The major reservoir of nitrogen at Earth's surface is atmospheric N 2 , but recent studies have proposed that the size of this reservoir may have fluctuated significantly over the course of Earth's history with particularly low levels in the Neoarchean—presumably as a result of biological activity.
We used a biogeochemical box model to test which conditions are necessary to cause large swings in atmospheric N 2 pressure. Parameters for our model are constrained by observations of modern Earth and reconstructions of biomass burial and oxidative weathering in deep time. A 1-D climate model was used to model potential effects on atmospheric climate. In a second set of tests, we perturbed our box model to investigate which parameters have the greatest impact on the evolution of atmospheric p N 2 and consider possible implications for nitrogen cycling on other planets.
Our results suggest that a a high rate of biomass burial would have been needed in the Archean to draw down atmospheric p N 2 to less than half modern levels, b the resulting effect on temperature could probably have been compensated by increasing solar luminosity and a mild increase in p CO 2 , and c atmospheric oxygenation could have initiated a stepwise p N 2 rebound through oxidative weathering.
In general, life appears to be necessary for significant atmospheric p N 2 swings on Earth-like planets.
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Our results further support the idea that an exoplanetary atmosphere rich in both N 2 and O 2 is a signature of an oxygen-producing biosphere. Astrobiology 16, — Login to your account Username.
THOR: A New Global Circulation Model to Study Planetary Climates (Open-Source) – software-oasis
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Enter your email address below and we will send you your username. Astrobiology Vol. Each chapter focuses in depth on one or two important concepts. Mathematics is avoided when not needed. But Ingersoll is not compromising. He gives full explanations of even difficult concepts, such as vorticity. There is no political material here, just carefully presented science. This is the book to assign prior to entering policy debates in an undergraduate course. Gierasch, Cornell University. Explaining current knowledge, physical and chemical mechanisms, and unanswered questions, the book brings the reader to the cutting edge of the field.
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