Earth's early atmosphere

  title={Earth's early atmosphere},
  author={James F. Kasting},
  pages={920 - 926}
  • J. Kasting
  • Published 23 January 1987
  • Environmental Science, Physics, Geology
  • Science
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… 
Evolution of the atmosphere.
  • J. Nunn
  • Geology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. Geologists' Association
  • 1998
Carbon dioxide warming of the early Earth.
Svante Arrhenius' research in atmospheric physics extended beyond the recent past and the near future states of the Earth, which today are at the center of sociopolitical attention, and his two-volume textbook on cosmic physics is a comprehensive synopsis of the field.
Earth: Atmospheric Evolution of a Habitable Planet.
Our present-day atmosphere is often used as an analog for potentially habitable exoplanets, but Earth's atmosphere has changed dramatically throughout its 4.5 billion year history. For example,
The future lifespan of Earth’s oxygenated atmosphere
Earth’s modern atmosphere is highly oxygenated and is a remotely detectable signal of its surface biosphere. However, the lifespan of oxygen-based biosignatures in Earth’s atmosphere remains
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations before 2.2 billion years ago
The results suggest that either the Earth's early climate was much more sensitive to increases in pco2 than has been thought, or that one or more greenhouse gases other than CO2 contributed significantly to the atmosphere's radiative balance during the late Archaean and early Proterozoic eons.
A Hydrogen-Rich Early Earth Atmosphere
The organic soup in the oceans and ponds on early Earth would have been a more favorable place for the origin of life than previously thought.
The Faint Young Sun Problem
Geologic evidence for liquid oceans on the Earth nearly 4.5 billion years ago and astrophysical evidence for an early Sun 25% less luminous than present constitute the “Faint Young Sun” paradox. It


Implications of Solar Evolution for the Earth's Early Atmosphere.
The roughly 25 percent increase in luminosity over the life of the sun shared by many different solar models is shown to be a very general result, independent of the uncertainties suggested by the
Climatic consequences of very high carbon dioxide levels in the earth's early atmosphere.
The possible consequences of very high carbon dioxide concentrations in the earth's early atmosphere have been investigated with a radiative-convective climate model, and Earth's present atmosphere appears to be stable against a carbon dioxide-induced runaway greenhouse.
Evolution of the atmosphere and oceans
The mineralogy of marine evaporites rules out drastic changes in the composition of sea water during the last 900 Myr, and the chemistry of soils formed more than 1,000 Myr ago suggests that the atmosphere then contained significantly more CO2 and less O2 than at present.
The Evolutionary Role of Atmospheric Ozone
Abstract The Ozone content of the early (or paleo) atmosphere would have determined the intensity of the solar ultraviolet flux reaching the earth's surface during the early stages of biological
The formation of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets by impact
It is generally supposed that the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets were formed by secondary degassing processes. We propose, instead, that they are of primary origin, forming as an immediate
Clouds and the long-term stability of the Earth's atmosphere and climate
CLOUDS dominate the albedo of the Earth and hence have a vital role in the global radiation balance. They are one of the most important physical properties of the atmosphere but the most difficult to
Earth and Mars: Evolution of Atmospheres and Surface Temperatures
Solar evolution implies, for contemporary albedos and atmospheric composition, global mean temperatures below the freezing point of seawater less than 2.3 aeons ago, contrary to geologic and
A negative feedback mechanism for the long‐term stabilization of Earth's surface temperature
We suggest that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is buffered, over geological time scales, by a negative feedback mechanism in which the rate of weathering of silicate