Early Earth is a mysterious period of our planet’s evolution about which the scientists do not know very much. However, the scientists from the University of Washington and NASA discovered that the early Earth was more temperate than previously estimated. On the other hand, this is good for the search for extraterrestrial life on the rocky exoplanets.
In the lack of any clear geological evidence from the first 500 million years of the Earth’s history, the scientists could only imagine how our planet was looking alike back then. Some think that early Earth was covered by lava rivers caused by massive volcanic eruptions that were devastating our planet in its early stages of evolution.
However, the recent study’s authors could find more details about how were the environmental conditions of the early Earth, but the process of estimating ocean pH and the global average temperature was difficult.
The early Earth was much more temperate and hospitable than previously estimated, which is boosting the search for extraterrestrial life on rocky exoplanets
In previous studies, researchers came up with very different results when it came to assessing how was the early Earth, in fact. Among these outcomes, some say that the Earth’s oceans were very alkaline in the first stages of planetary evolution, while others say the oceans were very acidic. As for the global average temperature, different studies yielded different results, stating that the temperature of the Earth was either very low (-25 degrees Celsius) or very high (85 degrees Celsius).
But, luckily for the authors of the new study, the Earth’s natural carbon cycle holds precious information about the early Earth, and scientists were able to “translate” this data.
According to the study, the early Earth’s climate was quite temperate after all that heat caused during the formation of our planet dissipated. The researchers noticed that, according to their model, the global average temperature was between 0 and 50 degrees Celsius and oceans pH was between 6.2 and 7.7, almost neutral, during the early Earth period.
On the other hand, this new study shows that in the first 500 million years after the formation of our planet, there were proper conditions for life to develop. That is excellent news for the search for extraterrestrial life on rocky exoplanets such as Earth.