Oxygen: A Four Billion Year History (Hardcover)

A Four Billion Year History

By Donald E. Canfield

Princeton University Press, 9780691145020, 196pp.

Publication Date: January 19, 2014



The air we breathe is twenty-one percent oxygen, an amount higher than on any other known world. While we may take our air for granted, Earth was not always an oxygenated planet. How did it become this way? Donald Canfield--one of the world's leading authorities on geochemistry, earth history, and the early oceans--covers this vast history, emphasizing its relationship to the evolution of life and the evolving chemistry of the Earth. Canfield guides readers through the various lines of scientific evidence, considers some of the wrong turns and dead ends along the way, and highlights the scientists and researchers who have made key discoveries in the field. Showing how Earth's atmosphere developed over time, Oxygen takes readers on a remarkable journey through the history of the oxygenation of our planet.

About the Author

Donald E. Canfield is professor of ecology at the University of Southern Denmark.