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The Environment of the Earth in the Past

The Earth had large oceans very early in its history. During this time the Earth should have been frozen because the sun was weaker than today. Because there was a large ocean, the Earth must have had a large atmosphere in place to keep the surface warm. The warm early ocean was a friendly place for life to develop.

In the past the atmosphere of the Earth came from volcanoes, and today volcanoes continue to produce water vapor and other gases for the atmosphere.

Over time the atmosphere of Earth has changed. Life on Earth was what transformed the content of the Earth's atmosphere to it's present composition. Over time there has also been big changes in the climate (temperature and weather) of the Earth. We have seen extremely high temperatures, and extremely low temperatures. Scientists are concerned about global warming because these changes have the potential to hurt life on Earth.

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The Environment of the Earth in the Past

The Earth had large oceans very early in its history. During this time the Earth should have been frozen because the sun was weaker than today. Because there was a large ocean, the Earth must have had...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA