Gaia's body: toward a physiology of Earth

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Copernicus, Springer, 1998 - Science - 269 pages
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This is the subject that Tyler Volk tackles brilliantly in Gaia's Body. A seamless, engagingly readable introduction to the budding new field of Earth physiology, Gaia's Body blends real science with evocative imagery in describing the system of life, soil, ocean, and air we have termed the biosphere. Volk shows how every important chemical in the atmosphere is regulated by living processes; why strange, spaghetti-like bacteria off the coast of Chile have an intimate connection with the plants in your backyard; why "biochemical guilds" may be Earth's most important unit of life; and even how scientists have detected the "breathing" of the biosphere. He examines long-term trends in Earth's evolution (is Gaia growing colder? more complex?) and examines humanity's role in Gaia's past and future.

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Contents

Breathing of the Biosphere
1
A Global Holarchy
31
Outer Light Inner Fire
63
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Tyler Volk is Science Director of Environmental Studies and Associate Professor of Biology at New York University. He is the author of "Gaia's Body: Toward a Physiology of the Earth" (MIT Press, 2003), "Metapatterns: Across Space, Time, and Mind, " and other books.

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