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View Diary: Gaia Hypothesis 101 (66 comments)

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  •  SO what you are saying is ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... that this description of the chemical evolution of the early atmosphere of Venus, Earth and Mars before oxygen emitting algae is false, and in reality there is abundant oxygen in the Venus atmosphere, contrary to the spurious claims of planetary scientists?

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    by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:33:51 PM PDT

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    •  those are entirely different conditions (1+ / 0-)
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      LakeSuperior

      and as such the chemistry is not inherently the same.

      Honestly given the ratios involved if oxygen did readily oxidize nitrogen in the lower atmosphere there wouldn't be any oxygen on the planet.

      •  Was the diary edited between the time ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... you and I read it? I see:

        Another example of homeostasis would be the composition of Earth's atmosphere, as compared to Venus and Mars. Initially, early Earth had a "dead" atmosphere, made up of mostly CO2. Eventually, algae evolved and unleased "The Great Oxygenation Event", replacing Earth's CO2 dominated atmosphere over a few billion years.

        Currently, the Earth has a ~21% oxygen, while early Earth, Venus and Mars have essentially none as shown below.  

        Oxygen is a highly volatile element and is a very strong oxidizer, readily combining with many other chemicals to make new compounds. All those chemical reactions use up oxygen until there is no more remaining in the air. The atmospheres of Venus and Mars are chemically neutral and static in that any and all reactions with oxygen (and other volatile gases like methane) have occurred.

        Evidently the reason there can be so much nitrogen in such an oxygen rich atmosphere is that nitrogen does not readily oxidize. But the "All these chemical reactions use up oxygen until there is no more remaining in the air" is clearly talking abot abiotic chemical evolution of the atmosphere, as evidently occured in Venus.

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        by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:38:35 AM PDT

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        •  Not a thingy dingy was changed (4+ / 0-)
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          duhban, BruceMcF, side pocket, SuWho

          Haven't updated anything in the dairy. I've just been responding to comments.

          I can try to clarify/update points in this diary in future Gaia entries.

        •  well the diarist was right kinda (0+ / 0-)

          but not about the nitrogen part.

          The evolution of the atmosphere is "intensely debated" (to be polite) with many different theories but oxygen and nitrogen do not generally react under STP (standard temperature, pressure)

          •  Where is the nitrogen part? (0+ / 0-)

            In the text that I see, there is no mention or implication of any reaction of oxygen and nitrogen. It seems a bit harsh to chastise the author for suggesting a reaction that does not (normally) occur, when the author does not actually set any such reaction forth:

            "readily combining with many other chemicals"
            "All those chemical reactions use up oxygen"

            Indeed, in the evolution of Earth's biotic atmosphere, for quite a period much of the oxygen emitted due to photosynthesis was bound in oxides while still in seawater, which testifies to the relative prevalence of material prone to oxidation.

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            by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 02:06:46 PM PDT

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    •  Since nothing in your comment reply addressed (0+ / 0-)

      anything at all in my comment, there is no point in providing a substantive comment reply to your reply from an advocate's perspective.

      •  What does advocate's perspective have to do ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... with anything here?

        I was asking whether you where reading that as a description of the atmosphere of Venus and Mars and pre-biotic Earth, or of Earth since the green algae revolution, since your reference to nitrogen is such an jarring non-sequiter in response to discussion of oxidation the creates a reducing atmosphere in an abiotic environment like Venus or Mars or pre-biotic Earth.

        Nowhere in the text do I see any reference to oxidation of nitrogen, so its not clear why you introduce it.

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        by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:44:23 AM PDT

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