JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2020

Session information

[E] Oral

U (Union ) » Union

[U-11] Planetary Metabolism: The Science of Living Worlds

Sun. Jul 12, 2020 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Ch.1

convener:Anbar Ariel D(Arizona State University), John W Hernlund(Earth-Life Science Institute), Hilairy Ellen Hartnett(Arizona State University), ryuhei nakamura(Tokyo Institute of Technology, Earth-Life Science Institute ), Chairperson:Ariel D Anbar(Arizona State University), Hilairy Ellen Hartnett(Arizona State University), John W Hernlund(Earth-Life Science Institute), ryuhei nakamura(Tokyo Institute of Technology, Earth-Life Science Institute)

The geosciences are poised for transformation because of the convergence of two rapidly emerging revolutions: The advent of the Anthropocene, and the radical realization that Earth is one of countless planets in the Universe. These twin revolutions expose major gaps in our understanding of the integrated Earth-life system. The gaps are apparent when we realize that we cannot answer fundamental questions now confronting us: What are Earth's most likely future trajectories? What are the prospects for life on even the most Earth-like extrasolar worlds? The solution is to develop a truly integrated science of living worlds. Building on - 250 years of investigation across an ever-increasing range of subdisciplines, we now know the evolution of life and of Earth's biogeochemical cycles are inextricably linked to the evolution of the solid Earth. The emergence of life, the rise of an aerobic biosphere, biological radiations, mass extinctions, and even human evolution-these events and their placement in time are shaped by the trajectory of Earth's internal differentiation and dynamics, and their expression in surface tectonics and volcanism. From this vantage point, life emerged as an epiphenomenon of geophysics, and will remain coupled to the solid Earth far into the Anthropocene. Hence our greatest questions can only be answered through integration of our subdisciplines, considering the entire planet as a system. We must develop a quantitative, predictive "theory" of the Earth system that describes the mechanistic links between the interior and the surface, and how they have changed with time. Without such a theory, we cannot readily generalize from our understanding of the modern Earth system to forecast its future state, nor can we reliably model the likely states of Earth-like worlds beyond our own.