Drake equation applied dating
Schmidt and Adam Frank – a climatologist with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) and an astronomer from the University of Rochester, respectively.
As they indicate in their study, the search for life on other planets has often involved looking to Earth-analogues to see what kind conditions life could exist under.
Furthermore, recent surveys for extra-solar planets have led some astronomers to estimate that our galaxy could contains as many as 100 billion potentially-habitable planets.
If evidence could be found of another civilization in Earth’s history, it would further constrain the Drake Equation.
This, in turn, raises the question of how often an industrial civilization might develop – what Schmidt and Frank refer to as the “Silurian Hypothesis”.
In the end, more research will be necessary to determine how long previous extinction events (those that were not due to impacts) took as well.
In particular, according to research cited by the authors, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) shows signs that could be consistent with anthorpogenic climate change.