Having studied bubbles for hundreds of thousands of years locked in the glaciers of Grenlandia, scientists have found that during this time in the Earth’s atmosphere has less oxygen. The group of experts under the leadership of Daniel Stolper of Princeton University can not yet with certainty the reason for 800 thousand years, the atmosphere has lost more oxygen than purchased.
The researchers emphasize, the concentration of oxygen in the air decreases decreases very moderate pace — over the hundreds of millennia since the Pleistocene, it decreased by only 0.7 percent. According to the experts, they carried out the measurement, first, out of curiosity, and could not predict whether the changed oxygen content in the air during this time and if so, in what direction. The measurement showed not the brightest, but it is absolutely clear downward trend, the researchers note.
As experts remind, in the past, fluctuations in the level of oxygen on our planet were very significant. A couple of billion years ago, it was anticipated that the material in the atmosphere were not represented at all, but then he started to distinguish the cyanobacteria, thereby permanently setting the direction of evolution on the planet. Subsequently, the oxygen began to produce a wide variety of plants, and later he turned out to be essential for maintaining the life of complex animals. Oxygen is not only consumed by living beings, but “spent” by the weathering of silicate rocks. Also, according to scientists, roughly every Millennium, all the atoms in the atmosphere have time to visit the water molecules and once again become oxygen.
Scientists have assured that, whatever the true reasons they discovered phenomenon, in the very near future oxygen on Earth is certainly not over. Nevertheless, the results obtained by the specialists tend to believe another reason to think about how exactly on the planet is affected by human actions — today people consume a thousand times more oxygen than previously, thus accelerating the already observed in nature, the process of reducing its quantity.
A new study published in the journal Science.