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Where did the Earth's oxygen come from? New study hints at an unexpected source

By David Mole, Postdoctoral fellow, Earth Sciences, Laurentian University
Adam Charles Simon, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan
Xuyang Meng, Postdoctoral Fellow, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan
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The amount of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere makes it a habitable planet.

Twenty-one per cent of the atmosphere consists of this life-giving element. But in the deep past — as far back as the Neoarchean era 2.8 to 2.5 billion years ago — this oxygen was almost absent.

So, how did Earth’s atmosphere become oxygenated?

Our research, published in Nature Geoscience, adds a tantalizing new possibility: that…The Conversation


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