News FocusPaleoceanography

Inconstant Ancient Seas and Life's Path

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Science  08 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5596, pp. 1165-1166
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5596.1165

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Seawater composition has changed over geological time, geochemists now realize. Has biological evolution changed along with it? A paper in this issue of Science (p. 1222) suggests that oscillations in the chemical composition of the world ocean, likely driven by the varying tempo of plate tectonics, might have helped trigger a number of important evolutionary events.