August 7, 2005
A Caltech team argues that 2.3 billion years ago, cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, gained the ability to break down water, which in turn released a flood of oxygen into the atmosphere.
That oxygen reacted with the atmospheric methane, which insulated the Earth at the time, and broke it down. While the oxygen-methane reaction created the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the protective nature of the barrier cracked.
Temperatures plunged… read more