ガイア―地球は生きている (ガイアブックス) 単行本 – 2003/8/1
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James Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist and inventor whose work on detecting CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) in our environment led him to develop a new theory about our planet. The Gaia Hypothesis posits that the Earth is alive-a self regulating organism in its own right. In his two other books on the subject, Lovelock set the record straight on the damage that CFC'c have done to ourplanet and its delicate balance of the interaction between life-forms. His theory has generated much controversy as it proposes that evolution is far from over and that humankind is no longer the be-all and end-all of that process.
In this latest volume on the subject, Lovelock examines the health and future prospects of our ailing planet. Beautifully illustrated and presented, Healing Gaia does justice to a theory of this magnitude, while making it accessible to a wide audience of scientists and non-scientists alike. It represents the most comprehensive analysis of our origins, our reasons for existence, and our likely future. --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
He was reported to have backed away from earlier, severe predictions about man's fate due to global warming. This retreat, if it was reported accurately, is a deep mystery. If he was wrong, it was in being too conservative.
California and the American west are in the solid grip of a deep, global warming caused drought. We are pretty much on the bottoms of reservoirs and on ground water, also being pumped furiously to feed our No. 1 agricultural status. There has been nearly no rain fall in three + years. This looks like the start of what Lovelock predicted would come to pass.
Ten years ago, other scientists predicted melting of snow and Arctic Sea ice would lead to severe drought, especially in California. It has arrived on schedule. The Governor and State dither, talking about "flushing less." But maybe Governor Brown gets it when he said, "You can't manufacture more water."
Read this book. Its the best I've seen on climate. Easy to read, clear, understandable to the layman. In many fields you can tell when an author is the real thing and fully understands his subject. You won't see convoluted, stilted, pseudo scientific writing as with lesser lights.
The big question for readers should be; exactly how strong a suggestion is Lovelock making here? How testable is it? "How does plant life impact its environment" is an interesting question, but this book is weak on supporting general rules from individual cases.
The book argues that life impacts its environment, that the earth's temperature stability in the face of vastly differing solar output was due to the presence of life, and that extra terrestrial bodies can be shown to have life based on the presence of unstable compounds which life produces.
Plant life emits tons of IR radiation, granted, so plant growth would cool hot regions. If you've ever done IR photography, the plants turn out as white because they're so radiant in the IR. Normal substances don't do that. Also, the earth seems to show a more stable temperature than would be expected given changes in solar output over earth's history.
Also, the notion that unstable compounds in the atmosphere are charicteristic of life seems interesting since the notion, combined with other work, would suggest life on Mars.
"What was obvious to him, after measuring reactive gases of biological origin such as ammonia, methane, and nitrogen and sulfur oxides, was that the air was loaded with exudates of life.
These gases were accompanied by many other detectable trace compounds such as terpenes (piny essences), volatile amines (garbage smells), and methyl bromide (seaweed odor). Yet, as every chemistry student knows, all of these reduced organic compounds react readily and easily with oxygen and, from the point of view of chemistry alone, they should not be present for long in air samples. This thinking led Lovelock to the unassailable conclusion that the search for life on Mars should mainly be a thorough gas analysis that not only identified every gaseous component of Martian air but also measured their fluxes: the rate at which each was produced and removed. He figured: because the Earth's air is made of highly reactive mixtures, it shows the unmistakable presence of life. He suggested looking for reactive mixtures, or at least changes in gas concentrations, in the atmospheres of Mars and other planets, to see if any explanation beyond chemistry and physics would be required for understanding them.
But as for things like cloud formation, Lovelock writes on p. 140 that most dimethyl sulphide induced cloud formation is in the arctic and antarctic, and such cloud formation is cooling rather than warming. So we have life in the coldest parts of the earth making the area less temperate, not more. This suggests that sometimes life may make the environment less hospitable for other life. And we see something similar with the bacterial and fungal production of various toxins. Sometimes interactions are symbiotic, sometimes they are antagonistic.
It would be helpful for "Gaia theory", going forward, to draw on game theory, the problems with free riders, genetic relatedness of cooperating organisms, signaling and similar concepts used in studying the formation of bacterial colonies like cholera.
In any case, with the various toxins that living organisms produce we can see a force at work which is directly antagonistic to the "daisyworld" regulatory mechanism which Lovelock proposes. Under what conditions should the presence of life be regulator and under what conditions should it free-ride or be antagonistic? If Lovelock covers this in this later edition, I don't know. But he didn't seem to address it directly in the earlier edition which I read. (IIRC)
In short, the ideas in the book are very preliminary and undeveloped.