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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

19 - Energy Limits for Life in the Subsurface

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Summary

Recent studies reveal that life in the terrestrial and marine subsurface exists on far less energy flux than is commonly understood from laboratory incubations with isolated organisms. This has profound implications for understanding the development of life on Earth, as well as for the search for life in the universe. Similarly, several recent research efforts have also addressed other limits to life, such as high temperature. This chapter presents an overview of the current understanding of the energetic limits of life on Earth.