The Gaia Theory - Essay Example

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An essay "The Gaia Theory" reports that the interaction of energy cycles and their corresponding biological artifacts give Earth the appearance of one massive biological organism that is wired to sustain life regardless of the activities of smaller components of the whole, such as humans…
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The Gaia Theory
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Download file to see previous pages An example of this is the central belief in Gaia Theory that says the composition of the atmosphere is closely regulated by biological reactions to changes in the atmosphere. For example, an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere should result in a corresponding growth in vegetation that would absorb the additional CO2. In this way, Gaia theorists say that the biological reaction to changes in the atmosphere help keeps the earth in a state of habitable stasis. Some Gaia theorists argue that instead of stasis, the biological changes will actually work to optimize earth’s ability to sustain life. I agree with the criticism leveled against the Gaia Theory. While I find the thoughts and hypothesis generated by this theory, I think the author’s discussion of how historical evidence shows that once earth cools, it actually works to keep itself cool and after it has heated it tends to stay hot is at odds with the theory. The levels of C4 and C2 evidenced in arctic ice core samples seems to show that biological changes cannot counter all changes in the atmosphere to create a situation of stasis or even optimization. Forests affect global climate change in several important ways. The manner that they affect global climate change is different depending on whether the forest is located in a tropical, temperate or sub-arctic region. Tropical forests affect global climate change greatly through high levels of evaporative cooling and carbon sequestration. The humid climate contributes to rapid growth in woody flora of all types. The competing species of trees organize themselves into a climax forest consisting of a deeply shaded floor with low surface temperature with massive amounts of carbon stored in the trunks to the trees. Much study has been made of the clearing of tropical forest for agricultural uses. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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