The Beginning, Genesis- words filled with meaning, sung in poems and capable of fueling a philosopher’s rhetoric. These were the words that littered our dreams with questions and inspired all fields of scientifical study. It would seem that, ironically, the end contributed to our beginning. The Oxygen Catastrophe gave birth to life- this is the conclusion reached by an interdisciplinary team of scientist, keen on unravelling the mystery of birth.
A gigantic collaboration between members from prestigious schools and institutions, such as Alberta University, California Riverside University, Georgia’s Institute of Technology and many others, discovered that life sprung up on Earth gradually, not spontaneous. The researchers explained that life on Earth developed gradually, about 2.5 million years ago. Their theory suggest that the oxygen present in our atmosphere originated from a couple of algae, only found in the shallow parts of the ocean.
The algae expelled an oxygen blast into Earth’s atmosphere which, in term, led to an event called The Great Oxygen Catastrophe. This event was biological, by designed, and led to the formation of dyoxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Estimated place this event approximately 2.3 billion years ago, in Earth’s early years of life.
It would seem that the little things can always tip the balance in our favor. According to the scientists, a couple of cyanobacteria, microbiological forms of life that were present on Earth 200 million years before The Great Oxygen Catastrophe, began expelling oxygen into the atmosphere, using photosynthesis. The event occurred when oxygen sinks became oversaturated, meaning that they were unable to absorb all the oxygen produced via photosynthesis. After this event occurred, excess oxygen would begin to amass in Earth’s atmosphere. It may very well be that Earth lost almost all its anaerobic organisms when this even occurred.
But, the Great Oxygen Catastrophe gave birth to life, and this matter seem be unanimously recognized by all scientifical circles. It would seem that the buildup of free oxygen atmosphere was the key factor that played a major role in the apparition of complex organisms. Basically, Earth’s capability of sustaining life is derived from the fluctuations in oxygen levels.
Scientist were able untangle this mystery by taking a closer look at some sedimentary deposits. By measuring the level of osmium from the sediments, the scientists are able to ascertain how the oxygen levels have fluctuated across the ages. Unfortunately, there are only a few centers around the world that can accurately determine the level of osmium from sedimentary deposits.