Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content. Home About Archives. Angelo Ignacio mom May 24, May 27, 2 Minutes. Days like today are hard. But on days like today, I feel very far from home. As I write this blog…as I process through these words, I think I know why. Like I said, days like today are hard. Share this: Tweet. Tagged mom. Published May 24, May 27, Now you can leave it alone, and go back to drinking beers.
Grinspoon wonders: Did life start out like little sparks that are vulnerable to extinction? And did it, once it transitioned to a global phenomenon, become like a self-sustaining flame? Grinspoon's work focuses on the evolution of climate and atmosphere on Earth-like planets.
The three rocky planets formed around the same time, some 4. Just like Earth, Venus and Mars may once have been watery worlds. Today they seem dry and barren, but several lines of evidence suggest they both had oceans in their early days. Somehow only Earth held onto its water, and eventually burst out with the self-sustaining fire of life. By the end of his talk, titled "Venus and Mars as Failed Biospheres," Grinspoon raises an intriguing question. Is a biosphere necessary for the long-term survival of life?
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The oldest signs of life on Earth date to about 3. But when did our planet transition from having organisms to having a biosphere? To him the shift had likely occurred by 2. However, life's influence went way beyond its power to shape the Earth's atmosphere. According to recent studies, life has shaped everything from Earth's interior to the diversity of minerals on its surface.
As Grinspoon puts it, "Life has got Earth in its clutches in this deep, and not always obvious way. It's not the first time he puts the concept forward. In his book Lonely Planets, Grinspoon introduced the "Living World" hypothesis, a slight variant the well-known Gaia hypothesis.
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In the s, the chemist James Lovelock and the biologist Lynn Margulis developed the idea that our Earth may be like a living organism, a self-regulating entity that employs feedback loops to keep conditions just right for life. They christened the potentially living planet "Gaia," from the Greek for Mother Earth.
The idea has since been hotly debated, mostly pegged as more philosophical than scientific. Still, many researchers agree that the concept has helped Earth system science move forward, allowing us to realize that many of Earth's cycles—the water, nitrogen, and carbon cycles; plate tectonics; and the climate—are deeply interconnected, and is modulating and being modulated by life on Earth. That's the general meaning of the Gaia hypothesis, and the Living Worlds hypothesis is simply extending the idea to other planets.
In other words, our search for life should then target places with active geological and meteorological cycles, the potential tell-tales of a vibrant biosphere. We've now found nearly 2, planets orbiting distant stars, and counting.
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While these worlds may be too far for us to find any direct evidence for life in the near future, researchers are becoming increasingly proficient at making out the composition of their atmosphere. That ability could perhaps one day allow us to distinguish between "failed biospheres" and potentially living worlds. In the meantime, a Living World perspective may yield useful insights as we target our search for life closer to home, in our own solar system.
Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, seems to have a young and active surface, while Saturn's moon, Titan, is meteorologically well-alive with methane raining down and filling rivers and lakes. Even our closest neighbor, Venus, long viewed as a hellish world with its extreme heat, crushing pressure, and clouds of sulfuric acid, could potentially host some kind of life, if vigorous cycles are any indicators of a healthy biosphere , as Grinspoon argued in his book, Venus Revealed.
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For Mars it would be a different story, with its stale atmosphere of carbon dioxide and its rusty, quiet surface. But even if Mars seems dead now, it may not be the end of it for the Red Planet. By , the mission "Mars One" will aim to establish the first human settlement. In the end, the "fire" which started on Earth 3. Explore further. Explore the Earth and beyond at www. More from Astronomy and Astrophysics. Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute.
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With multiple villages to cater to, staff at the bank has worked out their own coping mechanism. They are allowing people to withdraw only Rs 5, a day.
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For farmers with loans, the government raised the withdrawal limit to Rs 25, To make sure that everyone gets some money, we have limited the daily withdrawal limit," said Samarjit Sahoo, assistant manager of the bank. All my life I have been paying my suppliers with cash.
The government is telling us to transfer money online but we don't have good internet connection here. I am tired of this," says year-old Chandrasekhar, whose native village is Keelara.
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That will take us a half hour bus journey. But it takes us more time as the bus arrives after one-and-a-half hour intervals. Then we have to wait in the queue. It is tiring.
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