Biogenic Methane, Hydrogen Escape, and the Irreversible Oxidation of Early Earth

  title={Biogenic Methane, Hydrogen Escape, and the Irreversible Oxidation of Early Earth},
  author={D. Catling and K. Zahnle and C. Mckay},
  pages={839 - 843}
  • D. Catling, K. Zahnle, C. Mckay
  • Published 2001
  • Medicine, Chemistry
  • Science
  • The low O2 content of the Archean atmosphere implies that methane should have been present at levels ∼102 to 103 parts per million volume (ppmv) (compared with 1.7 ppmv today) given a plausible biogenic source. CH4 is favored as the greenhouse gas that countered the lower luminosity of the early Sun. But abundant CH4 implies that hydrogen escapes to space (↑space) orders of magnitude faster than today. Such reductant loss oxidizes the Earth. Photosynthesis splits water into O2 and H, and… CONTINUE READING
    374 Citations
    10.11 – The Global Oxygen Cycle
    • 11
    • PDF
    The rise of oxygen and siderite oxidation during the Lomagundi Event
    • 40
    • PDF
    Anaerobic methanotrophy and the rise of atmospheric oxygen
    • D. Catling, M. Claire, K. Zahnle
    • Physics, Biology
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
    • 2007
    • 47
    • PDF
    6.7 – The Great Oxidation Event Transition
    • 31
    • PDF
    Biogeochemical modelling of the rise in atmospheric oxygen
    • 132
    • PDF
    The Continuing Puzzle of the Great Oxidation Event
    • 148
    • PDF
    Rethinking the Paleoproterozoic Great Oxidation Event: A Biological Perspective
    • J. Grula
    • History, Environmental Science
    • 2010
    • 1
    • Highly Influenced
    • PDF
    Waiting for O 2


    Greenhouse warming by CH4 in the atmosphere of early Earth.
    • 452
    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations before 2.2 billion years ago
    • 346
    Mantle Redox Evolution and the Oxidation State of the Archean Atmosphere
    • 251
    Atmospheric influence of Earth's earliest sulfur cycle
    • 1,300
    • PDF