Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth, research shows

Falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding, according to researchers from the University of Leicester.

A study led by Sergei Petrovskii, Professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester's Department of Mathematics, has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world's oceans of around six degrees Celsius—which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100—could stop by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.

Professor Petrovskii explained: "Global warming has been a focus of attention of science and politics for about two decades now. A lot has been said about its expected disastrous consequences; perhaps the most notorious is the global flooding that may 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.

"About two-thirds of the planet's total is produced by ocean phytoplankton - and therefore cessation would result in the depletion of atmospheric oxygen on a global scale. This would likely result in the mass mortality of animals and humans."

The 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, because of plankton breathing and zooplankton feeding on phytoplankton.

While mainstream research often focuses on the CO2 cycle, as carbon dioxide is the agent mainly responsible for global warming, few researchers have explored the effects of on oxygen production.

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More information: The paper 'Mathematical Modelling of Plankton-Oxygen Dynamics Under the Climate Change' published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology is available here: … %2Fs11538-015-0126-0
Citation: Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth, research shows (2015, December 1) retrieved 20 August 2019 from
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Dec 01, 2015

Dear EPFL,
I am writing to state that, after four years of hard but enjoyable PhD work at this school, I am planning to quit my thesis in January, just a few months shy of completion ...

the essential motivation stems from my personal conclusion that I've lost faith in today's academia as being something that brings a positive benefit to the world/societies we live in. Rather, I'm starting to think of it as a big money vacuum that takes in grants and spits out nebulous results, fueled by people whose main concerns are not to advance knowledge and to effect positive change, though they may talk of such things, but to build their CVs and to propel/maintain their careers ...

Dec 01, 2015
Academia: Where Originality Will Hurt You
The good, healthy mentality would naturally be to work on research that we believe is important. Unfortunately, most such research is challenging and difficult to publish, and the current publish-or-perish system makes it difficult to put bread on the table while working on problems that require at least ten years of labor before you can report even the most preliminary results. Worse yet, the results may not be understood, which, in some cases, is tantamount to them being rejected by the academic community ...

Ideally, the academic system would encourage those people who are already well established and trusted to pursue these challenges, and I'm sure that some already do. However, I cannot help but get the impression that the majority of us are avoiding the real issues and pursuing minor, easy problems that we know can be solved and published. The result is a gigantic literature full of marginal/repetitive contributions ...

Dec 01, 2015
Academia: The Black Hole of Bandwagon Research
Indeed, writing lots of papers of questionable value about a given popular topic seems to be a very good way to advance your academic career these days. The advantages are clear: there is no need to convince anyone that the topic is pertinent and you are very likely to be cited more since more people are likely to work on similar things. This will, in turn, raise your impact factor and will help to establish you as a credible researcher, regardless of whether your work is actually good/important or not. It also establishes a sort of stable network, where you pat other (equally opportunistic) researchers on the back while they pat away at yours ...

Dec 01, 2015
Unfortunately, not only does this lead to quantity over quality, but many researchers, having grown dependent on the bandwagon, then need to find ways to keep it alive even when the field begins to stagnate. The results are usually disastrous. Either the researchers begin to think up of creative but completely absurd extensions of their methods to applications for which they are not appropriate, or they attempt to suppress other researchers who propose more original alternatives (usually, they do both). This, in turn, discourages new researchers from pursuing original alternatives and encourages them to join the bandwagon, which, though founded on a good idea, has now stagnated and is maintained by nothing but the pure will of the community that has become dependent on it. It becomes a giant, money-wasting mess.

See original letter at http://crypto.jun...gnation/

Dec 01, 2015
It's ok, everybody. Really. There's nothing to worry about in terms of oxygen depletion for us. We'll starve to death long before this happens.

Dec 01, 2015
It's ok, everybody. Really. There's nothing to worry about in terms of oxygen depletion for us. We'll starve to death long before this happens.

You'll have to explain how, why and when. I know i can't predict how full my food stock will be next week, but i want to know how you can predict how empty it'll be.

Dec 01, 2015
We'll starve to death long before this happens.

Not to worry. I'm sure the AGW Cult will conjure up more of this tripe... er...excuse me.. "science" to satiate the hunger of you Chicken Littles.

Dec 01, 2015
Ocean acidification rates are about 10-times faster than a mass-extinction, currently CO2 off the Washington coast is 418-ppm and ocean equivalent 314-ppm they need to be equal for acidification to stop ...

Get it? ... end emissions or the hydrogen-sulfide world takes over as the oceans die of lack-of-circulation like big stagnant ponds and that's what kills land animals, the hydrogen-sulfide from a bacterial ocean, it's a 2-step process, heating & acidification cause the extinction.

Dec 01, 2015
At the current rate of warming, our world's food bowls will be decimated by about 2050. The loss of Himalayan glaciers will deprive 1 billion people of fresh water. Drought, fire and extreme weather will render high-density waterfront areas unliveable, driving people inland. Ocean acidification is already killing off our fish stocks. The shift of climatic zones destroys our arable land. We wage horrific wars over resources until we all starve to death. That will have destroyed all aspects of civilisation as we know it by 2100 and most of humanity will be dead by then. This problem will affect us later than that.

Like I said, it's not really a problem for us at the moment so no need to be concerned.

Dec 02, 2015
It's ok, everybody. Really. There's nothing to worry about in terms of oxygen depletion for us. We'll starve to death long before this happens.

A very likely scenario sadly for our future off spring to deal with.

Dec 02, 2015

Reported for being off topic.

We all know what your buffoonish ideological position is. No need to remind us. Comment on the actual contents of the article or GTFO.

Dec 02, 2015
So the sky is actually falling from global warming? Sounds like it's time for reeducation/concentration camps for the deniers. They are violating Gaia. http://thingumbob...ogy.html

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