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Co-Evolution of Atmospheres, Life, and Climate

Grenfell, J. L. and Rauer, Heike and Selsis, F. and Kaltenegger, Lisa and Beichman, Charles and Danchi, William and Eiroa, C. and Fridlund, M. and Henning, Thomas and Herbst, Tom and Lammer, H. and Léger, A. and Liseau, Réne and Lunine, J. and Paresce, Francesco and Penny, A. and Quirrenbach, A. and Röttgering, Huub and Schneider, J. and Stam, D.M. and Tinetti, Giovanna and Whitefield, P.D. (2010) Co-Evolution of Atmospheres, Life, and Climate. Astrobiology, 10 (1), pp. 77-88. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2009.0375

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Abstract

After Earth's origin, our host star, the Sun, was shining 20–25% less brightly than today. Without greenhouse-like conditions to warm the atmosphere, our early planet would have been an ice ball, and life may never have evolved. But life did evolve, which indicates that greenhouse gases must have been present on early Earth to warm the planet. Evidence from the geological record indicates an abundance of the greenhouse gas CO2. CH4 was probably present as well; and, in this regard, methanogenic bacteria, which belong to a diverse group of anaerobic prokaryotes that ferment CO2 plus H2 to CH4, may have contributed to modification of the early atmosphere. Molecular oxygen was not present, as is indicated by the study of rocks from that era, which contain iron carbonate rather than iron oxide. Multicellular organisms originated as cells within colonies that became increasingly specialized. The development of photosynthesis allowed the Sun's energy to be harvested directly by life-forms. The resultant oxygen accumulated in the atmosphere and formed the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. Aided by the absorption of harmful UV radiation in the ozone layer, life colonized Earth's surface. Our own planet is a very good example of how life-forms modified the atmosphere over the planets' lifetime. We show that these facts have to be taken into account when we discover and characterize atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets. If life has originated and evolved on a planet, then it should be expected that a strong co-evolution occurred between life and the atmosphere, the result of which is the planet's climate.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/64220/
Document Type:Article
Title:Co-Evolution of Atmospheres, Life, and Climate
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Grenfell, J. L.TU BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Rauer, HeikeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Selsis, F.University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Kaltenegger, Lisa Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Beichman, Charles NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Danchi, William NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USAUNSPECIFIED
Eiroa, C.Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Fridlund, M.ESTECUNSPECIFIED
Henning, Thomas Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Herbst, Tom Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Lammer, H.Österreichische Akademie der WissenschaftenUNSPECIFIED
Léger, A.IAS, ParisUNSPECIFIED
Liseau, Réne Department of Radio and Space Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala, Sweden.UNSPECIFIED
Lunine, J.Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and Stewart Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Paresce, Francesco Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Rome, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Penny, A.Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, UKUNSPECIFIED
Quirrenbach, A.Department of Physics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Röttgering, Huub Leiden Observatory, Leiden, the Netherlands.UNSPECIFIED
Schneider, J.Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Stam, D.M.University of AmsterdamUNSPECIFIED
Tinetti, Giovanna Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London, UK.UNSPECIFIED
Whitefield, P.D.Univ. of Missouri, Rolla, MO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2010
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:10
DOI :10.1089/ast.2009.0375
Page Range:pp. 77-88
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Status:Published
Keywords:Early Earth, Biomarker, Atmospheres, Climate, Exoplanets, Astrobiology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Extrasolare Planeten (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Deposited By: Stock, Joachim Wolfgang
Deposited On:10 Aug 2010 11:41
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:23

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