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Dealing with fragments of past biospheres
Planet Earth has been continuously habitable for over 3000 million years. For much of that time the fossil record is sporadic, but a step-change becomes evident from about 575 million years ago (Yang et al. 2021), with the beginning of a widespread record of complex marine macroscopic life. Over the past five decades analysis of this fossil record has outlinedclear intervals of major biotic change and understanding these is important for identifying the parameters of habitability on our planet, and for trying to understand the degree of impact caused by humans on the biosphere in the Anthropocene (Williams et al. 2022).
Author affiliationSchool of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester
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