“The mystery of why we haven’t found any signs of aliens, maybe not so much connected with the probability of emergence of life or intelligence, but with the extremely rapid emergence of the biological regulation of feedback loops on a planetary surface,” says Aditya Chopra of the Australian national University. “The first life is fragile, so we believe that it rarely develop fast enough to survive.”
How was life?
In short, life on other planets is likely to be very short-lived and will disappear very quickly, I assume astrobiologists from the Australian national University. The study aimed to understand how anyone could support life, scientists realized that a new life is usually dying because of the increasing warming or cooling of our own planet. The answer is a group of scientists found in the so-called “theory of Gaia” by James Lovelock.
In the 1970-ies chemist Lovelock and the biologist Lynn Margulis developed the idea that our Earth may be like a living organism, self-regulating entity that uses feedback loops to maintain conditions suitable for life. They dubbed potentially living planet Gaia — after the Greek goddess of the Earth.
Search for “other lands” in many respects is the search for “other Gay” and NASA plans for discovery of other planets similar to Earth is very dependent on the understanding of the relationship between life and the Universe, developed Lavloka in the context of the theory of Gaia.
Life has taken over the Earth with an almost uncontrollable rush. When the Earth was young, her falling debris left over from Solar system formation, creating a extreme environment where life could not resist for long. This continued for 600 million years after the formation of the Solar system. However, we have evidence that as soon as the bombardment ended, life began.
According to John Gribbin, author of ‘Alone in the Universe’, the Earth’s orbit is located in an excellent location in the Solar system from the point of view of prospects of development of intelligence. But the situation is not so obvious, what seems at first glance. The presence of life on Earth plays a role in regulating the planet through the greenhouse effect. Gases such as carbon dioxide, warmed the Earth’s surface, holding heat that otherwise would escape into space.
Today, this natural greenhouse effect makes the Earth 33 degrees warmer than the surface of the airless moon, although Earth and Moon are almost the same distance from the Sun. When the Earth first formed, writes Gribbin, the atmosphere was rich in greenhouse gases and prevented the planet freezing, although the Sun was colder. As soon as the Sun heats the Earth came to life, the creatures pulled carbon dioxide from the air and deposited in the form of carbonate rocks, reducing the strength of the greenhouse effect. Life changes the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, thanks to the feedback processes that maintain the heat on the planet, when the Sun cools and prevents overheating when heated.
This is the basis of the theory of Gaia, by James Lavloka, which gives us the space to search for life outside our Solar system. Lovelock Speedway main question was: what makes the Earth special? “The air we breathe, can only be an artifact maintained in a steady state far from chemical equilibrium by biological processes. Living things must regulate the composition of the atmosphere not only today but throughout the history of life on Earth — literally for billions of years.”
But then there is the mystery: why the greenhouse effect does not come, when the Sun warmed up, why did not happen the same that happened to Venus? The answer, according to Lovelock, is that life regulates the composition of the atmosphere, gradually removing carbon dioxide during heating of the Sun, keeping the temperature of the Earth comfortable for life.
Scientists at the Australian national University believe that the reason we have not found evidence of an advanced technological life, may lie in the fact that all the aliens have died out. “Extinction is a cosmic order to a greater portion of life which has ever appeared,” write the study authors.
“Perhaps the universe is teeming with potentially habitable planets, many scientists think that they should be crawling with aliens,” says Chopra. “Most of the early planetary environments is unstable. To create a habitable planet, life forms must regulate greenhouse gases, such as water and carbon dioxide to maintain a stable surface temperature”.
About four billion years ago, Earth, Venus and Mars could be inhabited. However, a billion years after the formation of Venus became a greenhouse, and Mars were frozen in the ice.
Early microbial life on Venus and Mars, if any, are unable to stabilize a rapidly changing environment, says co-author Charlie Leinweber from the Institute of planetology ANA. “Life on Earth is likely to have played a leading role in stabilizing the planet’s climate”.
The wet, solid planets with the ingredients and energy sources needed for life, seem to be universal, however, as noted by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1950, no signs of survival of extraterrestrial life was found.
A likely solution to the Fermi paradox, scientists say, is almost universal early extinction, which they dubbed “a bottleneck Gay” (so-called any bottleneck). “A curious prediction of a bottleneck Gays is that the vast majority of the fossils in the Universe will consist of extinct microbial life, rather than of multicellular species, such as dinosaurs or humanoids whose development requires billions of years,” said Leinweber.
“Can a planet, in a sense, to be alive?”, asks NASA astrobiologist David Grinspoon. He is not the first time puts forward such a concept. In his 2003 book, ‘Lonely Planets’ Grinspun presented the hypothesis of a “living world”, a slight variation of the well-known hypothesis of Gaia.
Since then, this idea was discussed quite vividly, however, was considered more philosophical than scientific. However, many researchers agree that this concept has helped the science of the Earth system to move forward, allowed us to understand that many of the Earth’s cycle of water, nitrogen and carbon cycles; plate tectonics; climate are deeply interconnected and modulate or are modulated by life on Earth.
“A gay man can be just a good metaphor,” says Grinspun. “But I wonder, is it possible to count something that didn’t just happen on our planet, and what is happening to our planet.”
“It is not so easy to divide the living and nonliving parts of the Earth”, he adds. “Life has made the Earth what it is, to a large extent. This is a common sense hypothesis, Gay, and Living worlds hypothesis just takes this idea to other planets”.
“The idea of the origin of life separated from the birth of a living world has interesting implications for life elsewhere,” writes Grinspoon. “If the Gay-regulation is responsible for the longevity of the Earth, we need to find other places where this has developed a global body, not just places where there could be life”.
In other words, our search for life should focus on sites with active geological and meteorological cycles, potentially signaling a living biosphere.
Today we found nearly 2,000 planets orbiting distant stars, and continue to find new. Although these worlds may be too far for us to find any direct evidence of life in the near future, scientists are becoming more skilled in determining the composition of their atmospheres. Perhaps one day this skill will allow us to distinguish between “abortive biosphere” and potentially living worlds.
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