Earth's early atmosphere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

871 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ideas about atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth have evolved considerably over the last 30 years, but many uncertainties still remain. It is generally agreed that the atmosphere contained little or no free oxygen initially and that oxygen concentrations increased markedly near 2.0 billion years ago, but the precise timing of and reasons for its rise remain unexplained. Likewise, it is usually conceded that the atmospheric greenhouse effect must have been higher in the past to offset reduced solar luminosity, but the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases required remain speculative. A better understanding of past atmospheric evolution is important to understanding the evolution of life and to predicting whether Earth-like planets might exist elsewhere in the galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-926
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume259
Issue number5097
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 12 1993

Fingerprint

Atmosphere
Earth (Planet)
Greenhouse Effect
Galaxies
Oxygen
Climate
Carbon Dioxide
Uncertainty
Gases

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Kasting, James. / Earth's early atmosphere. In: Science. 1993 ; Vol. 259, No. 5097. pp. 920-926.
@article{26cf8215bdc646f281cafcf25155ff43,
title = "Earth's early atmosphere",
abstract = "Ideas about atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth have evolved considerably over the last 30 years, but many uncertainties still remain. It is generally agreed that the atmosphere contained little or no free oxygen initially and that oxygen concentrations increased markedly near 2.0 billion years ago, but the precise timing of and reasons for its rise remain unexplained. Likewise, it is usually conceded that the atmospheric greenhouse effect must have been higher in the past to offset reduced solar luminosity, but the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases required remain speculative. A better understanding of past atmospheric evolution is important to understanding the evolution of life and to predicting whether Earth-like planets might exist elsewhere in the galaxy.",
author = "James Kasting",
year = "1993",
month = "2",
day = "12",
doi = "10.1126/science.11536547",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "259",
pages = "920--926",
journal = "Science",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "5097",

}

Earth's early atmosphere. / Kasting, James.

In: Science, Vol. 259, No. 5097, 12.02.1993, p. 920-926.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Earth's early atmosphere

AU - Kasting, James

PY - 1993/2/12

Y1 - 1993/2/12

N2 - Ideas about atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth have evolved considerably over the last 30 years, but many uncertainties still remain. It is generally agreed that the atmosphere contained little or no free oxygen initially and that oxygen concentrations increased markedly near 2.0 billion years ago, but the precise timing of and reasons for its rise remain unexplained. Likewise, it is usually conceded that the atmospheric greenhouse effect must have been higher in the past to offset reduced solar luminosity, but the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases required remain speculative. A better understanding of past atmospheric evolution is important to understanding the evolution of life and to predicting whether Earth-like planets might exist elsewhere in the galaxy.

AB - Ideas about atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth have evolved considerably over the last 30 years, but many uncertainties still remain. It is generally agreed that the atmosphere contained little or no free oxygen initially and that oxygen concentrations increased markedly near 2.0 billion years ago, but the precise timing of and reasons for its rise remain unexplained. Likewise, it is usually conceded that the atmospheric greenhouse effect must have been higher in the past to offset reduced solar luminosity, but the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases required remain speculative. A better understanding of past atmospheric evolution is important to understanding the evolution of life and to predicting whether Earth-like planets might exist elsewhere in the galaxy.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0027914959&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0027914959&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1126/science.11536547

DO - 10.1126/science.11536547

M3 - Article

C2 - 11536547

AN - SCOPUS:0027914959

VL - 259

SP - 920

EP - 926

JO - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 5097

ER -