NOVA - Official Website | Illuminating Photosynthesis

Part of the hypothesis for skyrocketing oxygen levels during the late Proterozoic was that high carbon dioxide levels, combined with a continent that had been ground down by glaciers, and the resumption of the hydrological cycle, which would have vanished during the Snowball Earth events, would have created conditions of dramatically increased erosion, which would have buried carbon (the cap carbonates are part of that evidence) and thus helped oxygenate the atmosphere. Evidence for that increased erosion also came in the form of strontium isotope analysis. Two of strontium’s stable isotopes are . Earth’s mantle is enriched in strontium-86 while the crust is enriched in strontium-87, so basalts exposed to the ocean in the oceanic volcanic ridges are enriched in strontium-86 while continental rocks are enriched in strontium-87. If erosion is higher than normal, then ocean sediments will be enriched in strontium-87, which analysis of Ediacaran sediments confirmed. That evidence, combined with carbon isotope ratios, provides a strong indication of high erosion and high carbon burial, which would have increased atmospheric oxygen levels. There is other evidence of increasing atmospheric oxygen content during the late Proterozoic, such as an increase in rare earth elements in Ediacaran sediments. Although there is still plenty of controversy, today's consensus is that the Cryogenian is when , where they have largely stayed, although as this essay will later discuss, oxygen levels have varied widely since the late Proterozoic (from perhaps only a few percent to 35%).

Experiments to show the factors required in photosynthesis (2) - light and carbon dioxide

There have been other proximate causes of our current ice age, beginning with around 40 mya, and when the land bridge formed between the Americas around three mya , and are responsible for the "wobble" of advancing and retreating ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during this ice age. There is always the battle of the hypotheses in scientific circles, but the nearly universal consensus is that greenhouse gases, oceanic currents (with a land mass at the South Pole, and the landlocked North Pole), and Milankovitch cycle dynamics, in that ranking of importance, have caused the current ice age. Until the rise of humanity, the primary carbon dioxide input into the carbon cycle was via volcanism, which is related to tectonic plate movements, and plate movements also affected oceanic currents. Scientists are continually surprised by the dynamics and extent of Global Warming, and usually an unpleasant surprise, such as the findings published in 2014 which show that the Antarctic ice sheets are melting faster than expected, and in unexpected ways, and the Greenland ice sheet is also yielding alarming surprises.


Photosynthesis - definition of photosynthesis by The …

This essay has presented Earth’s many changing faces during its journey. Earth had molten beginnings, was , and may have . Later, and and . Earth experienced swings from to conditions as atmospheric gases dramatically changed, continents moved, and vast and of complex life played out on land and sea. But the changes happened over timescales of millions and billions of years, not hundreds. No climate scientist will deny that carbon dioxide traps infrared radiation and warms Earth’s atmosphere. The vented enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to create 200 million years of Greenhouse Earth conditions, when reptiles ruled Earth. Volcanism waned and around 150-to-100 mya. By 35 mya, and the Antarctic ice sheet began forming. Every paleoclimate study I have seen places greenhouse gas (and primarily carbon dioxide) concentrations as the primary determinant of global surface temperatures, after the Sun's radiation, but the Sun's output is considered to have been exceptionally stable and has risen slowly over the eons. , usually by accentuating the carbon dioxide with a positive feedback effect that may have reached runaway conditions at times.


Lab: Exploring the Rate of Photosynthesis - The Biology …

When sea levels rise as dramatically as they did in the Cretaceous, coral reefs will be buried under rising waters and the ideal position, for both photosynthesis and oxygenation, is lost, and reefs can die, like burying a tree’s roots. About 125 mya, reefs made by , which thrived on , began to displace reefs made by stony corals. They may have prevailed because they could tolerate hot and saline waters better than stony corals could. About 116 mya, an , probably caused by volcanism, which temporarily halted rudist domination. But rudists flourished until the late Cretaceous, when they went extinct, perhaps due to changing climate, although there is also evidence that the rudists . Carbon dioxide levels steadily fell from the early Cretaceous until today, temperatures fell during the Cretaceous, and hot-climate organisms gradually became extinct during the Cretaceous. Around 93 mya, , perhaps caused by underwater volcanism, which again seems to have largely been confined to marine biomes. It was much more devastating than the previous one, and rudists were hit hard, although it was a more regional event. That event seems to have , and a family of . On land, , some of which seem to have , also went extinct. There had been a decline in sauropod and ornithischian diversity before that 93 mya extinction, but it subsequently rebounded. In the oceans, biomes beyond 60 degrees latitude were barely impacted, while those closer to the equator were devastated, which suggests that oceanic cooling was related. shows rising oxygen and declining carbon dioxide in the late Cretaceous, which reflected a general cooling trend that began in the mid-Cretaceous. Among the numerous hypotheses posited, late Cretaceous climate changes have been invoked for slowly driving dinosaurs to extinction, in the “they went out with a whimper, not a bang” scenario. However, it seems that dinosaurs did go out with a bang. A big one. Ammonoids seem to have been brought to the brink with nearly marine mass extinctions during their tenure on Earth, and it was no different with that late-Cretaceous extinction. Ammonoids recovered once again, and their lived in the late Cretaceous, but the end-Cretaceous extinction marked their final appearance as they went the way of and other iconic animals.