We explore how questions related to developing a sustainable human civilization can be cast in terms of astrobiology. In particular we show how ongoing astrobiological studies of the coupled relationship between life, planets and their co-evolution can inform new perspectives and direct new studies in sustainability science.
Using the Drake Equation as a vehicle to explore the gamut of astrobiology, we focus on its most import factor for sustainability: the mean lifetime
Three specific examples of how astrobiological considerations can be folded into discussions of sustainability are discussed: (1) concepts of planetary habitability, (2) mass extinctions and their possible relation to the current, so-called Anthropocene epoch, and (3) today's changes in atmospheric chemisty (and the climate change it entails) in the context of pervious epochs of biosphere-driven atmospheric and climate alteration (i.e. the Great Oxidation Event).
Adam Frank, Woodruff Sullivan (Submitted on 14 Oct 2013)
Comments: Submitted to Astrobiology
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1310.3851 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1310.3851v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history From: Adam Frank [v1] Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:54:17 GMT (5279kb)
Please follow Astrobiology on Twitter.