Early Martian Atmosphere and Biogenesis

Science Direct Working Paper No S1574-0331(04)70508-1

15 Pages Posted: 24 May 2017 Last revised: 23 Dec 2017

See all articles by Ian Miller

Ian Miller

Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd

Date Written: April 2001


Data on maintenance and supply of the initial atmospheres of the rocky planets suggests these comprised the gases carbon dioxide, molecular nitrogen and water. It is proposed here that consideration of further data leads to a reducing atmosphere of carbon monoxide, ammonia and water being more probable. Besides being more suitable for the provision of prebiotic chemicals, such an atmosphere also better explains early Martian fluid flow and its demise without invoking a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth, it is more suited to the development of enzyme activity and better explains why otherwise toxic elements could be included in enzymes, it provides a mechanism by which photochemistry/photophysics can be a driving force in the evolution of life, it provides a mechanism by which the degradative photochemistry of ferric ions can be avoided, and it offers an explanation of why the ion pump developed. Finally, it makes a testable prediction that much of the initial Martian nitrogen will be below the Martian surface in the form of urea-like chemicals.

Keywords: Miscellaneous > Other, chemistry/0104002

Suggested Citation

Miller, Ian, Early Martian Atmosphere and Biogenesis (April 2001). Science Direct Working Paper No S1574-0331(04)70508-1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2969550

Ian Miller (Contact Author)

Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd ( email )

P.O. Box 30366
Lower Hutt
New Zealand

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