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Factoid/2020/06/30

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Earth's Mantle May Be Responsible for Delayed Oxygenation

"Aerobic lifeforms, including humans, thrive because of abundant atmospheric O2, but for much of Earth history O2 levels were low. Even after evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis appeared, the atmosphere remained anoxic for hundreds of millions of years until the ~2.4 Ga Great Oxidation Event. The delay of atmospheric oxygenation and its timing remain poorly understood. Two recent studies reveal that the mantle gradually oxidized from the Archean onwards, leading to speculation that such oxidation enabled atmospheric oxygenation." - Excerpt from Nature

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