The presence of abundant free oxygen in the terrestrial atmosphere is an anomaly in a solar system and universe composed predominantly of hydrogen. It is, of course, a direct consequence of the presence of life on earth, particularly the presence of photosynthetic organisms that use water as electron donor to reduce carbon dioxide to organic matter, producing molecular oxygen as a waste product.


Organic Matter Organic Carbon Hydrogen Sulfide Biogeochemical Cycle Atmospheric Oxygen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. G. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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