The Atmosphere and Climate Change Quiz

Do you know how the greenhouse gas mechanism works?

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How did the Atmosphere of Early Earth Form?

As the Earth and the other planets of the solar system formed from the remaining gas and dust that surrounded the sun, the composition of the planets were determined. This composition is directly related to the relative abundances of elements in the gas and dust which formed the solar system. 

Over time the inner planets formed rocky surfaces from this material and during the Late Heavy Bombardment, lots of meteorites were delivered to Earth which may have supplied many other elements and compounds we see in our atmosphere and Earth’s interior today. 

As the Earth was very hot from the radioactive decay of isotopes and unstable geological conditions (also perhaps meteorite activity) contributed to a high amount of volcanic activity on Earth. This volcanic activity released vast amounts of carbon dioxide among other gases which were stored inside the molten rock. 

Oxygen began to fill the atmosphere when early organisms such as cyanobacteria and then plants performed photosynthesis, breaking down water into oxygen. 

The oceans formed when the Earth began to cool down and water vapour condensed into clouds. In fact, it may have rained continuously for centuries.