Physical and Biological Bases of Life Stability

Man, Biota, Environment

  • Victor G. Gorshkov

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Victor G. Gorshkov
    Pages 1-24
  3. Victor G. Gorshkov
    Pages 63-143
  4. Victor G. Gorshkov
    Pages 144-213
  5. Victor G. Gorshkov
    Pages 214-258
  6. Victor G. Gorshkov
    Pages 259-287
  7. Victor G. Gorshkov
    Pages 288-290
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 291-340

About this book


It is well known that the biochemical processes of life on Earth are maintained by the external solar radiation and can be reduced to the synthesis and decomposition of organic matter. Man has added the synthesis and decomposition of various in­ dustrial products to these natural processes. On one hand, biological synthesis may only be conducted within the rather narrow margins of parameters of the environ­ ment, including temperature, humidity, concentrations of the inorganic substances used by life (such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, etc.) On the other hand, the physical and chemical composition of the environment suffers significant changes during those processes of synthesis and decomposition. The maximum possible rate of such change due to the activity of living beings can exceed the average geophysical rates of change of the environment due to activity ofterrestrial depths and cosmic processes by a factor often thousand. In the absence of a rigid correlation between the biological synthesis and decomposition, the environment would be greatly disturbed within a decade and driven into a state unfit for life. A lifeless Earth, however would suffer similar changes only after about a hundred thousand years. Preservation of the existing state of the environment is only possible with strict equality between the rates of biological synthesis and decomposition, that is, when the biochemical cycles of matter are virtually closed.


biomass biophysics biosphere carbon climate ecology energy environment evolution growth ocean plants pollution stability water

Authors and affiliations

  • Victor G. Gorshkov
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics InstituteGatchina, St. PetersburgRussia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-85003-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-85001-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site