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2016 Annual Science Report

University of California, Riverside Reporting  |  JAN 2016 – DEC 2016

Executive Summary

Ongoing Research Effort:
Comprehensive numerical modeling of mid-Proterozoic relationships among low atmospheric oxygen, methane instability, and low and heterogeneous shallow marine oxygen » In addition to the modeling work discussed above, we have revisited evolving atmospheric chemistry on Earth in the context of the spectroscopic detectability of Earth’s biosphere (Reinhard et al., In review). We suggest that vast periods of Earth’s history would have appeared sterile, despite a thriving surface biosphere—representing a series of ‘false negative’ scenarios for remote life detection that warrant further exploration. More broadly, we argue that future work should seek to identify novel biosignatures that are less prone to being overprinted by exchange with a liquid ocean.

Work between GT, UCR, and collaborator Kasting from the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) is coupling experimental kinetics of biotic/abiotic N2O production with atmospheric photochemical models to explore N2O as a potential ... Continue reading.

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