Perhaps each one of us had asked himself at least once the age-old philosophical question: why are we here? Of course, many other similar questions need an answer. How did life begin on Earth? How did the laws of physics come into existence? If the Universe is finite, what’s beyond its edges? And if there’s nothing, how can you possibly understand ‘nothing’ as the absence of absolutely everything, including spacetime?
Science will probably provide irrefutable answers someday to the afore-mentioned questions, but it has to take it step by step. A new article from ScienceAlert reveals how millions of simulations show that the current habitability of our planet is basically due to pure luck.
The climate was surprisingly stable
The climate played its critical role in the existence of life very well. If it failed completely just once, we wouldn’t be here now. Nature had a lot of work to do in maintaining the evolution process for billions of years.
At first glance, habitability on Earth seemed impossible, but the mere existence of each and every one of us proves otherwise. While the Sun became 30 percent more luminous than it was when life first evolved and the Earth’s climate likely deteriorated under extreme temperatures, scientists were stunned that evolution was still able to do its job.
Two main theories for solving the conundrum
The first theory is that our planet may be equipped with a feeding mechanism that behaves like a thermostat. Thus, Earth prevents the climate from being affected by extreme temperatures.
The second theory is much easier to grasp: from the insanely large number of planets from the Universe, some of them, including Earth, were just lucky enough to make it through. Given that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies discovered in the Universe, there are likely even much more exoplanets out there. The presence of temperatures and other conditions suitable for life is theoretically possible on many exoplanets.
Feel free to read the full article about Earth’s lucky habitability from ScienceAlert here, as it was written and detailed by Toby Tyrrell, who is a Professor of Earth System Science at the University of Southampton.