Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Can you live without oxygen? - Atmospheric Oxygen Depletion

If global warming doesn't make you ponder our children's future, ATMOSPHERIC OXYGEN DEPLETION should. And it is already happening.

When the Earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago, there was no oxygen in the atmosphere. The oxygen in the atmosphere today was emitted by plants - phytoplankton and sea weeds in the ocean, and trees, shrubs and grass on land, through the eons. Plants, through photosynthesis, absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and emit oxygen (O2), so the animals can live. Eliminate the plants in the ocean and on land, and the animals, both marine and terrestrial, will suffocate.

Next, any kind of burning consumes oxygen from the atmosphere and emits CO2 into the atmosphere. In fact, every 1 unit of CO2 increase is accompanied by 2-4 units of O2 decrease.

We don't need an Einstein to figure out that if we keep on burning fossil fuels, and cut/burn down forests, and acidify the ocean impacting on the phytoplankton, not only do we cause global warming, we deplete oxygen from the atmosphere, as well as the sources (plants) that can regenerate it. The result is the steady decline in the atmospheric oxygen concentration in the last 20 years when O2 concentration was globally monitored.

The pre-industrial oxygen concentration in the atmosphere was about 21%. Today, some places register as low as 16%. Reportedly, some enclaves of high human population and concentration, especially in large and technologized cities, have scored as low as 7% (?), e.g. parts of Tokyo and some cities in India. According to OSHA rules on atmospheres in closed environments, "if the oxygen level falls below 19.5% it is oxygen deficient, putting occupants of the confined space at risk of losing consciousness and death."

Symptoms of sea-level oxygen deprivation is similar to those of altitude sickness - include shortness of breath, headache and nausea.

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon/page-2/#ixzz1kPnIFklN

As late as 2007, we expected a 2.0 degree C (3.2 degrees F) global temperature rise by century's end. Now, we have revised it to 6-7 degrees C (9.6-10.4 degrees F) by 2100, and 4.0C/6.4F rise by 2060. 4.0C/6.4F is the die-off threshold of oceanic phytoplankton which currently regenerates 50% of the planet's oxygen, and the shut-down threshold of most land plants.

Of course the current generations won't suffocate immediately, but continue with our present oil/coal-burning trajectory and our children's children and the animals will have a hard time just to catch a breath.

Don't we even care?

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)


Robin Maynard said...

Funny, seeing this article tonight. I had been thinking this afternoon that, perhaps, it will not be radiation itself directly impacting life as the thing that kills us all, but rather, it will be a lack of oxygen due to methane creation and release from die off of plankton, leading to massive animal/marine death, etc., etc. Hence, my hopeful 'preparations' against radiation will all be for naught, as I/we succumb to suffocation in an even nearer future. I wonder if that is a preferable way to go. And, what about that "molecule", placed internally, that makes breathing superfluous? Don't hear about that anymore.

cal45deserteagle said...

continue your preparation against radiation fallout, as earth atmosphere will suffer from the release of excess energy of nuclear exchange, that will blanket the earth with massive debris.