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Thread: Oxygen

  1. #1 Oxygen 
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    I am not a scientist by any means, but i do find myself asking really weird questions that are beyond my capability to answer. So i thought the best way to get the answer is to post something on a scientific forum. Therefore i present anyone who may know the answer to this question.

    It is about Oxygen or more exact the amount of oxygen.

    How much oxygen is consumed by animals, humans, and what not verses oxygen produced by plants, trees and what not? And at what point is the ratio to the negative?

    And here is another question relating to oxygen.

    How much space is there in our atmosphere? At what point will the gases already present and climbing prevent enough room for oxygen to be plenty enough to maintain our ( animal and human and plant ) current level of existence which is also climbing?

    I know these are really stupid questions, but still they are ones i have and do not know.


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  3. #2  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousJoe View Post
    I am not a scientist by any means, but i do find myself asking really weird questions that are beyond my capability to answer. So i thought the best way to get the answer is to post something on a scientific forum. Therefore i present anyone who may know the answer to this question.

    It is about Oxygen or more exact the amount of oxygen.

    How much oxygen is consumed by animals, humans, and what not verses oxygen produced by plants, trees and what not? And at what point is the ratio to the negative?

    And here is another question relating to oxygen.

    How much space is there in our atmosphere? At what point will the gases already present and climbing prevent enough room for oxygen to be plenty enough to maintain our ( animal and human and plant ) current level of existence which is also climbing?

    I know these are really stupid questions, but still they are ones i have and do not know.
    The question about the overall oxygen balance in the atmosphere, i.e. between oxygen generation and oxygen consumption, strikes me as far from stupid. From what I read it seems that oxygen is declining very slightly at present, so that must mean consumption exceeds generation by a very small amount. But the oxygen level of the atmosphere has varied over geological time quite widely. I can't find any estimates of the amounts produced or consumed by plants, animals and various phenomena, but maybe somebody else has this information.

    There is no real limit to the "space" available in the atmosphere for oxygen. The gases being generated are mainly water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) which both contain oxygen anyway so to some extent you trade free oxygen for a compound with oxygen still in it. And the amounts generated are in the hundred ppm range which is tiny compared with the amount of oxygen present (21%). So I don't think this is anything to be concerned about. The problem is that these gases are strong infra red absorbers, which means they trap heat rather than allowing it to be radiated freely into space. This is the basis of the greenhouse effect, which has everyone so worried at the moment.


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  4. #3  
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    The Oxygen in the atmosphere seems to be at an equilibrium.

    There is no limit to the space for the atmosphere. In any case where did you get the idea that the amount is climbing?
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  5. #4  
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    I was watching a TV show about the planets. Venus was the topic of the show i was watching. One of the things that they were talking about was how thick and heavy the atmosphere was. Crushing from the pressure is what comes to mind. They said that one day in the future the earth would be exactly like Venus, that earth and Venus actually started out as twins. A collision with a body much larger than what is now our moon is what changed the fate of Venus at the start. What they said about Earth turning into a Venus was the gases increasing in our atmosphere.

    This was the start of my inquire about Oxygen and other gases creating a Venus like situation on Earth. Was just wondering if the path they mentioned was actually started.
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord
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    Venus? Makes me wonder...

    I would guess Venus has zero free oxygen, from the story of our own planet: In the beginning Earth had plenty of raw shiny iron, which easily sponged up any oxygen to form iron oxides (rust, reddish rock). Before animals could enjoy oxygen, plants had to work long and hard rusting this planet 'till there was nothing left to rust. Something to appreciate next time you see 3-billion-year-old bedrock, which is probably reddish.

    I would guess Venus has sufficient "virgin" iron that all her oxygen was spent... end of story.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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