The chemical evolution of the Earth’s near-surface environmental system, its ecosphere or exogenic system, and in particular the composition of the atmosphere and ocean, has long been of central interest to scientists from several disciplines. The more modern issue of chemical changes in the atmosphere and oceans deriving from human activities has engaged not only scientists but also policy makers and the public at large. Coupled to the interest in the history of the atmosphere and ocean have been questions about the relationship between their composition and the evolution of life, and the two have often been closely intertwined, As...

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