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Electrons, Life and the Evolution of the Oxygen Cycle on Earth

Electrons, Life and the Evolution of the Oxygen Cycle on Earth

This video was recorded at MIT World Series: Earth System Revolutions - Key Turning Points in the History of Our Planet. Peeling away billions of years of the Earth's history, Paul Falkowski reveals how our watery and rocky world underwent a massive transformation to become oxygen-rich and biologically diverse. He elucidates the complex geochemical and geophysical processes underlying the "Story of O" – how oxygen made its appearance on the planet. While scientists know that photosynthesis is responsible for the air we breathe, "We don't understand how the reaction fundamentally works," says Falkowski. "It's one of the most enigmatic electron transfer reactions in biology." Just splitting water "doesn't give you free oxygen on the planet. " Yet somehow, on an almost unimaginable timescale,... Show More

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