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4,600,000,000 4,000,000,000
The time was ripe for the surface of earth to start solidifying to huge rocky and slowly rotating basalt and mineral plates, colliding violently against each others, toppling each others, folding together, and sinking below the surface and melting away - all forced by the rotation of the planet. 

This phase lasted over a half a billion years until the surface had cooled and formed much more stable crust.  The rotation of the plates had slowed down considerable but movement was still violent.  This movement is still there today exploding now and then to violent earthquakes.  However, these are but tiny feather touches in comparison to how the earth behaved early during this time period.

4,550,000,000
The Moon arrived in form of a major asteroid, about 1/3 rd of the size of the earth at the time. The collision was violent and major portion of the asteroid actually split and reflected away forming our companion. Its center of gravity froze permanently off it's center and that is the reason it pints always with the same side to the earth.
4,600,000,000 until today
The life started advancing on earth. 

Deep below the oceans in complete darkness the lava spewing sea vents were instant life generators when the high pressure water flowed over the cracks in the earth's crust.  Fresh lava was spewing up whenever the tectonic plates moved and created an earth quake.  The environment down there remains the same that it was at the beginning,  extremely violent while it at the same time it offers a plentiful mineral rich environment for the the life to evolve.  This is the most likely world where the life on earth first begin. 

There was a complete darkness while the environment was still relatively stable.  The pressure impacting everything there varied depending on the location of the vents from perhaps only 50 atmospheres to several hundreds depending on the depth of the ocean while the surrounding temperature varied from a high several hundred degrees C down to even tolerable for humans depending how far from the vent one was.  However, if our bodies are 70% water the pressure at that depth would crush our lungs instantly.   

This is totally alien environment to us and as said without protective gear we will be crushed and boiled in an instant.  We have been able to study this environment now for a few decades with explorer submarines. We have been surprised the size of the life down there.  Regardless of its chemistry it all is as vigorous as everything in our familiar environment and the living colonies down there are just massive challenging the size of everything alive above the ocean surface.  A new biosphere down there forms every time whenever the tectonic plates move so that it creates a fresh opening for lava to contact the water and form new vents. 

We see this all as earthquakes and or volcanoes in our world while deep under the ocean surface it all is just a continuous process where sea water is cooling the lava spewing out from the forever opening new cracks between the tectonic plates.

The biosphere down there is enormous, some even claim that it is much larger than we have up here.  It is a totally alien world for us where first life starts from chemical reactions driven by the heat and the continuously forming and moving mineral soup around.  The life here does not need the sun nor oxygen.  It has more than enough energy and materials available instantly than it ever needs.  However, it also is the same time very fragile as the tectonic plates open and close based on celestial forces created by earths rotation.  With sudden total closing of a crack all the energy that is needed to sustain a life in a colony is gone in an instant.  However, with the forever changing tectonic forces there is always plenty of new places for this life.  We have the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific and we have the forever opening Mid-Atlantic ridge between Europe and the New World, and our internal galactic furnace in the center of our planet is not about to get extinguished during the next few billion years nor is it impacted by anything that happens on the planet surface.

It sounds unbelievable but the environment down there offers more environments for life to form than the one we have here on the surface.  Did our life start as a separate process or did it start as a consequence of undersea volcanoes growing slowly towards the surface bringing the most adaptive forms of deep sea life closer and closer to our environment? To survive they needed to change the way they absorb energy and given a few billion years of time that is no more a barrier.  It has been surprising as some of the species down there resemble greatly the species we have up here.

However, we still can not determine which environment is more important for development of a living organism.  Our environment is full of aerobic and anaerobic microbial life forms that could have gone either way though coming with the volcanoes upwards seems more likely.

Like down there in our environment the one who is the fittest for that environment will determine who would see yet another day starting from the simplest microbes.  Later on with life getting more complex with larger forever specializing creatures every new life form they had to pass the same simple test. 

On the surface the development of the atmosphere and the daily, annual and other celestial activities impacting our solar system have always influenced how the life itself developed.  The major changes and even radical events including huge asteroids from "nowhere" kept on purging and pruning the evolving life inside the oceans and above the surface.  However, for the life deep under the ocean surface around the lava vents even the largest of the asteroids was just another non-event. 

4,500,000,000 until today
 
4,250,000,000
Researchers have found unusually light isotopes of carbon, a common indicator of life, in the Earth's oldest mineral deposit, found in the Jack Hills in Western Australia. The carbon dates to more than 4.25 billion years ago, a time known as the Hadean period.
 
4,000,000,000
At the same time only 600,000,000 years after the earth was officially solidified or born, a chemical called Proflavine, (3,6-diaminoacridine) or something similar started assembling simple DNA and RNA blocks to basic random structures of organic element - nothing else but a contact was needed to start this super fast assembly line with some twist always present. Some of these elements could be immediately used as starting elements for something else and they suddenly became sought after Lego blocks by such new molecules - like food.  This marked the  beginning of the life on the surface waters.
 
4,000,000,000 3,500,000,000
Oxygen (O2) was produced only by photo dissociation.  O2  content in the earth's atmosphere was less than 0.000002%
 
4,000,000,000 until today
Methane, CH4, is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In nature it is produced both biologically by various micro organisms and even our cows. The realization that cow produces also methane created almost a mass hysteria that we must do something to the cows. This is utter nonsense, and just one of the results that we do not educate our people.

Nature uses yet two other ways to mass produce Methane on a scale that dwarfs our existing Methane manufacturing industry and all the biological processes combined.

Methane is manufactured industryially from the two widely available elements Carbon and Hydrogen by just joining them. The most common industrial manufacturing system follows the guidelines shown in the German Fischer-Tropsh process. This process requires the following environment:

  1. The pressure can be anything from atmospheric to highly pressurized
  2. The most beneficial temperature range is between 150-300 degrees C (varies with the pressure)
  3. Carbon atoms must be present, any form will do
  4. Hydrogen atoms must be present, again any form will do, even water is perfect
  5. If there is a catalyst like iron (or similar elements) present process speed increases (Iron is an common element in earth's crust)

In Nature the conditions for the above are highly favorable around all volcanic activity and in the oceans on areas where the tectonic plates are separating and passing each others in a continuous and unstoppable process. Ther tectonic activity is ongoing 24/7 while the volcanoes are more rare but still they are potentially major Methane producers.

Methane Makers
 
3,500,000,000 2,800,000,000
Oxygen (O2) was already produced by a photosynthesis and O2 content in the atmosphere had increased to a level of about 0.0002%.
 
3,500,000,000
First algae species were born
 
3,000,000,000
The first single cell organisms had evolved, the life was officially "born" on earth (NYT).
 
3,000,000,000 2,000,000,000
Detrital uraninites, leaching of iron in fossil soils.  O2  content in the atmosphere increased to  about 0.2%
 
2,300,000,000
A huge asteroid, like it's later cousin M&M 600, hit the earth filling the atmosphere with Sulphur containing ash and preventing the sunshine from reaching the earths surface for years to come.  The planet Earth froze.
 
2,000,000,000
The life catching simple sea water plants thrived and started blasting oxygen to atmosphere.
 
2,000,000,000 700,000,000
Division of eucaryotic cells.  O2  content in the atmosphere increased to  about 2%.
 
1,460,000,000
Ancient black smoker chimneys were unearthed by scientists in a Chinese mine, are 1 billion years older than similar fossils previously identified and are nearly identical to the archaea- and bacteria-harboring structures found today on sea beds
 
1,000,000,000
The first algae colonies formed on the oceans.
 
1,000,000,000
The first plants ventured to the solid ground out of the sea and the oxygen production started in earnest.
 
1,000,000,000 500,000,000
Organic carbon was increasingly buried and this started increasing radically the oxygen level in the atmosphere.  By the end of this period the the oxygen level reached almost 20% in the atmosphere.
 
750,000,000
A huge asteroid, like M&M 600 a little later on, hit the earth filling the atmosphere with Sulphur containing ash and preventing the sunshine from reaching the earths surface for years to come.  The planet Earth froze. 
 
700,000,000
Synthesis by collagen.  The first fossil animals using O2 diffusion evolved, and similarly the first animals having O2 circulatory system evolved.  The first known arms race on planet led to an all out war of hegemony on the waterways of this planet.  The primitive multi headed hydra-like creatures, with nerve cell bundles around their mouths were the prevailing ruling hunters for food.  Nature had a problem, how many heads would be best?  The fight went on for a few million years, and by the end only those who started with one hear were still hunting (NYT).
 
650,000,000
A huge asteroid, like M&M 600., hit the earth filling the atmosphere with Sulphur containing ash and preventing the sunshine from reaching the earths surface for years to come.  The planet Earth froze.
 
600,000,000 until today

The Oxygen content in the atmosphere varied between 15% and 37% during this time period.  At around 550 million years ago the earth came out of a massive global Ice age as indicated in the graph above. At that time the oxygen level on the planet was about the same as today at 21% and stayed there almost for the next 200 million years. 

Then it started increasing steeply reaching it's peak 36% 300 million years ago.  The vegetation was increasingly buried underground in swamp lands leaving more Oxygen to concentrate into atmosphere? This graph below shows the oxygen content in the early atmosphere starting from 600 million years ago.

Methane Makers

 

 
450,000,000
The primitive ancestors of our present day sharks started ruling the oceans.
 
450,000,000
It appears that the life on earth was almost destroyed by celestial objects and enormous volcanic activity.
 
443,000,000
Ordovician-Silurian extinction.  This was caused by a drop in sea levels as glaciers formed, then by rising sea levels as glaciers melted. The toll: 25 percent of marine families and 60 percent of marine genera.
 
380,000,000 230,000,000
We had a sudden oxygen runoff.  The plankton and also increasingly the land conquering plants started producing oxygen with plant materials getting increasingly buried underground.   The oxygen content on the rose rapidly from around 17% to it's peak at 37%.
 
382,000,000
Tiktaalik, the first fish with a neck and who could walk was found in Canadian Ellesmere island, that was part of the equatorial world at the time.  This fish, perhaps even our ancestor, had both the gills and the lungs at it's disposal.
 
359,000,000
Late Devonian extinction.  The cause is unknown. Was it the sudden excess oxygen in the air starting to form the highly reactive ozone?  Ozone reacts almost instantly with anything that is organic and if the high oxygen content led to this that could explain it all.  In any case this period  killed 22 percent of marine families and 57 percent of marine genera. Very little is known about land organisms at the time.
 
280,000,000
Something drastic happened in the earth as the oxygen level in the atmosphere dived directly down to about 15% in 60,000,000 years.  This change could have been triggered by a huge asteroid with the following much high temperature on the planet consuming the oxygen from the atmosphere.  One can read this atmospheric oxygen map the other way also and that would mean that this asteroid hit the earth actually about 380 million years ago creating an environment where bacteria working on newly exposed minerals where thriving and started releasing huge amounts of oxygen for the next 50 million years.  However, in comparison the "small" asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs and hit the earth 65 million years ago did not have real impact to the climate of the earth in the scale of the millions of years. This indicates that the life in the oceans was already stronger than this asteroid.  The question was how much weaker was the life 200 and
 
251,000,000 245,000,000
Permian-Triassic extingtion.  The Permian-Triassic catastrophe has been the Earth's worst mass extinction that we know, killing 95 percent of all species, 53 percent of marine families, 84 percent of marine genera and an estimated 70 percent of land species such as plants, insects and vertebrate animals. The sharks were lucky and survived somehow. Was the initial cause the asteroid M&M 600? We do not know as of yet but all indications point to this direction.  This is also supported by the claims that there has been a huge volcanic activity in the Northern Russia around this time.
 
245,000,000
Thrinaxadon, the ancestor of the dogs evolved.
 
245,000,000 206,000,000
Triassic period saw the birth of first dinosaurs and mammals.
 
240,000,000
Perhaps this was the first over population crisis on the planet where the rapidly expanding oxygen breathing animals consumed the vegetation before enough new species had evolved to utilize these species as their food source.  The planet needed more species to balance its growing one-sided life forms.  The oxygen level in atmosphere reached its lowest minimum ever at 15%.  This approaches the human ability to survive.  The Oxygen level then started increasing immediately thereafter but only 40 million years later became another low at 15%.  After that it started increasing again and reached a plateau at 23% level about 150 million years ago.   This continued until for another 40 million years and after that the O2 level started increasing again reaching it's peak about 65 million years ago.  After that the O2 content has been steadily going down until today with the current level at 21%
 
200,000,000 199,000,000
Triassic extinction.  This was likely caused by the asteroid that hit the Antarctica at this time.  A large free magma area opened in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.. The volcanism may have led to deadly global warming. Rocks from these eruptions or rather a celestial event like an asteroid are found in the eastern United States, eastern Brazil, North Africa and Spain. The death toll: 22 percent of marine families, 52 percent of marine genera. Vertebrate deaths are unclear.
 
206,000,000 144,000,000
Jurassic Period, the first flying birds started roaming the skies.
 
190,000,000
The oxygen content dipped again at 15% from the high 18% it had had since 40 million years earlier
 
144,000,000 65,000,000
Cretaceous period, the super continent, Pangaea, started breaking up to modern day continents. This was the heyday of the dinosaurs.  It took this long for first flowering plants to emerge - the insects were there.
 
80,000,000
A long-limbed and extremely agile animal that was dubbed to "Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi" roamed arid and hot terrain that is now Brazilian countryside. It had a mix of morphological traits common in prehistoric crocodiles and in the ones that exist today. Fossil of the 5-foot-long predator was found in 2004 near the small city of Monte Alto, 215 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, paleontologist Felipe Mesquita de Vasconcellos told to a news conference at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 2008. 
 
70,000,000
The oxygen in the atmosphere reached another peak at 26%and since that it has been declining almost linearly and  is currently 21%.  This decline resembles the one that started a little less than 300 million years ago and led to massive distinction of most living species.  The oxygen level is still 5% points above the low and with current decline rate we would be there in another 50,000,000 years.  However, what we are doing for the planet will cause the oxygen deficiency to arise much earlier than that.
 
65,000,000
65 million ago
Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction.  A time for tremendous tectonic activity following several mile wide asteroid hitting the earth forming the Chicxulub crater.  This was just another major wipeout of most living creatures from the planet earth.  The dinosaurs disappeared forever.  Smaller creatures with large numbers became now in fashion!  The extinction killed 16 percent of marine families, 47 percent of marine genera (the classification above species) and 18 percent of land vertebrate families, including the dinosaurs.

The enduringly popular theory that the Chicxulub crater holds the clue to the demise of the dinosaurs, along with some 65 percent of all species 65 million years ago, is challenged in a paper to be published in the Journal of the Geological Society onApril 27, 2009. The crater, discovered in 1978 in northern Yucutan and measuring about 180 kilometers (112 miles) in diameter, records a massive extra-terrestrial impact.

The scientists have  found evidence that the Chicxulub impact didn't have the dramatic impact on species diversity that has been suggested.  At one site at El Penon, the researchers found 52 species present in sediments below the impact spherule layer, and counted all 52 still present in layers above the spherules. "We found that not a single species went extinct as a result of the Chicxulub impact," says Keller.

The newest research, led by Gerta Keller of Princeton University in New Jersey, and Thierry Adatte of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, uses evidence from Mexico to suggest that the Chicxulub impact predates the K-T boundary by as much as 300,000 years.

 
55,000,000
First horses evolved - our greatest and so far longest lasting first real transportation system was evolving!
 
40,000,000
Scientists discovered the fossils of giant carnivorous birds in Antarctica, the Phororhacoids, that lived on the planet more than 40 million years ago. The monsters were up to three meters tall and had bull-sized heads armed with powerful 60-cm long beaks.
 
13,000,000

The earth got it's first glimpse of it's future rulers - the humans around 13,000,000 years ago....

The life was advancing on earth influenced most by the daily and annual cycles.  The decisions of the fittest determined who would see yet another day on all levels of life starting first from the simplest microbes but including later on every life form whenever they emerged and started demanding any space in the already occupied world.  The daily and annual rhythm of life on earth has always been influenced by the celestial cycles imposed by sun, moon and the other nine planets. 

The major changes and even radical but equally imposed purging of all life happened whenever a rare and large asteroid came from "nowhere" and hit the planet.  At their arrival they would destroy enormous amounts of life in an instant and then change the climate radically for a years to come.

There most severe of our normal celestial cycles repeat itself every 100,000 years like a clockwork and that imposes to us the most impacting cold and warm periods where the ocean levels can vary 80 meters up or 100 plus meters down from the present depending on how much ice accumulates to the poles and glaciers. 

It is most likely that our life was born on our earth deep under the sea level, but as easily the seeds for it could have arrived with space debris or dust originating from distant worlds and planets as hijackers aboard such intergalactic "space-ships" like celestial comets and asteroids or even through almighty collisions of whole galaxies.  The eternal travelers might also have picked hijackers randomly from the debris of collided or exploded worlds or planets.  This molecular and microbe level life distribution system has existed since the beginning of the time and is running today as smoothly as ever.

All these tiny space travelers though would have been bombarded by cosmic rays and with them nobody could be sure what it would be that would arrive to a destination even if the travel would have taken just a few million years.

Anyhow, our 100,000 year cycle originates from the roundness variation of the earth's orbit around the sun and this drives the maximum temperature difference between the warm seasons and the ice age - altogether about 8 to10 degrees C.  This is not that damaging to the species on the earth but it will hurt every living being including the plants and ocean dwellers.   For us the peoples of the world - 6.5 billion strong - this temperature change will be devastating because our crops, our main food supply, may not adjust for this massive change without help.  The problem is that we do not know how make this adjustment real in such a large scale that is needed! 

We have also noticed a smaller impact from a 400,000 year cycle related again to earth's orbit and impact of the sum, and then three shorter 41,000, 23,000 and 19,000 year celestial cycles that are related to the earths axis rotation.  All these impact our major 100,000 year cycle to a degree as an interference pattern for a specific time period and is related to tilting of the earth's axis, that translates directly to heat retained and reflected by the earth's surface as the earth is far from homogenous in the surface absorption and reflection properties. 

We are currently about 20,000 years into the hottest period of our 100,000 year cycle, and we should soon start descending quickly towards the colder period and the next ice age.

The four last 100,000 year cycles indicate that CO2 and methane have something to do with the rapid temperature rise and then fall during this period.  We are currently running about twice the level of CO2 in the atmosphere that has been the case in the past - because our own activity and hunger for carbon based energy.  We may enter a danger zone and if we continue - the heat trapping properties of the atmospheric CO2 will continue melting  polar ice caps at increasing speed, causing the sea levels to rise by meters not by inches by the year 2,100.  If our activity would be able to heat the atmosphere so much that all polar ice caps would melt the sea levels would not stop until they are 85 meters above the current.   Seven (7) meters of this would come from Greenland, 73 from Antarctica, two (2) from thermal expansion of the oceans and the rest from melting glaciers.

Unfortunately, we have started mingling with these cycles with our sudden introduction of large amounts greenhouse gases into this stirring pot.  This is not the first, nor the last time when the greenhouse gases impact earth,  but we are now doing it in a massive scale, far larger that any of our measurements from the ice records for the past 400,000 years indicate.  We have now also more cores further back in time but no reports yet. 

In any case we have paid attention that the permanent ice caps on both poles continue to melt while the global temperature has  increased about 1 degree C in general - but it is already up to 2-3 degrees C in Nordic regions.  This trend may become a short term anomaly as we will run out of our hydrocarbon reserves in less than 100 years if our energy consumption increases the pace as it looks - not in 200 years like some optimists are thinking.  

What happens next is a mystery as the history indicates that the both CO2 and Methane contents in the atmosphere will drop steeply together with the temperature.  When this happens  - our life will become radically different.  And if we at species are not prepared this will become our ultimate test for survival.   We know that our species has survived a multitude of these cycles - so survival is not a problem - but now our numbers are so large that this poses a serious logistics problem - can we feed the peoples of the world or do we go down into anarchy.

The latest computer models of the sea water temperature rise and the impact of this to slow down the Gulf stream to almost halt will cool the world quickly and change the global carbon dioxide balance radically between sea and air.  The sea starts absorbing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at increasing speed and while the following acidification of oceans will cause havoc in them the CO2 will "disappear" from the atmosphere together with it's greenhouse effects and the world will be suddenly a cool place - 8 to 10 degrees C cooler than today.  We will enter into a full blown ice age again even without any help from major volcanic activity.  We will have plenty of arable sea bottom for agriculture as the water collects as snow and ice to the polar caps - perhaps it is not that bad at all at the end.  We all just have to relocate 50 to 100 meters below the current sea level as we have plenty of dry land there to draw from.

We still have our moon, days and nights, our year, and the less known sunspot cycle lasting about 9 years.   We actually do not understand ours, it may have its own cycles also buts those appear to be slower than we can observe or interpret - perhaps we do not even know what to look for as the impact might be just invisible.  The rotation of the earth and our moon, year, days and nights are at least equally important as they all provide an immediate annual, monthly and daily forces, slightly variable but still repetitive, tides, temperature, light, and other for us as human invisible.  These "dark" forces stir the "stew" that keep all atomic level materials, inorganic and organic building blocks, living organisms and creatures - from microbes up, just moving back and forth in a wholesome soup of "existence", the emerging and changing life on the surface of the earth.

It is more than likely that Mother Nature will not forgive us for mixing her stew, and she has already taken her initial steps to rebalance it all.  We know already more than well that this all will be costly for some life forms on earth, including some of us - but this rebalancing is exactly what she is going to do regardless of our hopes, wishes, sufferings, cries, or prayers from all or any of  the religious denominations.   We as species still refuse to listen to the science - as the desire to stand as the biggest of all kings on the top of the biggest and smelliest of all dirt piles is still prevailing - "Sieg Heil" again - nothing has changed!