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OxygenA Four Billion Year History$
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Donald Eugene Canfield

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145020

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145020.001.0001

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What Is It about Planet Earth?

What Is It about Planet Earth?

(p.1) Chapter 1 What Is It about Planet Earth?

Donald Eugene Canfield

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by highlighting the three basic ingredients for life: energy, the chemical components that make up cells, and water. It then shows that the availability of each of these is linked by special properties of planet Earth. It concludes that Earth is a pretty terrific place for life. It sits comfortably within the habitable zone of the Sun. In addition, its active tectonics both control the temperature of the surface environment, providing a continuous supply of liquid water, and recycle the basic components required to fuel abundant life. The same tectonics may have also provided optimal conditions for the earliest biosphere.

Keywords:   planet Earth, energy, cells, water, tectonics

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