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1.
Science ; 362(6418)2018 11 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30498098

RESUMO

Chevallier showed a column CO2 ([Formula: see text]) anomaly of ±0.5 parts per million forced by a uniform net biosphere exchange (NBE) anomaly of 2.5 gigatonnes of carbon over the tropical continents within a year, so he claimed that the inferred NBE uncertainties should be larger than presented in Liu et al We show that a much concentrated NBE anomaly led to much larger [Formula: see text] perturbations.

2.
Astrobiology ; 18(6): 709-738, 2018 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29676932

RESUMO

Finding life on exoplanets from telescopic observations is an ultimate goal of exoplanet science. Life produces gases and other substances, such as pigments, which can have distinct spectral or photometric signatures. Whether or not life is found with future data must be expressed with probabilities, requiring a framework of biosignature assessment. We present a framework in which we advocate using biogeochemical "Exo-Earth System" models to simulate potential biosignatures in spectra or photometry. Given actual observations, simulations are used to find the Bayesian likelihoods of those data occurring for scenarios with and without life. The latter includes "false positives" wherein abiotic sources mimic biosignatures. Prior knowledge of factors influencing planetary inhabitation, including previous observations, is combined with the likelihoods to give the Bayesian posterior probability of life existing on a given exoplanet. Four components of observation and analysis are necessary. (1) Characterization of stellar (e.g., age and spectrum) and exoplanetary system properties, including "external" exoplanet parameters (e.g., mass and radius), to determine an exoplanet's suitability for life. (2) Characterization of "internal" exoplanet parameters (e.g., climate) to evaluate habitability. (3) Assessment of potential biosignatures within the environmental context (components 1-2), including corroborating evidence. (4) Exclusion of false positives. We propose that resulting posterior Bayesian probabilities of life's existence map to five confidence levels, ranging from "very likely" (90-100%) to "very unlikely" (<10%) inhabited. Key Words: Bayesian statistics-Biosignatures-Drake equation-Exoplanets-Habitability-Planetary science. Astrobiology 18, 709-738.


Assuntos
Exobiologia , Meio Ambiente Extraterreno , Planetas , Teorema de Bayes , Origem da Vida
3.
Astrobiology ; 18(2): 133-189, 2018 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29431479

RESUMO

Proxima Centauri b provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the evolution and nature of terrestrial planets orbiting M dwarfs. Although Proxima Cen b orbits within its star's habitable zone, multiple plausible evolutionary paths could have generated different environments that may or may not be habitable. Here, we use 1-D coupled climate-photochemical models to generate self-consistent atmospheres for several evolutionary scenarios, including high-O2, high-CO2, and more Earth-like atmospheres, with both oxic and anoxic compositions. We show that these modeled environments can be habitable or uninhabitable at Proxima Cen b's position in the habitable zone. We use radiative transfer models to generate synthetic spectra and thermal phase curves for these simulated environments, and use instrument models to explore our ability to discriminate between possible planetary states. These results are applicable not only to Proxima Cen b but to other terrestrial planets orbiting M dwarfs. Thermal phase curves may provide the first constraint on the existence of an atmosphere. We find that James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations longward of 10 µm could characterize atmospheric heat transport and molecular composition. Detection of ocean glint is unlikely with JWST but may be within the reach of larger-aperture telescopes. Direct imaging spectra may detect O4 absorption, which is diagnostic of massive water loss and O2 retention, rather than a photosynthetic biosphere. Similarly, strong CO2 and CO bands at wavelengths shortward of 2.5 µm would indicate a CO2-dominated atmosphere. If the planet is habitable and volatile-rich, direct imaging will be the best means of detecting habitability. Earth-like planets with microbial biospheres may be identified by the presence of CH4-which has a longer atmospheric lifetime under Proxima Centauri's incident UV-and either photosynthetically produced O2 or a hydrocarbon haze layer. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Planetary atmospheres-Exoplanets-Spectroscopic biosignatures-Planetary science-Proxima Centauri b. Astrobiology 18, 133-189.


Assuntos
Evolução Biológica , Exobiologia/métodos , Meio Ambiente Extraterreno , Modelos Biológicos , Planetas , Atmosfera/química , Dióxido de Carbono/química , Monóxido de Carbono/química , Clima , Evolução Planetária , Exobiologia/instrumentação , Temperatura Alta , Oceanos e Mares , Efeitos da Radiação , Telescópios , Água/química
4.
Science ; 358(6360)2017 10 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29026011

RESUMO

The 2015-2016 El Niño led to historically high temperatures and low precipitation over the tropics, while the growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) was the largest on record. Here we quantify the response of tropical net biosphere exchange, gross primary production, biomass burning, and respiration to these climate anomalies by assimilating column CO2, solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, and carbon monoxide observations from multiple satellites. Relative to the 2011 La Niña, the pantropical biosphere released 2.5 ± 0.34 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere in 2015, consisting of approximately even contributions from three tropical continents but dominated by diverse carbon exchange processes. The heterogeneity of the carbon-exchange processes indicated here challenges previous studies that suggested that a single dominant process determines carbon cycle interannual variability.

5.
Science ; 358(6360)2017 10 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29026015

RESUMO

Spaceborne measurements by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) at the kilometer scale reveal distinct structures of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by known anthropogenic and natural point sources. OCO-2 transects across the Los Angeles megacity (USA) show that anthropogenic CO2 enhancements peak over the urban core and decrease through suburban areas to rural background values more than ~100 kilometers away, varying seasonally from ~4.4 to 6.1 parts per million. A transect passing directly downwind of the persistent isolated natural CO2 plume from Yasur volcano (Vanuatu) shows a narrow filament of enhanced CO2 values (~3.4 parts per million), consistent with a CO2 point source emitting 41.6 kilotons per day. These examples highlight the potential of the OCO-2 sensor, with its unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, to detect localized natural and anthropogenic CO2 sources.

6.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 13567, 2017 10 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29051612

RESUMO

The powerful El Niño event of 2015-2016 - the third most intense since the 1950s - has exerted a large impact on the Earth's natural climate system. The column-averaged CO2 dry-air mole fraction (XCO2) observations from satellites and ground-based networks are analyzed together with in situ observations for the period of September 2014 to October 2016. From the differences between satellite (OCO-2) observations and simulations using an atmospheric chemistry-transport model, we estimate that, relative to the mean annual fluxes for 2014, the most recent El Niño has contributed to an excess CO2 emission from the Earth's surface (land + ocean) to the atmosphere in the range of 2.4 ± 0.2 PgC (1 Pg = 1015 g) over the period of July 2015 to June 2016. The excess CO2 flux is resulted primarily from reduction in vegetation uptake due to drought, and to a lesser degree from increased biomass burning. It is about the half of the CO2 flux anomaly (range: 4.4-6.7 PgC) estimated for the 1997/1998 El Niño. The annual total sink is estimated to be 3.9 ± 0.2 PgC for the assumed fossil fuel emission of 10.1 PgC. The major uncertainty in attribution arise from error in anthropogenic emission trends, satellite data and atmospheric transport.

7.
Astrobiology ; 11(5): 393-408, 2011 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21631250

RESUMO

The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward model can be used to simulate Earth's time-dependent brightness and spectral properties for wavelengths from the far ultraviolet to the far infrared. Key Words: Astrobiology-Extrasolar terrestrial planets-Habitability-Planetary science-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 11, 393-408.


Assuntos
Simulação por Computador , Planeta Terra , Monitoramento Ambiental , Astronave , Exobiologia/métodos , Meio Ambiente Extraterreno , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Espectroscopia de Luz Próxima ao Infravermelho
8.
Astrobiology ; 7(1): 252-74, 2007 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17407410

RESUMO

As photosynthesis on Earth produces the primary signatures of life that can be detected astronomically at the global scale, a strong focus of the search for extrasolar life will be photosynthesis, particularly photosynthesis that has evolved with a different parent star. We take previously simulated planetary atmospheric compositions for Earth-like planets around observed F2V and K2V, modeled M1V and M5V stars, and around the active M4.5V star AD Leo; our scenarios use Earth's atmospheric composition as well as very low O2 content in case anoxygenic photosynthesis dominates. With a line-by-line radiative transfer model, we calculate the incident spectral photon flux densities at the surface of the planet and under water. We identify bands of available photosynthetically relevant radiation and find that photosynthetic pigments on planets around F2V stars may peak in absorbance in the blue, K2V in the red-orange, and M stars in the near-infrared, in bands at 0.93-1.1 microm, 1.1-1.4 microm, 1.5-1.8 microm, and 1.8-2.5 microm. However, underwater organisms will be restricted to wavelengths shorter than 1.4 microm and more likely below 1.1 microm. M star planets without oxygenic photosynthesis will have photon fluxes above 1.6 microm curtailed by methane. Longer-wavelength, multi-photo-system series would reduce the quantum yield but could allow for oxygenic photosystems at longer wavelengths. A wavelength of 1.1 microm is a possible upper cutoff for electronic transitions versus only vibrational energy; however, this cutoff is not strict, since such energetics depend on molecular configuration. M star planets could be a half to a tenth as productive as Earth in the visible, but exceed Earth if useful photons extend to 1.1 microm for anoxygenic photosynthesis. Under water, organisms would still be able to survive ultraviolet flares from young M stars and acquire adequate light for growth.


Assuntos
Evolução Planetária , Fotossíntese , Planetas , Fenômenos Astronômicos , Astronomia , Atmosfera , Planeta Terra , Exobiologia , Meio Ambiente Extraterreno , Oxigênio , Fótons , Pigmentos Biológicos , Atividade Solar , Água
9.
Astrobiology ; 6(6): 881-900, 2006 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17155887

RESUMO

Spatially and spectrally resolved models were used to explore the observational sensitivity to changes in atmospheric and surface properties and the detectability of surface biosignatures in the globally averaged spectra and light-curves of the Earth. Compared with previous efforts to characterize the Earth using disk-averaged models, a more comprehensive and realistic treatment of the surface and atmosphere was taken into account here. Our results are presented as a function of viewing geometry and phases at both visible/near-infrared (0.5-1.7 microm) and mid-infrared (5-25 microm) wavelength ranges, applicable to the proposed NASA-Terrestrial Planet Finder visible coronagraph and mid-infrared interferometer and to the ESADarwin mission architectures. Clouds can change the thermal emission by as much as 50% compared with the cloud-free case and increase the visible albedo by up to 500% for completely overcast cases at the dichotomy phase. Depending on the observed phase and their distribution and type, clouds can also significantly alter the spectral shape. Moreover, clouds impact the detectability of surface biosignatures in the visible wavelength range. Modeling the disk-averaged sensitivity to the "red-edge," a distinctive spectral signature of vegetation, showed that Earth's land vegetation could be seen in disk-averaged spectra, even with cloud cover, when the signal was averaged over the daily time scale. We found that vegetation is more readily discriminated from clouds at dichotomy (50% illumination) rather than at full phase. The detectability of phytoplankton was also explored, but was found to be more difficult to detect in the disk-average than land vegetation.


Assuntos
Planeta Terra , Luz , Espectroscopia de Luz Próxima ao Infravermelho , Análise Espectral , Atmosfera , Exobiologia , Modelos Teóricos
10.
Astrobiology ; 6(1): 34-47, 2006 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-16551225

RESUMO

Over the next 2 decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to detect and characterize extrasolar planets. This first generation of observatories will not be able to spatially resolve the terrestrial planets detected. Instead, these planets will be characterized by disk-averaged spectroscopy. To assess the detectability of planetary characteristics in disk-averaged spectra, we have developed a spatially and spectrally resolved model of the Earth. This model uses atmospheric and surface properties from existing observations and modeling studies as input, and generates spatially resolved high-resolution synthetic spectra using the Spectral Mapping Atmospheric Radiative Transfer model. Synthetic spectra were generated for a variety of conditions, including cloud coverage, illumination fraction, and viewing angle geometry, over a wavelength range extending from the ultraviolet to the farinfrared. Here we describe the model and validate it against disk-averaged visible to infrared observations of the Earth taken by the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer, the ESA Mars Express Omega instrument, and ground-based observations of earthshine reflected from the unilluminated portion of the Moon. The comparison between the data and model indicates that several atmospheric species can be identified in disk-averaged Earth spectra, and potentially detected depending on the wavelength range and resolving power of the instrument. At visible wavelengths (0.4-0.9 microm) O3, H2O, O2, and oxygen dimer [(O2)2] are clearly apparent. In the mid-infrared (5-20 microm) CO2, O3, and H2O are present. CH4, N2O, CO2, O3, and H2O are visible in the near-infrared (1-5 microm). A comprehensive three-dimensional model of the Earth is needed to produce a good fit with the observations.


Assuntos
Planeta Terra , Análise Espectral/métodos , Atmosfera , Exobiologia , Fenômenos Geológicos , Geologia , Modelos Teóricos , Planetas , Espectrofotometria , Espectroscopia de Luz Próxima ao Infravermelho , Luz Solar
11.
Astrobiology ; 5(6): 706-25, 2005 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-16379526

RESUMO

Coupled one-dimensional photochemical-climate calculations have been performed for hypothetical Earth-like planets around M dwarfs. Visible/near-infrared and thermal-infrared synthetic spectra of these planets were generated to determine which biosignature gases might be observed by a future, space-based telescope. Our star sample included two observed active M dwarfs-AD Leo and GJ 643-and three quiescent model stars. The spectral distribution of these stars in the ultraviolet generates a different photochemistry on these planets. As a result, the biogenic gases CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl have substantially longer lifetimes and higher mixing ratios than on Earth, making them potentially observable by space-based telescopes. On the active M-star planets, an ozone layer similar to Earth's was developed that resulted in a spectroscopic signature comparable to the terrestrial one. The simultaneous detection of O2 (or O3) and a reduced gas in a planet's atmosphere has been suggested as strong evidence for life. Planets circling M stars may be good locations to search for such evidence.


Assuntos
Meio Ambiente Extraterreno/química , Planetas , Análise Espectral , Fenômenos Astronômicos , Astronomia , Atmosfera , Vida , Metano/análise , Cloreto de Metila/análise , Óxido Nitroso/análise , Oxigênio/análise , Ozônio/análise , Fotoquímica , Raios Ultravioleta
12.
Astrobiology ; 5(4): 461-82, 2005 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-16078866

RESUMO

The principal goal of the NASA Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and European Space Agency's Darwin mission concepts is to directly detect and characterize extrasolar terrestrial (Earthsized) planets. This first generation of instruments is expected to provide disk-averaged spectra with modest spectral resolution and signal-to-noise. Here we use a spatially and spectrally resolved model of a Mars-like planet to study the detectability of a planet's surface and atmospheric properties from disk-averaged spectra. We explore the detectability as a function of spectral resolution and wavelength range, for both the proposed visible coronograph (TPFC) and mid-infrared interferometer (TPF-I/Darwin) architectures. At the core of our model is a spectrum-resolving (line-by-line) atmospheric/surface radiative transfer model. This model uses observational data as input to generate a database of spatially resolved synthetic spectra for a range of illumination conditions and viewing geometries. The model was validated against spectra recorded by the Mars Global Surveyor-Thermal Emission Spectrometer and the Mariner 9-Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer. Results presented here include disk-averaged synthetic spectra, light curves, and the spectral variability at visible and mid-infrared wavelengths for Mars as a function of viewing angle, illumination, and season. We also considered the differences in the spectral appearance of an increasingly ice-covered Mars, as a function of spectral resolution, signal-to-noise and integration time for both TPF-C and TPFI/ Darwin.


Assuntos
Marte , Atmosfera/química , Europa (Continente) , Exobiologia , Meio Ambiente Extraterreno , Modelos Teóricos , Estações do Ano , Análise Espectral , Temperatura , Estados Unidos , United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration
13.
Astrobiology ; 3(4): 689-708, 2003.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-14987475

RESUMO

Coupled radiative-convective/photochemical modeling was performed for Earth-like planets orbiting different types of stars (the Sun as a G2V, an F2V, and a K2V star). O(2) concentrations between 1 and 10(-5) times the present atmospheric level (PAL) were simulated. The results were used to calculate visible/near-IR and thermal-IR spectra, along with surface UV fluxes and relative dose rates for erythema and DNA damage. For the spectral resolution and sensitivity currently planned for the first generation of terrestrial planet detection and characterization missions, we find that O(2) should be observable remotely in the visible for atmospheres containing at least 10(-2) PAL of O(2). O(3) should be visible in the thermal-IR for atmospheres containing at least 10(-3) PAL of O(2). CH(4) is not expected to be observable in 1 PAL O(2) atmospheres like that of modern Earth, but it might be observable at thermal-IR wavelengths in "mid-Proterozoic-type" atmospheres containing approximately 10(-1) PAL of O(2). Thus, the simultaneous detection of both O(3) and CH(4) - considered to be a reliable indication of life - is within the realm of possibility. High-O(2) planets orbiting K2V and F2V stars are both better protected from surface UV radiation than is modern Earth. For the F2V case the high intrinsic UV luminosity of the star is more than offset by the much thicker ozone layer. At O(2) levels below approximately 10(-2) PAL, planets around all three types of stars are subject to high surface UV fluxes, with the F2V planet exhibiting the most biologically dangerous radiation environment. Thus, while advanced life is theoretically possible on high-O(2) planets around F stars, it is not obvious that it would evolve as it did on Earth.


Assuntos
Astrologia , Oxigênio , Ozônio , Planetas , Raios Ultravioleta , Atmosfera , Biomarcadores , Dano ao DNA , Planeta Terra , Sistema Solar , Temperatura , Água
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