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08/24/2012

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Dave Cohen

Re: a canfield ocean

I first read about a "canfield" ocean when I read his original paper in the journal Science (1998)-- A new model for Proterozoic ocean chemistry. Nature 396:450–453.

For background, you can read here.

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/43/18045.full

"About a decade ago, Canfield offered a very different possibility—that ventilation of the deep ocean lagged behind the Great Oxygen Event (GOE, about 2.3 billion years ago) by more than a billion years, resulting in a vast, deep reservoir of hydrogen sulfide, but long-held presumptions about photosynthetic life in the surface waters remained untouched..."

Back in 1998, I did not associate such a possibility with future oceans. Donald Canfield was talking about the Proterozoic -- "the period of Earth's history that began 2.5 billion years ago and ended 542.0 million years ago is known as the Proterozoic"

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/precambrian/proterozoic.php

Now, I'm not so sure we might not eventually end up with oceans that look much like they did a billion years ago.

-- Dave

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