Earth’s oxygen levels are declining – and scientists aren’t sure why

September 30, 2016 by  
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Scientists led by Daniel Stolper at Princeton University studied samples of ancient air trapped in ice in Antarctica and Greenland and made a startling discovery – for the past 800,000 years, the Earth’s oxygen levels have steadily decreased. So far no one knows exactly why oxygen levels are declining, but there are a few prominent hypotheses. The ancient ice-trapped air reveals oxygen levels in Earth’s atmosphere have gone down by 0.7 percent over 800,000 years, which fortunately isn’t dire. That decrease is about the amount of decrease experienced when someone moves from sea level up to 100 meters, or around 328 feet, higher than sea level. But oxygen levels are still going down – and scientists aren’t sure why. Related: The world will run out of breathable air unless carbon emissions are cut One hypothesis is that erosion rates have increased globally, and rocks that are being weathered pull oxygen out of the atmosphere, much like iron binds to oxygen as it rusts. Carbon and pyrite are two substances that may be behind oxygen levels declining. Scientists think that fluctuations in the Earth’s temperature could lead to retreating and growing ice, spurring increased rates of global erosion. A second hypothesis is that over the last 56 million years, Earth has generally experienced global cooling, which has cooled the oceans. Colder oceans can hold more dissolved gases, including dissolved oxygen. Writing for Forbes, geologist Trevor Nace compared the phenomenon to the amount of carbonation in a soda. When soda goes flat it gets warmer, as dissolved carbon dioxide escapes. Colder soda contains that carbon dioxide, and perhaps the cool oceans are now holding more dissolved oxygen in a similar manner. It’s difficult for scientists to know just which hypothesis is correct, since oxygen levels are connected to other processes such as volcanic activity and even the biodiversity present on Earth. The study was published this month in the journal Science . + Science Via Forbes Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Earth’s oxygen levels are declining – and scientists aren’t sure why

Researchers Say That Fish Could Get Smaller as the Seas Get Warmer Due to Climate Change

October 2, 2012 by  
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Adding to the concern over industrial commercial overfishing , researchers from the University of British Columbia have stated that changes in ocean and climate systems could lead to smaller fish. Their research, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change , is the first-ever global projection of the potential reduction in the maximum size of fish in a warmer and less-oxygenated ocean. Read the rest of Researchers Say That Fish Could Get Smaller as the Seas Get Warmer Due to Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: climate systems , fish stocks , marine life , nature climate change , overfishing , oxygen levels , Sea Levels , University of British Columbia , warming oceans

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Researchers Say That Fish Could Get Smaller as the Seas Get Warmer Due to Climate Change

Blom & Blom Rescues and Restores Industrial Lamps from Abandoned East German Factories

October 2, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Blom & Blom Rescues and Restores Industrial Lamps from Abandoned East German Factories Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Amsterdam , berlin , Blom & Blom , East Berlin , East German factory lamps , germany , Green Iguana lamp , Kamiel Blom , Martijn Blom , Ox lamp , recycled lamps , refurbished lamps , renovated lamps , WWII design

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Blom & Blom Rescues and Restores Industrial Lamps from Abandoned East German Factories

Villa Sera is an Airy Solar-Powered Greenhouse Home

October 2, 2012 by  
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Villa Sera is a futuristic, self-sustained structure that harnesses its power from solar panels, collects rainwater and uses graywater for plants. Designed by Design Nobis , the home features steel and glass elements to form a strong, modern and spacious building. The home’s greenhouse allows for organic farming, and the hope is that the homeowners can reduce their carbon footprints by growing their own food. + Design Nobis The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to  see  your  story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following  this link . Remember to follow our  instructions  carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: design nobis , eco design , energy efficient home , green design , green home , modern home , Solar Power , solar powered home , sustainable design , Villa Serra

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Villa Sera is an Airy Solar-Powered Greenhouse Home

Giant Icebergs Break Free, Threaten Ocean Currents and Oxygen Levels

February 26, 2010 by  
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A giant iceberg in the southern Atlantic.

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Giant Icebergs Break Free, Threaten Ocean Currents and Oxygen Levels

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