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The Story of Earth Notes
5,000 Million Years Ago:
 A newborn star
 Dust and rocks surround the sun, no Earth has formed yet.
4,540 Million Years Ago:
 Gravity pulls the rocks and dust together to form Earth.
 Earth is 1200 degrees Celsius, with Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, and Water Vapor in the air
 A planet the size of Mars called Theia collides with Earth
 Gravity pulls the Earth back together and forms the moon.
3,900 Million Years Ago:
 Debris from the solar system bombards Earth.
 The meteorites contain small amounts of salt and water.
 The water accumulates on the solid ground forming oceans
 The moon is so close it is causing huge waves.
3,800 Million Years Ago:
 Tiny islands come up from the water.
 Volcanoes are erupting and the lava hardens to form land.
 The land gets bigger and eventually becomes our continents.
 More meteorites hit Earth, releasing minerals and amino acids.
 Water contains lots of chemicals that created microscopic bacteria.
3,500 Million Years Ago:
 Stromatalites evolve and can do photosynthesis, producing oxygen, filling the ocean with O2.
 Oxygen is transforming the atmosphere.
1,500 Million Years Ago:
 Oxygen levels rise
 The core pushes plates around
 30 degrees Celsius and days are 18 hours long
750 Million Years Ago:
 Volcanoes release CO2, which combines with water to form acid rain
 The rain causes the temperature to drop to -50 degrees Celsius and the Earth freezes
650 Million Years Ago:
 A layer of ice 3 meters thick surrounds the Earth
 The ice reflects all of the sunlight and heat from the sun back into space.
620 Million Years Ago:
 Volcanoes break through the ice and release CO2, which causes the temperature to rise.
 As the ice melts, oxygen trapped in the ice is released.
600 Million Years Ago:
 Earth warms up
 Bacteria thrives in the oceans
Days are 22 hours long.
540 Million Years Ago: Lots of life in the ocean
 Bacteria have evolved into prehistoric slugs.
 The first animals with backbones appear.
 Lots of worms, sponges, plants, and “sea monsters” in the ocean.
460 Million Years Ago: Ozone
 The sun has deadly radiation, so nothing is living on the land.
 Oxygen from our atmosphere and the radiation from the sun combine to create ozone.
 Ozone builds up and blocks the harmful radiation on Earth
375 Million Years Ago: Plants and Fish
 Plants are covering the land.
 Fish are rapidly evolving
 Tiktaalik: a fish with bones that make it capable of lifting itself out of the water, primitive lungs
360 Million Years Ago: Amphibians
 Animals are moving from the ocean to the land
 First amphibians
 Huge dragonflies, millipedes, spiders, and other insects
320 Million Years Ago: Reptiles
 First reptiles appear
300 Million Years Ago:
 Lots of plants and animals
 As they die, their remains are covered by lava and other sediment. This begins forming the coal and oil
we use today.
250 Million Years Ago:
 Rise of early mammals and larger reptiles.
 The Earth erupts and ash, Carbon dioxide, and lava cover the land
 90% of all life dies
 Minerals from the ash cause algae to thrive, causing the oceans to turn pink.
 Methane from the Earth is escaping and causing the temperatures to rise.
200 Million Years Ago:
 There is one landmass called Pangaea
 Temperature is stabilizing and plant life is returning
 Dinosaurs are thriving and they don’t have much competition.
190 Million Years Ago:
 Pangaea begins to break apart.
 Fish are filling the oceans.
 The dead fish layer the seafloor and are covered by sediment. The pressure from the rocks will create the
oil that we use today.
180 Million Years Ago:
 The North American Plate is moving away from the European plate, 2 cm per year, forming the Atlantic
 Animals from all over are populating the new ocean.
 The seafloor is pushing and pulling creating underwater mountains.
65 Million Years Ago:
 Dinosaurs are still thriving.
 An asteroid hits the Gulf of Mexico with the force of millions of nuclear bombs, destroying everything
in its path.
 Many meteorites also hit the earth, causing earthquakes and tsunamis,
 The surface of the Earth reaches 275 degrees Celsius
 Most plants and animals die
 Mammals are able to survive by living underground and eating almost anything.
47 Million Years Ago:
 24 degrees Celsius and days are 24 hours long.
 The planet is almost as we know it today. The atmosphere is much like our own.
 Ancestors of primates, Darwinius ida
 India is colliding with Asia, causing the land to buckle and creates the Himalayan Mountains.
 When snow from the mountain range melts, it forms many rivers in Asia.
20 Million Years Ago:
 Our planet is as we know it today. The land masses are mostly where they are today.
4 Million Years Ago:
 A rift opens up on the East coast of Africa, which forms a range of mountains.
 These mountains block rain from reaching the center of the continent and the Sahara Desert is formed.
 Our ancestors are forced to walk on two feet instead of four in search of food.
1.5 Million Years Ago:
 The earliest species of humans is on the planet. They walk on two feet and don’t drag their knuckles.
70 Thousand Years Ago:
 A species of humans cross the Red Sea, out of Africa.
 Their population increases and they spread to other parts of the world.
40 Thousand Years Ago:
 An ice wall is spreading and the temperature drops incredibly. The Earth enters an ice age.
 The ice sculpts the Earth, forming all sorts of land and water features.
20 Thousand Years Ago:
 The ice is causing the seas to shrink.
 A land bridge is formed between Siberia and the Americas.
 Humans travel over the bridge and start populating North America.
14 Thousand Years Ago:
 The ice begins to retreat to the Arctic’s and the Great Lakes are formed in the process.
6 Thousand Years Ago:
The ice has fully retreated and is now completely in the Arctic’s.
 Humans are fully evolved as we know them today and live in the world as we know it.