How the presence of life has changed the Earth's environment

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  • How life on Earth has changed the environment
    • The Water Cycle
  • Atmospheric Oxygen
    • How life on Earth has changed the environment
      • The Water Cycle
    • Concentration in atmosphere declined as it reacted with other elements
    • Presence relies on processes that replace is while others remove it
      • 1. Photolysis of water  2. Photosynthetic bacteria  3. photosynthetic plants
    • Absorbed UV light from the sun causing the oxygen molecules to split
      • Ozone formed
        • Provided protection from UV light to living organisms on Earth
  • e.g. oxidisation weathering
    • Concentration in atmosphere declined as it reacted with other elements
  • Before ozone layer developed, organisms lived in the oceans where water protected them from UV
    • Ozone formed
      • Provided protection from UV light to living organisms on Earth
  • Rain
    • Heat energy from absorbed sunlight cause water in sea to evaporate
  • May be carried over land > falls > flows back to sea
    • Heat energy from absorbed sunlight cause water in sea to evaporate
  • Most rain falls near coast. Transpiration returns water to atmosphere = blown further inland
    • May be carried over land > falls > flows back to sea
      • Transpiration. Unavoidable as moist stomata must be open for gas exchange. Important for cooling plants & transport of dissolved minerals
    • Atmospheric CO2
      • Naturally released by volcanoes
      • Essential green house gas, helping to retain heat in atmosphere
        • Without it, Earth would be too cold to support life
        • Excessive amounts = temp rise too high for life
      • Living organisms help maintain suitable atmospheric temps
        • By removing carbon dioxide from atmosphere & storing the carbon in fossil fuels & carbonate rocks

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