Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (Google eBook)
In this classic work that continues to inspire its many readers, Jim Lovelock puts forward his idea that life on earth functions as a single organism. Written for non-scientists, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the earth's living matter air, ocean, and land surfaces forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life. Since Gaia was first published, many of Jim Lovelock's predictions have come true and his theory has become a hotly argued topic in scientific circles. In a new Preface to this reissued title, he outlines his present state of the debate.
abundance acid activity aeons ago algae ammonia anaerobic animals atoms biological biosphere capacity carbon dioxide cell cent chemical chemical equilibrium chemistry chloride chlorofluorocarbons complex composition compounds concentration consequences constant continental shelves control system cybernetic systems dimethyl sulphide Earth Earth’s atmosphere Earth’s crust Earth’s surface ecosystems electric elements energy entropy environment environmental equilibrium example existence fire fossil fuel Gaia hypothesis Gaia theory Gaia’s Gaian gases global habitats half aeons heat human hydrogen increase industrial inorganic ions land lifeless living organisms living things man’s Mars methane methyl chloride methyl iodide micro–organisms million molecules natural nitrogen nitrous oxide nuclear numbers oceans oven oxygen ozone layer photosynthesis planet planetary poisonous pollution possible potential present problem production quantities regions regulation rocks salinity salt sand–castle scientific scientists sea–water seems sodium sodium chloride space species stratosphere substances sulphur sun’s survival temperature ultra–violet water vapour