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Science C1 Topic 1

GCSE edexcel core science chemistry: the earth and atmosphere

What is believed to have formed the early atmosphere? Volcanic activity
What gases made up the Earth's early atmosphere? Carbon dioxide, ammonia, water vapour, methane
How were the oceans formed? 1. as the earth cooled, water vapour condensed into the oceans 2. commets (ice and rock) hit the earth and the ice melted into water
How was the amount of carbon dioxide in the early atmosphere reduced? 1. it dissolved into the oceans 2. primitive life used it in photosynthesis 3. organisms developed shells made of calcium carbonate
Why did the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere increase? It was given out by photosynthesis of primitive life
How do you investigate the proportion of oxygen in today's atmosphere? Pass a known amount of air over hot copper- then measure the amount of air a few minutes later. The decrease in amount of air is the amount of oxygen (as it reacted with the copper to form copper oxide).
What are the proportions of gases in today's atmosphere? Nitrogen- 78% Oxygen- 21% Argon- 0.9% Carbon dioxide- 0.04% Other gases- traces
Why is the composition of gases in the earth's atmosphere gradually changing? 1. Volcanic activity - which releases gases like carbon dioxide 2. Human activity - such as cow farming (producing methane) and burning of fossil fuels (producing carbon dioxide)
Why is it difficult to be precise about the evolution of the atmosphere? Because there are lots of different sources of information about the development of the atmosphere, but they are all limited
What planets have a similar atmosphere now to what scientists believe the early earth once had? Mars and venus
Why do scientists believe that the early earth had no oxygen? Because oxygen is not released by volcanic activity
Why was limestone created? when organisms that had made their shells out of calcium carbonate died, their shells fell and became sediment- which built up creating the sedimentary rock
How did the amount of nitrogen in the earth's atmosphere increase? Volcanoes gave out nitrogen-containing compounds that reacted to form nitrogen
Created by: 11043