Gulf News When did the earth become habitable? A study resolves controversy


A recent British study concluded that oxygen, which is the secret of life on Earth, is considered a modern component in the atmosphere, which means that the Earth has become habitable and habitable after a long period of its inception.

The study, which was conducted by an international team led by the University of Leeds, and includes researchers from the University of California, Riverside and Harvard in the United States and the University of Southern Denmark, in the journal Nature.

“The great oxygenation event fundamentally changed the Earth’s environment and habitability,” said lead researcher from the University of Leeds, Simon Bolton. Stable over 200 million years. “

It was the first time that there was substantially oxygen in the atmosphere, about 2.43 billion years ago, and this marked the beginning of the Great Oxygenation Event, a pivotal period in Earth’s history.

Earth was about two billion years old when oxygen appeared, and Earth was inhabited at that time, but with single-celled organisms.

Although the Great Oxygenation Event resulted in oxygen levels that are still much lower than they are today, it dramatically changed the chemical makeup of the planet’s surface and paved the way for the subsequent course of biological evolution on Earth.

By analyzing rocks from South Africa, which were deposited in the ocean at the time of the Great Oxygenation, researchers discovered that early atmospheric oxygenation was short-lived, and it was not until much later that oxygen became a permanent feature of the atmosphere.

Ashraf Latif Tadros, head of the astronomy department at the Egyptian National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research, believes that “the topic has multiple and overlapping aspects and it is difficult to separate them, and its roots are not only astronomical, but are related to microorganisms or microbial organisms that were present on Earth millions of years ago, as chemistry is involved Organic matter that has a lot to do with oxygen production in the subject. “

And Tadros added in statements to “Sky News Arabia”: “We know that the plant kingdom (forests on planet Earth) contains huge numbers of trees, and it is largely responsible for producing huge amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere. On the other hand, we also know. Water occupies 72% of the Earth’s area, and water contains hydrogen and oxygen .. So is the amount of oxygen that was present on the earth responsible for creating all this amount of water (seas and oceans) or vice versa ?! “

The study also provided an explanation of some of the most extreme things, which is the effect of climate rings on Earth, when the planet was covered with ice repeatedly.

“These results help explain four large-scale glaciers that occurred in conjunction with the Great Oxidation event, and some of them may have covered the entire Earth with ice for millions of years,” said co-author of the study from the University of California, Riverside.

“Our new data show that the permanent elevation of oxygen actually occurred after the last major glaciation of this period rather than before it, which was previously a major mystery in our understanding of the links between early oxygenation in the atmosphere and climate instability,” Becker said in a report published on the university’s website. Severe “.

And Tadros continues: “The goal of the research behind determining the exact age of the increase in life-friendly oxygen on the planet is to know the origin of the water on the planet. There is an assumption that water was formed by comets millions of years ago, so scientists send unmanned compounds to descend on comets and analyze them, which is what We call it astronomical chemistry, which NASA has become increasingly interested in in recent years, but there are other studies that assume that water is the reason behind the increase in oxygen on Earth, which is what scientists seek to resolve through research and studies. “


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