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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 121 through 130 of 130 found.


Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens

Future > New Earth > democracy

Ybarra, Oscar, et al. Life’s Recurring Challenges and the Fundamental Dimensions: An Integration and its Implications for Cultural Differences and Similarities. European Journal of Social Psychology. 38/7, 2008. University of Michigan, Colorado College, and Stanford University scholars propose an initial revision from the Big Five personal and behavioral traits to mutual agency and communion archetypes. Circa 2018, a decade later, this major shift and advance is gaining much acceptance by way of Susan Fiske, Andrea Abele, and others by virtue of its natural veracity.

We propose that two psychological dimensions, one relevant to relationships and group life (communion, C) and the other to skill acquisition, talent, and accomplishment (agency, A), aid people in interpreting their social worlds. Moreover, our analysis demonstrates the privileged nature of the C dimension and its relative stability compared to the A dimension across contexts and cultures. The findings indicate that there is greater similarity and consensus in how people make sense of and judge information from the C than A dimension. We discuss the findings in terms of the recurring challenges people face over time as a result of living in groups. (Abstract)

Future > New Earth > Viable Gaia

Nelson, David, et al. Clinical Ecology: Transforming 21st Century Medicine with Planetary Health in Mind. Challenges. 10/1, 2019. inVIVO Planetary Health, amd Worldwide Universities Network advocates DN, Susan Prescott, Alan Logan, (search names) and Jeffery Bland continue to flesh out vital ways to imagine and define a sense of a whole world anatomy, physiology and well being. The paper is part of The Emerging Concept of Planetary Health: Connecting People, Place, Purpose and Planet collection which now sports some 22 entries such as Planetary Health Ethics.

Four decades ago, several health movements were sprouting in isolation. In 1980, the environmental group Friends of the Earth defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, social and ecological well-being and not merely the absence of disease. At the same time, a few doctors were voicing the concept of “clinical ecology” which sees illness as a response to total lived experience and surrounding “exposures.” In 1977, the Nobel physician-scientist Jonas Salk stated that “we are entering into a new Epoch in which holistic medicine will be the dominant model”. But it is only recently that these views movements has merged into a unified interdisciplinary discourse. The interconnected challenges of our time — an epidemic of non-communicable diseases, socioeconomic inequalities, biodiversity losses, climate change, unnatural environments - demands that all of medicine be viewed from an ecological perspective. Aided by advances in ‘omics’ technology, it is clear that each person maintains complex, biologically-relevant microbial ecosystems, and those ecosystems are, in turn, a product of lived experiences within larger social, political, and economic ecosystems. (Abstract edits)

Future > Self-Selection

Frank, Adam. Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth. New York: Norton, 2019. The University of Rochester astrophysicist and author (search UR) provides a latest survey of the 2ist century revolutionary witness of an innately planet and solar system making cosmos, which begets living systems and a global sapience able to learn this. The unique work is an insider’s view of profligate biospheres and maybe noospheres, citing Vernadsky, Teilhard, Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, which infer a growing sense of an inherent astrobiology. But these findings lead us to realize that our Anthropocene moment is due to many rare, favorable twists and turns along the way.

Adam Frank then coins a phrase “thinking like a planet” which we should aspire to and put into practice. If a relative significance to the whole galactic cosmos might rightly be appreciated for our habitable abide with rising perils, it could provide a unifying incentive we so need. It is alluded that if a sustainable bioworld is achieved, we Earthlings can become “winners in the game of cosmic evolution.” The innovative idea was indeed availed by David Wallace-Wells in The Uninhabitable Earth in a closing section The Anthropic Principle.

From this perspective, civilizations become just another thing the Universe does, like solar flares or comets. We can use what the stars have laid out before us in our astrobiological studies to explore how any civilization on any planet can – or, in the worst case, cannot – evolve together. The advantages of this astrobiological perspective can be gained even if no other civilization ever existed. Thinking about hypothetical exo-civilizations is valuable in dealing with the challenge of the Anthropocene because it reaches us to “think like a planet.” It teaches us to frame our pathways to a long-term project of civilization in terms of the coevolution between life and the Earth. (15)

Future > Self-Selection

McIntyre, Sarah, et al. Planetary Magnetism as a Parameter in Exoplanet Habitability. arXiv:1903.03123. Australian National University astrophysics including Charles Lineweaver proceed to add another physical, geologic factor which could influence whether a globular, orbital object might harbor living systems and an evolutionary intelligence. As the abstract says, a certain range of values are required to maintain conducive watery and airy conditions.

Evidence from the solar system suggests that, unlike Venus and Mars, the presence of a strong magnetic dipole moment on Earth has helped maintain liquid water on its surface. Therefore, planetary magnetism could have a significant effect on the long-term maintenance of atmosphere and liquid water on rocky exoplanets. We use Olson and Christensen's (2006) model to estimate magnetic dipole moments of rocky exoplanets with radii Rp ≤ 1.23 R⊕. Even when modelling maximum magnetic dipole moments, only Kepler-186 f has a magnetic dipole moment larger than the Earth's, while approximately half of rocky exoplanets detected in the circumstellar habitable zone have a negligible magnetic dipole moment. This suggests that planetary magnetism is an important factor when prioritizing observations of potentially habitable planets. (Abstract)

Future > Self-Selection

Schwieterman, Edward, et al. A Limited Habitable Zone for Complex Life. arXiv:1902.04720. UC Riverside and NASA Astrobiology Institute scientists quantify another significant variable with regard to biospheric and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. While aerobic life from microbes to mammals requires a viable, stable CO2 range over time, CO levels are highly toxic for all organisms. Since numerous K and M-type dwarf stars are prone to CO, they are less habitable. Our G-type sun is a better place to be, if CO2 can be sustainably kept in a safe, conducive range.

The habitable zone (HZ) is defined as the range of distances from a host star within which liquid water may exist at a planet's surface. Substantially more CO2 than present in Earth's modern atmosphere is required to maintain clement temperatures. However, most complex aerobic life on Earth is precluded by CO2 levels of just a fraction of a bar. At the same time, most of the HZ volume resides in proximity to K and M dwarfs, which are more numerous than Sun-like G dwarfs but have greater abundances of atmospheric CO, a toxic gas for organisms. Here we show that the HZ for higher fauna is significantly limited relative to that for microbial life. These results cast new light on the likely distribution of complex life in the universe and the search for biosignatures and technosignatures. (Abstract excerpts)

Future > Self-Selection

Stevenson, David S.. Planetary Mass, Vegetation Height and Climate. International Journal of Astrobiology. Online January, 2019. The British biologist (search) continues his unique studies so as to add another factor that would affect the relative habitability of an Earth to super-Earth size planet. As the Abstract says, a preferred, optimum arboreal height is a necessity for floral and faunal life to devolve and develop.

The maximum height trees can grow on Earth is around 122–130 meters. The height is constrained by two factors: the availability of water, and where water is not limiting, the pressure available to drive the column of water along the xylem vessels against the pull of gravity. In turn the height of trees impacts the biodiversity of the environment in a number of ways. On Earth the largest trees are found in the maritime temperate Pacific Northwest coasts of northern California and southern Oregon. These forests provide many secondary habitats for species and serve as moisture pumps that return significant volumes of water to the lower atmosphere. In this work, we apply mathematical rules to show how super-terran planets will have significantly smaller trees, with concomitant effects on the habitability of the planet. (Abstract)

Future > Self-Selection

Stevenson, David S.. Planetary Mass, Vegetation Height and Climate. International Journal of Astrobiology. Online January, 2019. The British biologist (search) continues his insightful studies which can add still another factor that would effect the relative habitability of an Earth to super-Earth size planet. As the Abstract says, an middle-range arboreal height is vital for life to be able to evolve and develop.

The maximum height trees can grow on Earth is around 122–130 meters. The height is constrained by two factors: the availability of water, and where water is not limiting, the pressure available to drive the column of water along the xylem vessels against the pull of gravity. In turn the height of trees impacts the biodiversity of the environment in a number of ways. On Earth the largest trees are found in the maritime temperate Pacific Northwest coasts of northern California and southern Oregon. These forests provide many secondary habitats for species and serve as moisture pumps that return significant volumes of water to the lower atmosphere. In this work, we apply simple mathematical rules to illustrate how super-terran planets will have significantly smaller trees, with concomitant effects on the habitability of the planet. We also consider the impact of varying tree height on climate models. (Abstract)

Future > Self-Selection

Wang, Haiyang, et al. The Volatility Trend of Protosolar and Terrestrial Elemental Abundances. arXiv:1810.12741. Australian National University, Canberra astrophysicists including Charles Lineweaver provide a detailed quantification of stellar and planetary chemical affinities via dynamic out-gassings over the ages of solar system evolution. See also Enhanced Constraints on the Interior Composition and Structure of Terrestrial Exoplanets by this group at arXiv:1810.04615 In regard, still another variable is involved with the relative habitability of a candidate exoEarth.

We present new estimates of protosolar elemental abundances based on an improved combination of solar photospheric abundances and CI chondritic abundances. These new estimates indicate CI chondrites and solar abundances are consistent for 60 elements. We compare our new protosolar abundances with our recent estimates of bulk Earth composition, thereby quantifying the devolatilization in going from the solar nebula to the formation of the Earth. (Abstract)

To first order, Earth is a devolatilized piece of the solar nebula. Similarly, rocky exoplanets are usually devolatilized pieces of the stellar nebulae out of which they and their host stars formed. If this is correct, we can estimate the chemical composition of rocky exoplanets by measuring the elemental abundances of their host stars, and then applying a devolatilization algorithm. The main goal of this paper is to go beyond the usual comparison of the silicate Earth with CI chondrites. We do this by comparing the bulk elemental abundances of Earth and Sun, and thus calibrate this potentially universal process associated with the formation of terrestrial planets. (1)

Future > Green Galaxy

Baum, Seth, et al. Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization. Foresight. Online January, 2019. As the Abstract notes, 14 futurists from the USA, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Canada, and Russia including James Miller, Kaj Sotala, Robin Hanson and Karin Kuhlemann draw out four main concerns, options, and pathways as we planetary peoples enter a perilous moment. Anthropic societal and technological capabilities could conceivably keep pace with palliative and procreative solutions, if they can be agreed upon and practically implemented. But we might add that an epochal cosmos and conscious change, a unitary worldwise mission agreement, say Make Earth Great Always MEGA, is a missing imperative.

Purpose: This paper formalizes long-term trajectories of human civilization as a
scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist. Approach: We focus on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its current state into the distant future; catastrophe trajectories, in which one or more events cause significant harm to human civilization; technological transformation trajectories, in which radical technological breakthroughs put human civilization on a fundamentally different course; and astronomical trajectories, in which human civilization expands beyond its home planet and into the accessible portions of the cosmos. Findings: Status quo trajectories appear unlikely to persist into the distant future, especially in light of long-term astronomical processes.

Future > Green Galaxy

Mullan, Brendan and Jacob, Haqq-Misra. Population Growth, Energy Use, and the Implications for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Futures. 106/4, 2019. In a special Detectability of Future Earth issue edited by J H-M, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science scholars reconsider a classic 1975 prediction (see Abstract) about the global fate and cosmic future of human sapiens. A half-century later, a terminal moment has indeed been reached which will drastically affect everything as we know it. A litany of familiar calamities from climate gases, resources, epidemics, AI impacts, and so on are tabulated, for which we are in denial, let alone do anything about. The paper closes with a dour view that an inability to stabilize and sustain one’s planetary civilization may answer Fermi’s question Where Are They? about the absence of ETs. They are no longer in existence because they could not save themselves.

In a 1975 paper Population Explosion and Interstellar Expansion, (J. British Interplanetary Society, 28/691, hereafter VH75) Sebastian Von Hoerner examined the effects of human population growth and agricultural, environmental, and other consequences from observed growth trends. Using straightforward calculations, VH75 predicted the “doomsday” years of 2020-2050 for these scenarios when we as a species should run out of space or food, or induce catastrophic anthropogenic climate change through thermodynamically direct heating of the planet. Now that over four decades have passed, in this paper we update VH75. We perform similar calculations as that work, with improved data and trends in population growth, food production, energy use, and climate change.

We find that, if historic trends continue, direct heating of the Earth will be a substantial contributor to climate change by ~2260, regardless of the energy source used, coincident with our transition to a Kardashev type-I civilization. We also determine that either an increase of Earth’s global mean temperature will occur or an unreasonably high fraction of the planet will need to be covered by solar collectors by ∼2400 to keep pace with our growth in energy use. We further discuss the implications in terms of interstellar expansion, the transition to type II and III civilizations, SETI, and the Fermi Paradox. We conclude that the “sustainability solution” to the Fermi Paradox is a compelling possibility. (Abstract)

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