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Speaking of William Baird
james_nicoll
He just linked to this interesting paper: Atmospheric pressure as a natural climate regulator for a terrestrial planet with a biosphere

Lovelock and Whitfield suggested in 1982 that, as the luminosity of the Sun increases over its life cycle, biologically enhanced silicate weathering is able to reduce the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) so that the Earth's surface temperature is maintained within an inhabitable range. As this process continues, however, between 100 and 900 million years (Ma) from now the CO2 concentration will reach levels too low for C3 and C4 photosynthesis, signaling the end of the solar-powered biosphere. Here, we show that atmospheric pressure is another factor that adjusts the global temperature by broadening infrared absorption lines of greenhouse gases. A simple model including the reduction of atmospheric pressure suggests that the life span of the biosphere can be extended at least 2.3 Ga into the future, more than doubling previous estimates. This has important implications for seeking extraterrestrial life in the Universe. Space observations in the infrared region could test the hypothesis that atmospheric pressure regulates the surface temperature on extrasolar planets.


"Including the reduction of atmospheric pressure"? Doesn't that give the advantage to the archosaurs in the long standing grudge match between archosaurs and therapsids? I must go outside and shake my fist at the birds.

(Deleted comment)
I think you are underestimating both costs and willingness to pay a wee bit. The current spaceborne telescopes all had pricetags in the "couple billion euros/dollars" range, so the world is willing to pay that. Problem is, a space borne very large array would cost rather more than a few billion with current tech..