New theory: The longer life of the earth initiates the growth of oxygen

Scientists have a new idea on how the earth obtains oxygen: this is because the earth has slowed down and the day has become longer.

A study published on Monday A theory was proposed and verified that longer, continuous sunlight would activate strange bacteria to produce a lot of oxygen, making most of the life we ??know possible.

They dug up the slimy purple bacteria from a deep pit in Lake Huron and adjusted the amount of light it received in laboratory experiments. The more persistent light that smelly microorganisms get, the more oxygen they produce.

One of the biggest mysteries in science is how the earth changed from a planet with the least oxygen to the breathable air we now have. For a long time, scientists have believed that microorganisms called cyanobacteria are involved, but they are unable to determine what started the major oxidation event.

In a study published in Nature Earth Science on Monday, researchers speculated that the slowdown of the earth’s rotation speed, gradually extending the number of days from 6 hours to the current 24 hours, is the key to cyanobacteria making the earth more breathable.

About 2.4 billion years ago, there was very little oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere, which was almost impossible to measure. Therefore, all animal and plant life as we know it could not survive. Instead, many microorganisms inhale carbon dioxide and, in the case of cyanobacteria, produce oxygen in the earliest form of photosynthesis.

The lead author of the study and biogeochemist Judith Klatt of the Max Planck Institute said that there were not many at first, but it took only about 400 million years for the oxygen content of the earth’s atmosphere to reach ours. One-tenth now-this is a huge leap. in Germany. She said that the explosion of oxygen has allowed plants and animals to evolve, and other plants have now joined the team to produce oxygen.

But why do bacteria continue to produce oxygen? This is where the University of Michigan oceanographer Brian Arbic comes in. He studies the tidal forces on the earth and how they slow the earth’s rotation. Arbic was listening to a colleague’s lecture on cyanobacteria, and he noticed that the oxygen event coincided with the lengthening of the Earth’s day. Due to tidal friction and the complex physics of interaction with the moon, the planet’s rotation speed slows down.

Researchers in Michigan and Germany tested their theories with bacteria that are similar to about 2.4 billion years ago. They use purple and white cyanobacteria mats and live in the weird world of a sinking cave nearly 79 feet (24 meters) deep in Lake Huron.

“We actually think that for most of its history, the world looked a bit like Nakajima Tiankeng,” Clatt said.

The diver brought a gelatinous carpet of bacteria that smelled like rotten eggs. Klatt and colleagues exposed them to varying amounts of light for up to 26 consecutive hours. They found that more continuous light causes microorganisms to produce more oxygen.

The study authors and external scientists said that this is only a possible but reasonable explanation for the increase in oxygen on the earth.

Tim Lyons, a professor of biogeochemistry at the University of California, Riverside, was not involved in the research team. He said that what makes this idea so impressive is that it doesn’t require any major impact on bacteria or the world’s oceans. Biological changes.

The Associated Press Department of Health and Science is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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