An Astrobiological View on Sustainable Life
Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH 2 O) hovering between the reduced (CH 4 , methane) and (CO 2 , carbon dioxide) ends, different from the classical definition of life as a complex organization maintaining ordered structure and information. Both definitions consider sustenance of life meant as protection of life against chaos through an input of external energy. The CH 2 O-life connection is maintained as long as the supply of H and O lasts, which is in turn are provided by the splitting of the water molecule H 2 O. Water is split by electricity, as well-known from school-level experiments, and by solar radiation and geothermal heat on a global scale. In other words, the Sunâ€™s radiation and the Earthâ€™s heat as well as radioactivity split water to supply H and O for continued existence of life on the Earth. These photochemical, radiochemical and geothermal processes have influences on the evolution and current composition of the Earthâ€™s atmosphere, compared with those of Venus and Mars, and influences on the planetary climatology. This view of life may be applicable to the â€œsearch-for-life in spaceâ€ and to sustainability assessment of astrobiological habitats.
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