A finger of purple bacteria sticks up from the bottom of a lakebed
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study
Researchers propose that some of the planet’s earliest photosynthesizers benefited from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation that allowed them to produce a surplus of oxygen and paved the way for more complex life.  
ABOVE: Phil Hartmeyer, NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study

Researchers propose that some of the planet’s earliest photosynthesizers benefited from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation that allowed them to produce a surplus of oxygen and paved the way for more complex life.  

Researchers propose that some of the planet’s earliest photosynthesizers benefited from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation that allowed them to produce a surplus of oxygen and paved the way for more complex life.  

ABOVE: Phil Hartmeyer, NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
earth
a micrograph of putative sponge fossils with small tunnel-like structures in white on a black background
890-Million-Year-Old Fossils Are Sponges, Oldest Animals: Study
Abby Olena | Jul 28, 2021
If confirmed, the findings indicate that animals appeared on Earth millions of years earlier than previously believed.
lightning, life, Earth, meteorite, phosphorous, fulgurite, schreibersite, DNA, RNA, microbes, evolution
Lightning Might Have Sparked Early Life on Earth
Asher Jones | Mar 17, 2021
Electrical storms, rather than meteorites as scientists had previously thought, could have unlocked phosphorus necessary for the development of ancient life, according to a new study.
chibanian chiba magnetic field polarity reversal japan geology
Newly Named Chibanian Age Demarcates Earth’s Last Magnetic Flip
Kerry Grens | Feb 17, 2020
The time period, which spans 770,000 to 126,000 years ago, started with a reversal of the planet’s magnetic field.
Microbe Miner: A Profile of Rob Knight
Anna Azvolinsky | Jun 1, 2019
Developing computational tools to analyze the reams of microbial sequencing data his lab generates, the UC San Diego microbiologist is a pioneer of microbiome research.
Fossilized Tubes Point to Super-Ancient Mobile Organisms
Jef Akst | Feb 12, 2019
If the structures identified in a 2.1-billion-year-old rock are really signs of burrowing organisms, it would push back the earliest known mobile organisms by 1.5 billion years.
Life Thrives Within the Earth’s Crust
Catherine Offord | Oct 1, 2018
From journeys into mines to explorations of volcanoes on the ocean floor, deep voyages reveal the richness of the planet’s deep biosphere.
Geologists, paleontology, excavation
Oldest Evidence of Terrestrial Life on a Young Earth
Anna Azvolinsky | Jul 23, 2018
Microbes were living on land as early as 3.22 billion years ago, fossilized rocks show, 500 million years earlier than previously documented.
Rivers and Streams Compose Much More of Earth's Surface Than Thought
Shawna Williams | Jun 28, 2018
A new estimate bumps up the area previously estimated to be covered by running water by more than 40 percent.
Humanity May Have Flourished After Supervolcano Eruption
Diana Kwon | Mar 13, 2018
A new study counters the popular theory that after Mount Toba blew its top 74,000 years ago, humans almost went extinct.
Earth: Home to 1 Trillion Microbial Species
Catherine Offord | May 3, 2016
A new analysis of microbial data estimates that the world is home to 1 trillion species—of which only 0.001 percent have been discovered.
Life Before 4 Billion Years Ago?
Jef Akst | Oct 20, 2015
A new estimate of the origin of life on Earth pushes back the date by 300 million years.
Is Earth Special?
David Waltham | Mar 1, 2014
Reconsidering the uniqueness of life on our planet
Book Excerpt from Lucky Planet
David Waltham | Feb 28, 2014
In the book's prologue, author David Waltham compares a fictitious planet to Earth, highlighting the biologically supportive luck that our planet has enjoyed.
Keeping Up with Climate Change
Kate Yandell | Jul 24, 2013
In order to adapt to this century’s changing temperatures, vertebrates will need to evolve much faster than in previous eras.
Opinion: The Precarious Earth
Frank Biermann | Jun 18, 2012
People are currently driving the planet on a crash course with global stability. Something must be done.
World Population Hits 7 Billion
Tia Ghose | Oct 31, 2011
Sometime today, Earth’s 7 billionth person was born.