Sunday, April 10, 2005

432: Early Earth atmosphere hydrogen-rich, favorable to life

U. of Colorado study shows early Earth atmosphere hydrogen-rich, favorable to life:

A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates Earth in its infancy probably had substantial quantities of hydrogen in its atmosphere, a surprising finding that may alter the way many scientists think about how life began on the planet.

Published in the April 7 issue of Science Express, the online edition of Science Magazine, the study concludes traditional models estimating hydrogen escape from Earth's atmosphere several billions of years ago are flawed. The new study indicates up to 40 percent of the early atmosphere was hydrogen, implying a more favorable climate for the production of pre-biotic organic compounds like amino acids, and ultimately, life.
This isn't proof, but it's encouraging to find support for our predictions. This is research inspired by evolution and supportive of evolutionary hypotheses.