Oxygen levels on earth over the last 800 thousand years has decreased by almost 1%. To such conclusion experts from Princeton University (USA). What this can lead we asked the Russian scientist – head of the Department of physics of the upper atmosphere, the Central aerological Observatory of Vladimir YUSHKOV.
Joyless conclusion the researchers made, when studying the samples of ancient ice in Antarctica and Greenland. This ice was formed 800 thousand years ago. The result showed that during the formation of this ice, the proportion of oxygen in the air ranged from 21.10%, which is 0.7% more than at present. Reasons for the decline in oxygen levels is not yet clear. According to one version, this may be due to the release of rocks, which actively absorb oxygen, on the other — due to the decrease in the average temperature of the planet, as recorded over the last few million years (the cooling water is in the oceans consumes a greater volume of oxygen).
-A reduction in the level of oxygen is seen at this time scale, what to speak of any implications for humans does not make sense, – says Vladimir Yushkov. Are important for fundamental scientific research and suggests that our atmosphere is alive, changes depending on the year, from season. Even if there would be a threat to a significant reduction in the level of oxygen, the scientists could find a way to restore the balance, for example, distributed over large areas of the plant, the most actively produce oxygen. Us, Russian scientists are now interested in something else: what to do in connection with the sealing of the atmosphere at altitudes close to the space.
-And because of what they are compacted?
-Due to the lower temperature. Over the last 50 years at altitudes of 60-70 km, it dropped to 40(!) Kelvin — from 260 to 220 degrees to -53 degrees Celsius). This is due to the radiation characteristics of the atmosphere, the composition of which has changed in recent years with the increase in CO2.
What it may lead?
-As I said, the atmosphere became denser than before, like a little sat down. What is the density? Is that included in all calculations of the flight of aircraft, satellites and missiles. It is necessary to consider changes, to monitor the dynamics of processes in the atmosphere. What we do is becoming increasingly difficult, because funds for research are allocated — a mere penny.