Washington: A new study has revealed that falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could suffocate life on planet Earth.
Lead researcher Sergei Petrovskii of the University of Leicester has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans of around six degrees Celsius could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.
Petrovskii said that the disastrous consequences was the global flooding that might result from melting of Antarctic ice if the warming exceeds a few degrees compared to the pre-industrial level.
However, it now appears that this is probably not the biggest danger that the warming can cause to the humanity.
Petrovskii explained that about two-thirds of the planet’s total atmospheric oxygen was produced by ocean phytoplankton, and said that cessation would result in the depletion of atmospheric oxygen on a global scale, adding that this would likely result in the mass mortality of animals and humans.
The research team developed a new model of oxygen production in the ocean that takes into account basic interactions in the plankton community, such as oxygen production in photosynthesis, oxygen consumption because of plankton breathing and zooplankton feeding on phytoplankton.
The study is published in the Journal Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. (ANI)