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rocks and minerals app
Rocks and Minerals
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Structure of earth
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Simple Machines
magnets app
adaptations in animals app
Animal Adaptations
adaptations in plants app
Plant Adaptations
diseases app
solar system app
Solar System

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James Lovelock (1919 to present)

Environmentalist and researcher

James Lovelock was born on the 26th of July 1919 in England. His family was not very wealthy and could not afford to send him to university.

His school life was unhappy and he eventually started working at a photography firm while attending college in the evening.

He graduated and was later accepted to study chemistry even though he could barely make the fees.

Shortly before World War II he enrolled with a medical research team that was studying burns and ways of protecting soldiers from them.

Instead of using lab rabbits for these experiments, he would often use his own had to be burned which he described as being extremely painful.

He was not allowed to enlist to fight the way because his research was considered so important, and he eventually graduated as a doctor and research.

He was fascinated with inventing things and started working at NASA, which is where he developed the Gaia Hypothesis that he is most famous for.

He was brought in on a NASA project that was especially interested in finding out if life existed on Mars. This project was called the Viking Program.

His role in the project was to develop instruments that could be used as space probes on Mars to find out if extraterrestrial life was present on that planet.

His experiments (before the Viking Program) was launched proved that Mars’s atmosphere had too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen to support life.

However, his theory was not taken seriously, and NASA launched the space probes, only to find that there really was no life on Mars because of its atmospheric conditions.

He also invented the electron capture detector, which was able to discover the extent of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) in our stratosphere which contribute towards global warming.

His research on atmosphere and climates led him and his colleagues to develop the CLAW hypothesis of Earth’s climate change.

The Gaia Hypothesis that Lovelock is most famous for proposed that living and non-living organisms on Earth form a complicated system that interact together and form a single organism.

This single organism which he believed was the biosphere was able to control Earth’s environment, its changes, and its ability to support life.

Even though his theory was accepted by environmentalists, many scientists did not think so.

He also believes that the only answer to the increasing global warming because of greenhouse gases is nuclear power.

This caused many people to disagree with him, but he said that nuclear power will be able to meet the increasing energy needs of man and reduce greenhouse gasses.

His views on climate change say that the world population will be destroyed with droughts, famine, and floods, and by 2100 AD about 80% of humans would have perished.

Lovelock’s interest in the climate and the environment can also be seen when he and another scientist invented a ocean water pump that would help algae grow better.

Even though he is 93 years old, he continues to remain interested in the environment and the effects of pollution on it.