If global warming due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations does not make you ponder our children’s future, lowering atmospheric oxygen (O2) concentration should.
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 CO2 and emit O2, so the animals can live. Eliminate the plants in the ocean or on land, and the animals, both marine and terrestrial, will suffocate.
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 remove oxygen from the atmosphere.
The pre-industrial oxygen concentration in the atmosphere was about 21%. Today, some places measured 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. Symptoms of sea-level oxygen deprivation is similar to altitude sickness – include shortness of breath, headache and nausea.
Don’t we even care?
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)