A new link between nickel, methane gas and the evolution of complex life forms on Earth

Edmonton—A University of Alberta researcher is lead author on a paper that reaches back billions of years to establish a new link between nickel, methane gas and the evolution of complex life forms on Earth.

Kurt Konhauser, professor of geomicrobiology at the U of A, and an international team of researchers came together for the paper that will be published in Nature on April 9.

Konhauser and his team have a new theory on what caused the decline of methane producing bacteria 2.7 billion years ago and the subsequent rise of oxygen levels. This new paper shows that as the planet’s mantle cooled there was a sharp decrease in nickel-rich volcanism.

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