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A recent study related to the history of the Earth’s atmosphere revealed that our planet did not always have the proportions of gases currently present and suitable for life on its surface, but the study revealed shocking predictions as well.
Life thrives on the planet due to the availability of a group of basic and basic elements, including the atmosphere rich in oxygen, but the earth was not always this way, and scientists expected that in the future, the atmosphere rich in methane associated with a severe decrease in oxygen will return to the planet.
Although the study is excluded near the time period of this frightening transformation, it may not happen before a billion years, but scientists have indicated that if it does occur, it will be a very rapid reversal.
According to the details of the research published in the specialized scientific journal “Sciencealert”, under the title (Enjoy it while it goes down: the disappearance of oxygen will eventually suffocate most of the life on Earth) this transformation will return the planet to the state it was in before what is known as the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) ) About 2.4 billion years ago.
The researchers who oversaw the study say that oxygen in the atmosphere will not be a permanent feature of habitable worlds in general, which has implications for our efforts to uncover signs of life in the universe.
The researchers performed detailed models of the Earth’s biosphere, taking into account changes in the sun’s brightness and a corresponding decrease in carbon dioxide levels, as the gas breaks down by increasing heat levels.
Reduced carbon dioxide means fewer organisms (such as plants) that do photosynthesis, resulting in less oxygen.
Scientists previously expected that the increase in radiation emitted from the sun will evaporate the ocean water from the surface of our planet within about 2 billion years, but the new model, which was based on about 400 thousand simulations, confirmed that the lack of oxygen will kill life first.
“The decrease in oxygen is very severe,” said a specialist from Georgia Institute of Technology, Chris Reinhard. “We are talking about a million times less oxygen than there is today.”
“The model predicts the disappearance of oxygen from the atmosphere in a way that will remind us of the ancient earth,” the researchers wrote in their scientific paper published in the journal Nature, “This will likely happen before the onset of humid conditions caused by global warming in the Earth’s climate system and before the loss of surface water from the planet.”
According to the study, this stage will be the end of the road for humanity and most other life forms that depend on oxygen.
To get beyond that, we have to figure out how we can exit the planet (to other worlds) at least no more than a billion years from now.
According to calculations made by Reinhard and ecologist Kazumi Ozaki, from Toho University in Japan, the Earth’s habitable history that is rich in oxygen can end only 20 to 30% before the end of the planet’s life, and microbial life will replace natural life.
“After deoxygenation, the atmosphere is characterized by high methane, low levels of carbon dioxide, and no ozone layer,” says Ozaki. “The Earth system is likely a world of anaerobic life.”
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