4663Researchers Find Origin Of Breathable Atmosphere Half A Billion Years Ago
- Oct 31, 2007
Researchers Find Origin Of Breathable Atmosphere Half A Billion Years Ago
by Staff Writers
Columbus OH (SPX) Oct 30, 2007
Ohio State University geologists and their colleagues have uncovered evidence of when Earth may have first supported an oxygen-rich atmosphere similar to the one we breathe today. The study suggests that upheavals in the earth's crust initiated a kind of reverse-greenhouse effect 500 million years ago that cooled the world's oceans, spawned giant plankton blooms, and sent a burst of oxygen into the atmosphere. That oxygen may have helped trigger one of the largest growths of biodiversity in Earth's history.
Matthew Saltzman, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State, reported the findings Sunday at the meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver .