The Earth wasn't always a friendly place to live. Not only was it covered in lava and constantly eruption, its atmosphere was chocked with volcanic gases like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. How and when did the atmosphere reach its current oxygen-rich state? This post will walk through the processes as well as some of the evidence that allows us to understand what happened. While I describe as a series of apparently discrete steps, it's important to remember that these processes sometimes overlapped and that they occurred over a span of time, often millions or billions of years.
Easy Science: The Great Oxygenation Event
Cortney Science & Technology + ancient earth, archean, atmosphere, Easy Science, geology, precambrian, volcanoes
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Easy Science: simple timeline of pre-Cambrian earth and life
Cortney Science & Technology + ancient earth, Easy Science, evolution, fossils, geology, precambrian, zircons
Understanding the formation of the earth can be overwhelming. I've simplified and condensed the big events into an easy-to-follow timeline. Obviously, the list is not meant to be exhaustive and probably isn't 100% accurate. Clicking on the links will take you to Wikipedia that lead to journal articles (a few links directly to sources). Read more →