Oxygen: when will we run out of it?

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Scientists claim that the level of oxygen on our planet has decreased for the last million years, however, they persuade that there is no reason for humans to worry about that.

According to numerous studies, the level of oxygen has changed because of the evolution of life on Earth and geochemical cycles related to climate changes. Scientists have taken many attempts to reconstruct how oxygen levels fluctuated in the past and factors that had influenced these tendencies.

Nevertheless, the problem is that there were no exact explanation to the question they were trying to answer because the results of their models and experiments were different. Moreover, they still have no evidence to prove that oxygen level varied or on the contrary remained steady for the last million years.

Geochemistry specialists explain that there is no the only one agreement on whether oxygen level was in or out of balance before people started to burn fuels. And therefore they can say exactly if it has increased or decreased.

Recently scientists came up with an idea to explore the air trapped inside ancient polar ice samples Greenland and Antarctica in order to calculate past atmospheric oxygen levels. They came to conclusion that atmospheric oxygen levels have fallen by 0.7 percent over the past 800,000 years.

What is more, the are more concerned about the impact of oxygen decrease on ecosystems. They explain that the pressure in the atmosphere declines with elevation. A 0.7 percent decline in the atmospheric pressure of oxygen occurs at about 100 meters (330 feet) above sea level — that is, about the 30th floor of a tall building, according to Livescience.

There are two possible reasons of oxygen decrease in the air. The first is global erosion rates which have definitely increased because of the melting glaciers which tend to grind rock. This leads to the pyrite and organic carbon to be exposed in bigger amount to the atmosphere which is not good, by the way. These two elements can remove oxygen from the atmosphere. One more side of oxygen decrease is ocean cooling. The oceans can store more oxygen at colder temperatures for a given concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere. But the microbes in the ocean become more active at lower temperature and, as a result, consume more oxygen leaving less of the element on the atmosphere.

One more interesting fact that has been misleading scientists that the level of carbon dioxide has not changed for the last 800 000 years. And it is weird since it has logic that we consume oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide.

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will boost the rates at which volcanic rocks decay and their components wash into the seas. This means that “one can have a change in atmospheric oxygen with no observable change in average carbon dioxide.

Hope you are not that concerned now with the amount of oxygen left for life on our planet. Anyway, if you want to check level of air pressure you can always do it via weather app with WeatherAPI weather APIs.




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