No ocean crust dates back further than that, so earlier reconstructions are more difficult. Glacial deposits found in South Africa date back to 2.2 Ga, at which time, based on paleomagnetic evidence, they must have been located near the equator. It had a primitive notochord, a structure that could have developed into a vertebral column later. [98], The Proterozoic eon lasted from 2.5 Ga to 542 Ma (million years) ago. [citation needed]. Following the culmination of an ambitious Earth science education initiative, scientists and educators met to prioritize ways in … A photo timeline of Earth's 4.5 billion years of geologic history. This causes the sea level to rise. [60], By 180 Ma, Pangaea broke up into Laurasia and Gondwana. This in turn led to the emergence of increasingly larger and more complex civilizations, such as the first empires, which at times traded with one another, or fought for territory and resources. The history of the Earth can be organized chronologically according to the geologic time scale, which is split into intervals based on stratigraphic analysis. The Mesozoic ("middle life") era lasted from 251 Ma to 66 Ma. The following Archean and Proterozoic eons produced the beginnings of life on Earth and its earliest evolution. [132] Its possible cause was the intense glaciation of Gondwana, which eventually led to a snowball earth. In geochronology, time is generally measured in mya (million years ago), each unit representing the period of approximately 1,000,000 years in the past. Such extremophile organisms are restricted to otherwise inhospitable environments such as hot springs and hydrothermal vents. [citation needed] [185] It is considered to have been a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age, where Muslim scholars in Baghdad and Cairo flourished from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries until the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258 AD. Meanwhile, in the outer part of the nebula gravity caused matter to condense around density perturbations and dust particles, and the rest of the protoplanetary disk began separating into rings. [65], Planetesimals at a distance of 1 astronomical unit (AU), the distance of the Earth from the Sun, probably did not contribute any water to the Earth because the solar nebula was too hot for ice to form and the hydration of rocks by water vapor would have taken too long. The existence of Pannotia depends on the timing of the rifting between Gondwana (which included most of the landmass now in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent) and Laurentia (roughly equivalent to current-day North America). The Bacteria domain probably first split off from the other forms of life (sometimes called Neomura), but this supposition is controversial. 4,567,000,000 years ago, Earth was covered in molten lava. The change to an oxygen-rich atmosphere was a crucial development. [10][11][12] Other early physical evidence of a biogenic substance is graphite in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in southwestern Greenland[13] as well as "remains of biotic life" found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia. Recognizable humans emerged at most 2 million years ago, a vanishingly small period on the geological scale. These missions will help measure: ocean topography (Ocean Surface Topography Mission, 2008); atmospheric carbon dioxide (Orbiting Carbon Observatory, 2008); global aerosol and cloud properties, along with total solar irradiance (Glory, 2009); sea surface salinity (Aquarius, 2009); global land cover change (Landsat Data Continuity Mission, 2011); and global rainfall from tropical to mid-latitudes (Global Precipitation Measurement, 2012). Therefore, the second timeline shows an expanded view of the most recent eon. The evolution of photosynthesis made it possible for cells to derive energy from the Sun. This led to Earth's first civilization at Sumer in the Middle East, between 4000 and 3000 BC. This was Earth's third atmosphere. Using oxygen, it metabolized the larger cell's waste products and derived more energy. [142] After each extinction pulse, the continental shelf regions were repopulated by similar life forms that may have been evolving slowly elsewhere. ", "Researchers find that Earth may be home to 1 trillion species", "Luminary Lineage: Did an Ancient Supernova Trigger the Solar System's Birth? [2]:133 When most of the exposed readily reacting minerals were oxidized, oxygen finally began to accumulate in the atmosphere. The first shows the entire time from the formation of the Earth to the present, but this gives little space for the most recent eon. The history of Earth concerns the development of planet Earth from its formation to the present day. Once sufficiently high pressures and densities were achieved in the compacted nebular core, nuclear fusion reactions within it could begin, giving birth to a star. [citation needed], The evolution of grass brought a remarkable change to the Earth's landscape, and the new open spaces created pushed mammals to get bigger and bigger. In any case, the smaller cell survived inside the larger cell. NAS… Oxygen was toxic; much life on Earth probably died out as its levels rose in what is known as the oxygen catastrophe. Bubbles can then grow by absorbing additional lipids and dividing. The timing of the first animals to leave the oceans is not precisely known: the oldest clear evidence is of arthropods on land around 450 Ma,[152] perhaps thriving and becoming better adapted due to the vast food source provided by the terrestrial plants. [citation needed] The earliest fossils possessing features typical of fungi date to the Paleoproterozoic era, some 2.4 ago; these multicellular benthic organisms had filamentous structures capable of anastomosis. [88], Another long-standing hypothesis is that the first life was composed of protein molecules. [43], Earth's only natural satellite, the Moon, is larger relative to its planet than any other satellite in the Solar System. Prokaryote lineages[145] had probably colonized the land as early as 2.6 Ga[146] even before the origin of the eukaryotes. [54], Mantle convection, the process that drives plate tectonics, is a result of heat flow from the Earth's interior to the Earth's surface. However, the Earth did not get warmer. The ocean and atmosphere would, therefore, have started to form even as the Earth formed. [117]:357 A creature that could have been the ancestor of the fishes, or was probably closely related to it, was Pikaia. This contributed to further cooperation and intellectual development. [184] The Roman Empire was Christianized by Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century and declined by the end of the 5th. J.A. [149], Several hundred million years ago, plants (probably resembling algae) and fungi started growing at the edges of the water, and then out of it. What do we know about how they evolved from earlier life-forms? [133] Increased volcanic activity resulted from the break-up of Rodinia at about the same time. The ozone layer absorbed, and still absorbs, a significant amount of the ultraviolet radiation that once had passed through the atmosphere. [citation needed], The second mass extinction was the Late Devonian extinction, probably caused by the evolution of trees, which could have led to the depletion of greenhouse gases (like CO2) or the eutrophication of water. The oxidized iron appears as red layers in geological strata called banded iron formations that formed in abundance during the Siderian period (between 2500 Ma and 2300 Ma). [117]:100–101, The ability to control fire probably began in Homo erectus (or Homo ergaster), probably at least 790,000 years ago[173] but perhaps as early as 1.5 Ma. It allowed cells to colonize the surface of the ocean and eventually the land: without the ozone layer, ultraviolet radiation bombarding land and sea would have caused unsustainable levels of mutation in exposed cells. Analysis of the isotopes in meteorites and, in particular, of rocks brought back from the Moon by U.S. Apollo astronauts have produced some of the major contributions. Buch, Christian Leopold, Freiherr von. [110][111], Modern taxonomy classifies life into three domains. Neil Armstrong, an American, was the first to set foot on another astronomical object, the Moon. ", "When did eukaryotic cells evolve? Three million years ago saw the start of the Pleistocene epoch, which featured dramatic climactic changes due to the ice ages. The first big cats evolved during this time as well. Soon, a stable symbiosis developed between the large cell and the smaller cells inside it. The second type is a complex of felsic magmatic rocks. The Proterozoic saw a couple of severe ice ages called snowball Earths. In this field, natural philosophers were asking questions like, what’s up with fossils? [29] The solar wind of the newly formed T Tauri star cleared out most of the material in the disk that had not already condensed into larger bodies. [14][15] According to one of the researchers, "If life arose relatively quickly on Earth … then it could be common in the universe. [64][67] Comets may also have contributed. In 1987, almost 30 years ago, NESTA developed a position statement on the importance of Earth Science … ; Vickery, A.M. & Tonks, W.B. The first are so-called greenstone belts, consisting of low-grade metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. NASA Earth Science Division Response to COVID-19. [nb 1] During the Apollo program, rocks from the Moon's surface were brought to Earth. [176]:8 As language became more complex, the ability to remember and communicate information resulted, according to a theory proposed by Richard Dawkins, in a new replicator: the meme. [117]:169, The boundary between avian and non-avian dinosaurs is not clear, but Archaeopteryx, traditionally considered one of the first birds, lived around 150 Ma. The ice ages led to the evolution of modern man in Saharan Africa and expansion. By analogy with what astronomers presently observe to happen in regions of star formation, it is thought that the solar system began as a cloud of gas and dust comprising such preexisting elements. The Development of Earth (Earth Science) Flashcards | Quizlet [150]:300 Of course, the line between different species or even genera is somewhat arbitrary as organisms continuously change over generations. In its earliest stage of formation, it was uninhabitable as it clumped from a cloud of dust. The invention of writing enabled complex societies to arise: record-keeping and libraries served as a storehouse of knowledge and increased the cultural transmission of information. These are the Department of Environmental Science and the Department of Earth Science, which run undergraduate programmes that lead to the award of BSc in Environmental Science and BSc in Earth Science… [171], The formation of Panama was perhaps the most important geological event to occur in the last 60 million years. The development of hard body parts such as shells, skeletons or exoskeletons in animals like molluscs, echinoderms, crinoids and arthropods (a well-known group of arthropods from the lower Paleozoic are the trilobites) made the preservation and fossilization of such life forms easier than those of their Proterozoic ancestors. Methane is a strong greenhouse gas, but with oxygen it reacts to form CO2, a less effective greenhouse gas. [91], It has been suggested that double-walled "bubbles" of lipids like those that form the external membranes of cells may have been an essential first step. There are microbial mat fossils such as stromatolites found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia. The Earth Science Division collects global Earth-observing satellite data and has planned for continuity of observations, while prioritizing the health, … Established following World War I, the League of Nations was a first step in establishing international institutions to settle disputes peacefully. Geologists. As a result, they exhibited more plasticity, and thus possessed an increased capacity to learn and required a longer period of dependence. In 1054 AD the Great Schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church led to the prominent cultural differences between Western and Eastern Europe. [81][82][83] The earliest ribozymes may have been formed of simpler nucleic acids such as PNA, TNA or GNA, which would have been replaced later by RNA. The process may have finally been reversed by the emission of carbon dioxide from volcanoes or the destabilization of methane gas hydrates. [23] In this model, the Solar System formed from a large, rotating cloud of interstellar dust and gas called the solar nebula. In 66 Ma, a 10-kilometer (6.2 mi) asteroid struck Earth just off the Yucatán Peninsula—somewhere in the southwestern tip of then Laurasia—where the Chicxulub crater is today. It was enough to vaporize some of the Earth's outer layers and melt both bodies. These marine species could probably not contend with the decreasing temperature of the sea water. Very soon after the split, for reasons that are still unclear, apes in one branch developed the ability to walk upright. Some scientists believe that instead of a single organism being the last universal common ancestor, there were populations of organisms exchanging genes by lateral gene transfer. [100]:379–382[102], The simpler anoxygenic form arose about 3.8 Ga, not long after the appearance of life. There are many models, but little consensus, on how life emerged from non-living chemicals; chemical systems created in the laboratory fall well short of the minimum complexity for a living organism. Earth Science Education is as essential and relevant today as it was when NESTA was founded in 1983. But it remains uncertain whether either these or other proposed Permian-Triassic boundary craters are either real impact craters or even contemporaneous with the Permian-Triassic extinction event. Around 1.1 Ga, the supercontinent Rodinia was assembling. Humans no longer had to spend all their time working for survival, enabling the first specialized occupations (e.g. This was the origin of the amphibians. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) The final collision in Earth's timeline was with Theia, a rocky planetoid perhaps the size of Mars. 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