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2012-03-30. Ancient raindrop fossils shed light on early atmosphere

posted Apr 12, 2012, 9:50 AM by Fiona Potter
| By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times.  An article pertinent to GSS Life and Climate chapter 2.  Excerpt: Fossilized imprints of raindrops that were sealed into stone 2.7 billion years ago indicate that Earth's early atmosphere could have been packed with greenhouse gases, according to new research that addresses a long-standing paradox of the planet's early history.
About 2 billion years ago, the young sun was far less bright, emitting less than 85% of the light and heat it puts out today…. How did Earth manage to stay so warm?
To get at the answer, a team of scientists from the University of Washington in Seattle adopted an unusual method employed in 1851 by a 19th-century geologist named Charles Lyell… Lyell suggested that the thickness of the ancient atmosphere could be pinned down by measuring the size of fossil raindrops….  Read the full article at http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-raindrop-fossil-20120331,0,2315734.story