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2800–2500 million years ago
Not to be confused with archaea, in spite of biological discussion commonly alluding to the only life forms of that era, e.g. microbes
During this era, oxygenic photosynthesis first evolved, releasing an abundance of oxygen, that first reacted with minerals and afterward was free to react with greenhouse gases of the atmosphere, leaving the Earth's surface free to radiate its energy to space. This is known as the oxygen catastrophe which was to happen later in the Paleoproterozoic from a poisonous buildup of oxygen in the atmosphere, released by these oxygen producing photoautotrophs, which evolved earlier in the Neoarchean.
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- Bozhko, N. A. (2011). "On Two Types of Supercontinental Cyclicity". Moscow University Geology Bulletin. 66: 313–322.