The Gaia hypothesis, developed by British atmospheric chemist James Lovelock and U.S. biologist Lynn Margulis, proposes that planetary processes are neither simply geological and chemical, nor just geochemical; they are geophysiological. Variables such as the mean global temperature, and the salinity and alkalinity of the oceans are sensitive to biological activity.

Earth's geology and biota are a single, tightly coupled evolutionary system. Rocks carry tales as traces of bygone biospheres. (Photograph by Lois Brynes)

Glossary | Printer copy of this page (Opens a new browser)
All contents 2000 Stiftung Drittes Millennium | Questions or comments, Email the Webmaster