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The changes of atmosphere and hydrosphere through time

We try to discuss about the composition and the trend of creation and evolution of these two spheres and then see how they would be in future.

The changes of atmosphere and hydrosphere through time

The changes of atmosphere and hydrosphere through time


Mansour Ghorbani

Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

KeyWord: Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Volcanism

We try to discuss about the composition and the trend of creation and evolution of these two spheres and then see how they would be in future.

During the first periods after earth creation there was no atmosphere and hydrosphere. Once the geological activities such as volcanism began, the liberated volcanic gases and volatiles led to form the primary atmosphere and hydrosphere. Their composition was very variable but H2O and CO2 were the major components. The vapors made the hydrosphere and CO2 plus some other gases such as N2 and NH3 formed the atmosphere. The primary atmosphere composed mainly of CO2 more than 90% and the oxygen was absent. The Ph of the primary hydrosphere was highly acidic due to being in equilibrium and relation to a CO2 rich atmosphere and also because of rich sulfur content in Archean volcanism.

The first geological events and later biological ones changed the primary atmosphere and hydrosphere. CO2 gradually entered in the carbonate rocks cycles and latter the oxygen produced by photosynthesis led the Fe2+ to move out partly from ocean. During the surface activities, erosion of the magmatic rocks covering the whole surface of the earth, led the Ph of hydrosphere change to medium from acidic and then to basic to 8.2 of present day. Finally, the geological and biological activities made the recent atmosphere and hydrosphere.


These activities caused the major parts of CO2 of atmosphere in the Phanerozoic time to be gathered in coal, oil, gas and shale. That process was not continuous but it happened as long as 200 million years.


Though the usage of fossil fuel by human is long, but its main one goes back to the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe especially from second half of the century. By this usage and regarding its role as a major source of energy in the world it is predicted to be still the main source at least up to the second half of this century.

It shows that the human consume more than 50% of coal, more than 80% of the oil and gas reservoirs of the world during 100 years. It means that the whole CO2 content which had been saved in the nature as the fossil fuel during 200 million years would be added to the atmosphere during only 100 years. This sudden increasing CO2 and some other gas such as SO2 and N2O2 would make a strong shock first to atmosphere and then to hydrosphere.

The increasing of the CO2 with a global warming will cause the polar ices to be melted very fast and then the elevation of the sea level during a short time. There are some other problems which may never solved by human by this climatic change;


- The sudden change in climate: the elevation of temperature would cause the elevation of the sea level and the amounts of raining. The increasing in raining is nice at first but latter it should be disastrous.

- Changing in the raining balance: this problem would change the amounts of raining in the winter and summer. They will change also the type of raining from slow to fast and flood.


The human life has been established and balanced according the current raining regime and any change in this balance would interrupt the whole life of human.

In the hydrosphere these changes also will interrupt everything, so that the increasing in CO2, sulfur and acidic gas in atmosphere cause the Ph of raining change from neutral to acidic and it change the Ph of sea water in turn.

The current Ph of the sea is 8.2 but by any change in H+ or OH- content big changes would happen. The entrance of acidic water in the sea and also melting the polar ices with Ph 7 could change the general Ph of the sea water from 8.2 to 7.

The Ph 8.2 for the sea water constant for 1 billion years. This shock in Ph change would be a great disaster for marine living things that have been compatible with Ph 8.2 for millions of years.

The Ph changes even in small amounts would interrupt the ecosystems and disappearing the living things first from the sea and oceans and then in the continents.



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