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September 27 2013

Surprise: Earth had oxygen before Great Oxidation Event

Earth, it now unfolds, had substantial levels of oxygen about 600 million years earlier than thought.

Findings published this week in Nature suggest that the Earth’s atmosphere was, if not quite oxygen rich, already somewhat oxygenated about 3 billion years ago. That revises previous timelines of our planet, which had put the first rumblings of oxygenation about 2.3 billion years ago, at the beginning of what is known at as the Great Oxidation Event.

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