The American Association for the Advancement of Science: Meteorites 'led to life on earth'
Monday 21 February 1994
A new view of the early history of the Earth suggests there was no carbon dioxide and so no greenhouse effect to warm the planet, resulting in the oceans being frozen to a depth of 300 metres.
Experts on the origin of life suggest that such an inhospitable environment, far from being a barrier to the formation of life, could have spawned the very organic ingredients necessary to generate the first organisms.
Jeffrey Bada, professor of marine chemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, said there is no reason to believe that there was a greenhouse effect on the early Earth with carbon dioxide acting as a heat-trapping blanket that prevented the oceans from freezing. A carbon dioxide atmosphere would have been anathema to the prospect of primitive life forms evolving, he said.
'The dogma is that you have to have high carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to keep the Earth from freezing. What bothered me about this was that a carbon dioxide- rich atmosphere is the kiss of death for organic chemistry.'
A study he has just completed suggests that life on early Earth could still have thrived in a frozen world.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...