Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oldest "oxygen oasis" marks Earth's first breath of fresh air

Sediment studies of the Pongola Basin, South Africa, have now found that the area was home ...

Carbon dioxide is the current villain in the story of atmospheric gases, but billions of years ago the bad guy was our friend oxygen. Although it's weird to think that we wouldn't be here today were it not for a global catastrophe, the Great Oxygenation Event actually wiped out most life on Earth at the time. This ramped up about 2.5 billion years ago, but now scientists have discovered signs of the oldest known "oxygen oasis" in South Africa, showing that the process started almost half a billion years earlier.

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Category: Environment

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