric hazes and clouds. Whom then is this personsphere progeny arising out of the mists to be able to learn this? As if a late blossom or birth, what does it say about what manner of organic object an Earth might be?

Arthur, Rudy and Arwen Nicholson. A Gaian Habitable Zone. arXiv:2301.02150. This present paper can serve to note a flow of perceptive work by the University of Exeter computer scientist and astronomer team. See also Does God Play Dice: Simple Models of Non-Darwinian Selection at 2301.06223 and There’s No Planet B in Aeon Magazine for January 2023. Their contribution seems to be a recognition that any favorable candidate, like our home Earth, should be seen a self-regulating biosphere over its evolutionary span. But an implication becomes that space travel to another world will not work because any other world will take to long to become a vital, sustainable place. Still another aspect is that any search for atmospheric biosignatures need be aware of this.

Arthur, Rudy and Arwen Nicholson. Selection Principles for Gaia. Journal of Theoretical Biology. October, 2021. University of Exeter bioecologists and colleagues of Tim Lenton there offer a further finesse of propensities and activities by which to explain and qualify this especial, lively abode upon which a sentient speciesphere might finally be able to figure all this out.

The Gaia hypothesis considers the life-environment coupled system as a single entity that acts to regulate and maintain habitable conditions on Earth. In this paper we discuss three mechanisms which could potentially lead to a vital Gaia: Selection by Survival, Sequential Selection and Entropic Hierarchy. We use the Tangled Nature Model (H. Jensen) of co-evolution as a common framework for all three. This idea which combines sequential selection with a reservoir of diversity tends toward growth and increases resilience of the Gaian system over time. This paper adds a further taxonomy of “Entropic Gaia” whence biomass, complexity and enhanced habitability over time are likely features of a co-evolving Earth, and exoplanetary, system. (Abstract excerpt)

Arthur, Rudy, et al. What doesn't kill Gaia makes her stronger. arXiv:2405.05091. University of Exeter computational ecologists RA, Arwen Nicholson and Nathan Mayne continue their innovative studies to explain how life’s arduous Earthly development was actually served by fits and starts which impacted and shuffled creaturely habitats. The work of Timothy Lenton, also at Exeter, is often referred to. In any event, the whole vicarious yet gestation-like, self-regulating emergence just now reaches its incredulous, global retrospect. Into the mid 2020s as wars and climates rage, the great filter may actually be whether we homo to Earthropo peoples can come to our sapient senses and select ourselves as a sustainable success.

Life on Earth has experienced numerous upheavals over its 4 billion year history. In previous work we have discussed how interruptions to stability lead, on average, to increases in habitability, a tendency we called Entropic Gaia. Here we continue this endeavor with the Tangled Nature Model (H. Jensen) to consider how life’s long evolution is shaped by periods of acute environmental stress. We find that while these phases risk complete extinction, they can create novel opportunities for evolutionary exploration leading to more populous and stable states among the survivors. The model results are discussed in relation to both Earth history and the search for alien life. (Abstract)

Benner, Steven, et al. Planetary Biology. Science. 296/864, 2002. As “a civilization-wide enterprise,” the global expanse of life and its human phase is reconstructed akin to a developing, cognizant organism.

Consequently, one can imagine a comprehensive model of life on Earth combining paleontology, geology, structural biology, systems biology, and genomics, that captures history and function from molecule to the planet. (867)

Bertrand, Philippe and Louis Legendre. Earth, Our Living Planet: The Earth System and its Co-evolution with Organisms. International: Springer Frontiers, 2021. Veteran French and French-Canadian physical geochemists provide a latest, thorough explanation how our home bioworld is distinguished by a unique propensity to form and maintain itself in a viable fashion, as if alive. Topical chapters include The Atmosphere, Overall Habitability, Natural Greenhouse Effect, Earth’s Magnetic Field, Feedback Cycles and much more.

This book investigates the billion-year takeover of planet Earth by its organisms and ecosystems by way of vital interactions between environmental and biological mechanisms. Key relationships are identified among nested phases from ecosystems to the Earth System, the Solar System, and the Universe. This chapter considers successively five aspects of the Earth System in the context of the Solar System: the organisms, which are subject to biological evolution, and their key features; the Solar System, populated by billions of objects, which is the homeland of Earth in the Universe; Earth together with its sister planets and their moons; a brief history of the 13.7 billion-year Universe; and a brief history of 4.6 billion-year Earth. (Chapter 1 Abstract excerpt)

Braakman, Rogier, et al. Metabolic Evolution and the Self-Organization of Ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Online March 27, 2017. An MIT environmentalist, Earth scientist, and a biologist construct an extensive synthesis of diverse organisms and their bioregions as they proceed to dynamically organize and prosper. Life’s long development takes on an anatomic and physiological guise as these innate, formative forces gain theoretical credence.

Understanding what drives self-organization in complex systems and how it arises is a major challenge. We addressed this challenge using dominant oceanic photosynthetic and heterotrophic microbes as a model system. Reconstructing the metabolic evolution of this system suggests that its self-organization and self-amplification were coupled and driven by an increasing cellular energy flux. Specifically, the evolution of cells steadily increased their metabolic rate and excretion of organic carbon. We describe how this increases cellular nutrient uptake and thereby ecosystem biomass. The release of organic carbon, in turn, promotes positive feedbacks among species that reinforce this evolutionary drive at the ecosystem level. We propose the evolutionary self-organization of oceanic microbial ecosystems contributed to the oxygenation of Earth. (Significance)

Metabolism mediates the flow of matter and energy through the biosphere. We examined how metabolic evolution shapes ecosystems by reconstructing it in the globally abundant oceanic phytoplankter Prochlorococcus. To understand what drove observed evolutionary patterns, we interpreted them in the context of its population dynamics, growth rate, and light adaptation, and the size and macromolecular and elemental composition of cells. This multilevel view suggests that, over the course of evolution, there was a steady increase in Prochlorococcus’ metabolic rate and excretion of organic carbon. These observations lead us to propose a general theory relating metabolic evolution to the self-amplification and self-organization of the biosphere. We discuss the implications of this framework for the evolution of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles and the rise of atmospheric oxygen. (Abstract excerpt)

Bunyard, Peter, ed. Gaia in Action: Science of the Living Earth. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1996. Scientific and philosophical papers explore this holistic, ecological hypothesis. The authors look toward the Russian geoscientist Vladimir Vernadsky as its original founder earlier in the 20th century whose theories of the inherent emergence of living matter informs the volume.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8  Next