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July 10 2013

CU study shows how early Earth kept warm enough to support life


Solving the “faint young sun paradox” -- explaining how early Earth was warm and habitable for life beginning more than 3 billion years ago even though the sun was 20 percent dimmer than today -- may not be as difficult as believed, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

In fact, two CU-Boulder researchers say all that may have been required to sustain liquid water and primitive life on Earth during the Archean eon 2.8 billion years ago were reasonable atmospheric carbon dioxide amounts believed to be present at the time and perhaps a dash of methane.

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