Atmosphere and Oceans

History of Earth’s Atmosphere II: The Rise of Atmospheric Oxygen

by Julia Rosen, Ph.D., Anne E. Egger, Ph.D.

Further Exploration

Many Planets, One Earth: Atmospheric Oxygen

From The Habitable Planet, an online book about the Earth by Annenberg Learner.

Fire and Atmospheric Oxygen

The Field Museum provides this page on how ancient charcoal can reveal information about past atmospheric oxygen.

News & Events

The Origin of Oxygen in Earth's Atmosphere

A Scientific American article on how ancient, tiny organisms created the air we breathe.

The Mystery of Earth’s Oxygen

A N.Y. Times article exploring scientific methods to understand how oxygen developed on Earth.


Google Scholar

Google - Research database allows searching of the scholarly literature.


Atmosphere Design Lab

An interactive tool from the Smithsonian Institution that allows you to change the amounts of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ozone in a test atmosphere.

Atmospheric Oxygen

This interactive from PBS allows you to see how important not only the presence but the precise amount of oxygen is to life on Earth.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States

National Academies Press: A Framework for K-12 Science Education