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1. A hypothesis stating that Earth's biota constitute a single interconnected system that affects or determines the physical and chemical conditions within the biosphere, including such conditions as global temperatures, the composition of the atmosphere, and the salinity of seawater.
2. Any of various related hypotheses stating that this system is self-regulating, as through feedback loops, or that it constitutes a living organism, in either case acting to maintain stable conditions that are optimal for the continuation of life.
[After Gaia, used by British scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock (born 1919) to refer to the totality of Earth's biota as a superorganism.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Gaia hypothesis(ˈɡaɪə) or
(Biology) the theory that the earth and everything on it constitutes a single self-regulating living entity
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
Gai′a hypoth`esis(ˈgeɪ ə)
a model of the earth as a self-regulating organism, advanced as an alternative to a mechanistic model.
[1970–75; < Greek gaîa earth; see Gaea]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
A theory that the biosphere acts as a selfsustaining, self-regulating organism. British scientist James Lovelock named it after a Greek Earth goddess.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited