Planet Earth has evolved over the past 4.5 billion years from an entirely anoxic planet with possibly a different tectonic regime to the oxygenated world with horizontal plate tectonics that we know today. For most of this time, Earth has been inhabited by a purely microbial biosphere albeit with seemingly increasing complexity over time. A rich record of this geobiological evolution over most of Earth’s history thus provides insights into the remote detectability of microbial life under a variety of planetary conditions. Here we leverage Earth’s geobiological record with the aim of (a) illustrating the current state of knowledge and...

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