Earth is losing its atmosphere. A new study has said the life span of Earth’s atmosphere is not more than a billion years. It said that atmosphere will die in the next billion years. The planet’s environment is extremely oxygenated. This means that the atmosphere’s chemical compounds’ structure contains oxygen. Be it the outer atmosphere or deep inside the oceans, the atmosphere is highly rich in oxygen. This is a representation of an active photosynthetic biosphere. Photosynthesis is a process that is used by living organisms and plants on the planet. They use this process to convert light energy into chemical energy. This ultimately results in fuelling metabolic activities.
Scientists have discussed the biosphere’s lifespan for years. Researchers decided to construct a model similar to Earth. The model was developed that replicated Earth-like climate and biogeochemical processes. This model helped the researchers in determining the future of how Earth’s atmosphere will persist. Researchers adopted a stochastic approach. They studied how it will evolve in the coming years. This method helped them to obtain a probabilistic measurement of the lifespan of the atmosphere. They ran this model more than 400,000 times. They measured how long its oxygen-rich atmosphere will persist. The findings said that the atmosphere will survive for a billion years. Researchers said that this will be the case with Earth’s atmosphere which is extremely rich in oxygen.
Researchers said that the process of deoxygenation will then begin. The chemical reaction will rapidly lead to the removal of oxygen atoms. The latest study, however, noted that the fundamental timescale of Earth’s atmosphere is uncertain. The presence of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere is a sign that life can be even remotely detectable. It added that the oxygenated atmosphere will not remain a permanent feature. Oxygen makes approximately 21 percent of the atmosphere. It is an essential element for the survival of life. Any drop in Oxygen’s level will pose a grave threat to survival. Notably, Oxygen is also the biosignature for the search for life beyond Earth.