Latest Issue of Science News


Sulfur Studies: Early Earth's air was oxygen-poor

Analyses of ancient sulfide minerals and the modern organisms that create sulfides are giving scientists a better idea of what Earth's atmosphere and oceans may have been like billions of years ago. The findings may also explain a paradox that has long puzzled solar astronomers.

In one of the new studies, scientists looked at the ratio of isotopes in sulfide particles trapped in diamonds unearthed from a mine in Botswana. Radioactive dating shows that those gems formed about 2.9 billion years ago, says Mark H. Thiemens, a chemist at the University of California, San Diego.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.