Earth's Early Atmosphere and Oceans, and The Origin of Life (eBook, PDF) - Shaw, George H.
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Introduction.- Why this book? /What I am trying to do.- Four previous treatments - Oparin, Rubey, Walker, and Holland.- Outstanding problems.- Accretional history of Earth.- Accreting materials.- Volatile components and total volatiles available.- Sequence and rates of events - accretion time.- State of surface near end of accretion.- Nature of final accretional phase.- Processes of degassing.- Impact degassing.- Small impactors.- Large impactors.- Intermediate impactors.- High temperature degassing of accreted solids.- Low temperature degassing of accreted solids - importance of water produced during initial phase of late accretion.- Evidence from field and laboratory studies.- Atmospheric processing of degassed volatiles.- Photochemistry in brief.- Recycling of C and N compounds in the surface and near-surface environment.- The nature of the early ocean.- Early Archean "geography".- Global ocean should be obvious.- Ocean ridge systems and hot-spots.- Continental growth - processes and history.- Proto-island arcs and shorelines.- Degassing processes.- Prebiotic chemistry - why we should pay attention to this.- Availability of critical C-N species.- Availability of phosphorus (possible complexing with organics).- Concentration processes - "Warm pond"?.- Eigen's hypercycle and the emergence of life.- Key role of tRNA.- The nature of tRNA and why/how it might be produced in quantity.- tRNA as a dimer - and other similar RNA.- How much tRNA and how many of them?.- Does tRNA code for useful polypeptides?.- How the carbon-rich surface is key to emergence of life.- How much tRNA can be made? Compare to polypeptide numbers and probability of "functional" tRNA assemblies.- Micelles/protocells.- Why do we get tRNA, why does tRNA look like that?.- Evolution of Earth starting with a carbon-rich surface.- Subduction of organics and cycling of carbon through time.- History of CO2 production.- Origin of photosynthesis.- Hydrogen loss, photosynthesis and increase in oxidation state.- Transition of oxidized atmosphere.- Implications of this model.- Faint Young sun resolved.- Carbon isotope systematic.- Early Archean lithology.- Cratonisation and the carbon cycle.- Delay in oxidation of atmosphere and surface.- Climate transition on Mars and Martian geology today.- Conclusions.