Topic 1: Earth, Sea and Atmosphere

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  • Topic 1: Earth, Sea and Atmosphere
    • 1.4 Present Atmosphere
      • The current composition of the atmosphere and proportions of gases has changed.
        • Our atmosphere is currently 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon, 0.04% Carbon Dioxide, and traces of other gases.
      • Changes in the atmosphere occur in lots of different ways.
        • Volcanic Acitivty can produce a lot of Sulfur Dioxide.
        • A lot of these changes are affected by human activity.
          • The burning of fossil fuels increases amounts of Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, and Sulfur Dioxide in the atmosphere.
          • Farming cattle and rice fields releases large amounts of Methane.
          • The deforestation of trees means that there are less trees to remove Carbon Dioxide.
          • Engines and furnaces can release nitrogen oxides.
    • 1.2 Changing Atmosphere
      • Amounts of carbon dioxide decreased over time.
        • This was because it dissolved into the oceans. Scientists believe about half of carbon dioxide was lost this way.
        • This was then incorporated into carbonate rocks.
          • Marine organisms used dissolved CO2 to make Calcium Carbonate shells. As these creatures died, their shells fell and became sediment. Over millions of years, this became sedimentary rock.
      • Over time, amounts of oxygen increased and amounts of carbon dioxide decreased.
        • Primitive plants developed the ability to photosynthesize, taking in the carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
        • More photosynthesizing organisms evolved, increasig the rate at which carbon dioxide was removed and oxygen was added.
  • 1.1 Early Atmosphere
    • Gases produced by volcanic activity formed the Earths early atmosphere.
    • Topic 1: Earth, Sea and Atmosphere
      • 1.4 Present Atmosphere
        • The current composition of the atmosphere and proportions of gases has changed.
          • Our atmosphere is currently 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon, 0.04% Carbon Dioxide, and traces of other gases.
        • Changes in the atmosphere occur in lots of different ways.
          • Volcanic Acitivty can produce a lot of Sulfur Dioxide.
          • A lot of these changes are affected by human activity.
            • The burning of fossil fuels increases amounts of Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, and Sulfur Dioxide in the atmosphere.
            • Farming cattle and rice fields releases large amounts of Methane.
            • The deforestation of trees means that there are less trees to remove Carbon Dioxide.
            • Engines and furnaces can release nitrogen oxides.
      • 1.2 Changing Atmosphere
        • Amounts of carbon dioxide decreased over time.
          • This was because it dissolved into the oceans. Scientists believe about half of carbon dioxide was lost this way.
          • This was then incorporated into carbonate rocks.
            • Marine organisms used dissolved CO2 to make Calcium Carbonate shells. As these creatures died, their shells fell and became sediment. Over millions of years, this became sedimentary rock.
        • Over time, amounts of oxygen increased and amounts of carbon dioxide decreased.
          • Primitive plants developed the ability to photosynthesize, taking in the carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
          • More photosynthesizing organisms evolved, increasig the rate at which carbon dioxide was removed and oxygen was added.
    • The early atmosphere contained:
      • A large amount of carbon dioxide
      • Water Vapour and small amounts of other gases.
        • This water vapour, given out by volcanoes, condensed to make liquid water, which later condensed to make the oceans.
    • Little or no oxygen
    • There are different sources of infomation that make it difficult to be precise about the eveolution of the atmosphere.
      • Some scientists think that most gases came from volcanic activity, however, they cannot be sure of how much these gases volcanic activity produced.
      • The atmosphere of Titan is 98% nitrogen, which some scientists think was relased by volcanoes. They think the Earth's early atmosphere may have been like this.
      • There are also volcanoes on Mars and Venus. Their atmospheres are mainly CO2. This led scientists to think the same about Earth.
      • Titan has an icy interior rather than a rocky one, like Earth, Venus or Mars.
        • This makes it more likely Earth's Early atmosphere resembles Mars or Venus.
        • However, this does not explain how the Earth's atmosphere came to contain so much Nitrogen.

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