Is the process of rain decaying limestone and sedimentary rock important to life on Earth? Why?
When limestone and sedimentary rock is exposed to rain it decays fast. I'm interested in knowing why this process is important to life on earth.
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It's a little difficult to know how to answer this question. The process of limestone cave formation is a natural part of our earth's ecology and as such is as important to the planet as other naturally occurring events such as volcano formation or glacial movement. But if limestone cave formation never occurred for whatever reason would life on earth have been drastically changed? I'm not sure that it would have irrevocably altered life on earth. But I will point out two aspects of cave formation that are clearly significant. One is that caves provided shelter for early humans and proto-humans at a time before they could build their own effective shelters. Studying early cave art has become a social science of its own. Another important aspect is the ecology and biodiversity that have evolved in caves over time. Many highly unique animals, plants, and bacteria have evolved over time and are only found in particular cave environments. It's quite possible that medically important biomolecules could be found in one of these caves.
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