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Simulations show that Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere can live for just one billion more years.



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A pair of researchers from Toho University and NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science have found evidence through simulations that the Earth will lose an oxygen-rich atmosphere in about 1

billion years in their paper published in the journal. Natural geosciences Kazumi Ozaki and Christopher Reinhard describe the factors that go into the simulation and what they are shown.


All scientists agree that life cannot exist forever on this planet, the sun will eventually run out of energy and destroy itself. The living forms often find it increasingly difficult to survive before the sun heats up. In this new effort, researchers try to find a turning point in life – when the world will no longer be able to support most plants and animals.

To find such a tipping point, the researchers created a Earth model with a factor in variables describing climate, as well as geological and biological processes, and, most importantly, the activity of the Sun. The researchers then worked simulations to see how the world could advance into the future.

The simulations show that as the Sun warms 1 billion years from now releasing more energy, the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will begin to decline as gases absorb heat and decay. The ozone layer will also be burned. Then, as the carbon dioxide levels drop, plant organisms begin to suffer, resulting in a decrease in oxygen production. In just 10,000 years CO2 The levels are greatly reduced until plant organisms go extinct. Without plant life, terrestrial and marine organisms will also soon go extinct as they lack a ventilated atmosphere. At the same time, simulations also showed increased levels of methane entering the atmosphere, leading to faster deaths of living organisms requiring oxygen to breathe. The consequence of the simulation will be a life-saving inanimate planet, small anaerobic organisms such as bacteria, which had conditions much like Earth before the evolution of plants and animals.

The researchers suggested that their simulation could be applicable to people looking for life on other planets, where they observed the window of opportunity might be shorter than previously thought.


Irreversible changes in the subsystem prior to the climatic tipping point.


More information:
Kazumi Ozaki, et al. Future lifespan of Earth’s oxygenated atmosphere Natural geosciences (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41561-021-00693-5

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Reference: Simulations suggest that Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere will last for only one billion years (2021, March 2) .Retrieved March 3, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-simulations- earth-oxygen-rich-atmosphere-billion .html

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