Tuesday, October 18, 2016

James Lovelock Quiz

James Lovelock. Click for photo credit.
It's time again for an On the Brink Quiz! Since we are a few days from the Day of International Climate Action (October 24th), I thought I would feature a quiz about James Lovelock. He is without a doubt one of the more controversial figures of the modern environmental movement. Answers to the quiz are in the comments. Links to previous On the Brink quizzes can be found after the questions.

1. James Lovelock, an English scientist, first came to prominence while working for this important scientific organization. Name the organization.

2. His first major scientific claim was the invention of this device in 1957 that measures the presence of particular atoms or molecules in a gas. Name the instrument.

3. As a result of the invention referred to above, he was one of the first scientists to recognize the significant concentration of this anthropogenic chemical in the atmosphere. Name the chemical.

4. His work on atmospheric chemistry led him to develop a very important hypothesis that focused on looking at the earth as a living organism. Name the hypothesis.

5. The hypothesis, which influenced the thinking of many scientists in the 1970's and 1980's noted that the Earth can be seen as a living organism was developed in the early 1970's with an American biologist. Name her.

6. There are several components of this hypothesis that continues to intrigue scientists. Essentially, the hypothesis states that the Earth is a self-regulating entity and that it can process tremendous change, such as a volcanic eruption, by modifying itself. In other words, every action has a reaction and that there are feedback loops that regulate the atmosphere and biosphere. These feedback loops are symbolically like metabolic processes which led to the metaphor of earth as a living organism in the hypothesis. This idea of feedback led to extensive study of natural cycles on the planet. Name three important elemental cycles that demonstrate that the planet has feedback loops.

7. The hypothesis has been criticized in recent years. Why?

8. Interestingly, Lovelock has been a strong component of nuclear energy. Why?

9. In which field does Lovelock hold a Ph.D.?

10. Lovelock has most recently spoken about another emerging threat to humans that has nothing to do with the atmosphere? Name the threat?

Previous On the Brink Quizzes:

Gifford Pinchot Quiz

1 comment:

Bob Brinkmann said...

Answers:
1. NASA
2. Electron Capture Detector
3. CFC's (Chlorofluorocarbons)
4. Gaia hypothesis
5. Lynn Margulis
6. Carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, sulfur cycle
7. Many believe that there is ample evidence where the earth does not "self regulate"
8. He believes that it is needed to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas pollution
9. Medicine
10. Robots (see https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/30/james-lovelock-interview-by-end-of-century-robots-will-have-taken-over )