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Origins of Oxygen

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...Origins, history, present sources, oil spills ..

Origins of our oxygen

  • Where did that oxygen come from originally?

    Well from bacteria, from about 3.5 billion years ago, their fossils are found widely in precambrian areas.. Some of these are still with us today in the form of what are called stromatalites. These stromatolites are now found only in a few parts of the world  One of the ironies is that they are only found in paces of such high salinity where other living things cannot exist. The stromatolites initially produced the oxygen that permitted the other high level organisms to develop and exist. A further irony is that those grazing organisms then ate them. The oxygen 02 and ozone 03 they produced  permitted them to develop and also protected the more advanced organizms, and eventually us, from harmful UV solar radiation.

    Each time that there has been a major Extinction Level Event (ELE) the stromatolite fossils show a marked increase after the ELE until the higher organisms (mainly grazers) recovered and ate them again. There was no such thing as gratitude.

    Another irony is that today two of the few places they exist are in Western  Australia at Shark Bay, and in the Bahamas. Both relatively close to recent major oil spills. Perhaps they are lining up to save us again. This time from our won greed and stupidity. Well at least we hope so.

     

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    Diatoms
  • Benefit 2
  • Benefit 3


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Last modified: 03/22/13