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Global Geography 12 (GGS12)

Gaia Hyphothesis
Course Outline
Introduction to Global Geography and the World
The "Mega City"
Our Planet at Risk
Global Resources
The Four Laws Of Ecology
Map of the World
Gaia Hyphothesis
Global Warming
Global Trade
Tell Us

The Gaia Hyphothesis is "the theory proposed by James Lovelock that the earth is a self-regulating, self-sustaining system and can be viewed as a single, living organism."

Gaia is named after the Greek earth Goddess. It has been able to survive many natural disasters, including the crater created by an asteroid that collided with the earth in Nevada. Living organisms and "inorganic materials" in the hydrosphere, lishosphere, and the atmosphere are what make up the earth's biosphere. There are two common ways that Gaia can survive. One is letting the species to grow over time and to mean new environmental obsticles and can guarentee that there is a good variety of life on Earth.

Gaia is so great that she can recover from any disaster, if given time. She can't be endangered by the unhealthy way that humans treat her, but humans can be dangered by the way she reacts.

Several scientists disagree that the best way of investigating and understanding the compound chemicals, biological, and material processes that operate on Earth and that they ensure that people, plants, and animals live a long, healthy life.

In Lovelock's first book, near the end of Chapter 1 her wrote
"If Gaia exists, the relationship between her and man, a dominant animal species in the complex living system, and the possibly shifting balance of power between them, are questions of obvious importance...The Gaia hypothesis is for those who like to walk or simply stand and stare, to wonder about the Earth and the life it bears, and to speculate about the consequences of our own presence here. It is an alternative to that pessimistic view which sees nature as a primitive force to be subdued and conquered. It is also an alternative to that equally depressing picture of our planet as a demented spaceship, forever traveling, driverless and purposeless, around an inner circle of the sun."


The Net Loss of CO2
The net loss of CO2 can be demonstrated each srping with the "greening" of the northern hemisphere.

Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere
As the spring arrives, the leaves start appearing on the trees. The leaes represent carbon that had been taken out of the atmosphere in the gaseous state and turned into a solid state. This decrease in leves of CO2 from the atmosphere however, is temporary. When the leaves begin falling off the trees, they are turned into CO2 as the leaves rot. It is important to realize that not all of the CO2 is re-released back into the atmosphere, Some of it becomes stored. When a tree dies, the carbon mixes with ocygen in the atmosphere and becomes carbon dioxide. The roots of the trees mix with water and oxygen to form carbonic acid (H2CO2) this compund eventually finds its way into the ocean where tiny micro-organisms called. Cocolythophores use the carbon from this compound to make their shells. H2CO3 + CaCO3 = CaH2 (CO2 2)2, Calcium bicarbonate. When those organisms die, they sink into the bottom of the ocean, get cut off from oxygen and eventually from huge deposits if calcuim carbonate such as the white cliffs of dover.

All definitions and most pictures were taken from the Global Connections, Geography for the 21st century textbook

Quote taken from

Created for Mrs.Bainbridge, By Emily Morash