12.007 Geobiology, Spring 2007
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The interactive Earth system: biology in geologic, environmental and climate change throughout Earth history. Since life began it has continually shaped and re-shaped the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and the solid earth. Subject introduces the concept of "life as a geological agent" and examines the interaction between biology and the earth system during the roughly 4 billion years since life first appeared. Topics include the origin of the solar system and the early Earth atmosphere; the origin and evolution of life and its influence on climate up through and including the modern age and the problem of global warming; the global carbon cycle; and astrobiology.
Big Bang, carbon cycle, geobiochemistry, Solar System formation, evolution, isotopic analysis: climate, climate change, Snowball earth, mesozoic, proterozoic, mass extinctions, paleoclimate, antiquity of life, carbon dating, origin of life, phylogenic trees
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