TED Conversations

Dr Sivaram Hariharan

Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, PSG College of Pharmacy

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

Air Air Everywhere but O2 Nowhere . (Is it possible for oxygen levels on Earth to irreversibly plummet?)

Just like water has become undrinkable in many parts of the developing world and where bottled water has become the norm, I was wondering that is it possible that the planet loses its ability to maintain the oxygen content in the air due to nonstop pollution, burning of fossil fuels, as well as denudation of forests. Is it possible that somewhere the dynamics of the atmosphere will hit the tipping point and oxygen levels to plummet irreversibly. Who knows? This was the theme of my recent short story on siliconindia.com titled "Air Air Nowhere", where I had envisioned a world where the oxygen levels have plummeted to that found on the top of Mt Everest, forcing the use of oxygen cylinders for survival of humanity even at mean sea level. What do climate and atmosphere modelers have got to say in this regard? I had interesting debates with my friends in Bhaarath (India) in this regard. Would certainly love to get feedback and viewpoints on this. Dr Sivaram Hariharan Bhaarath (India)

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 1 2013: Isn't the extra stuff in the air a more likely problem?
    • thumb
      Mar 1 2013: Anything could happen to this dynamically equilbriated mixture called air. Either O2 could plummet or other gases could go up in their proportion. Regardless, what would happen if this life sustaining proportion was affected irreversibly. Even if we consider all the other gases in this air-mixture other than O2 to remain constant and O2 dropping down, wouldn't that be a monumental global catastrophe. Everyday, we humans breathe in the air and it seems we have taken the air on this globe for granted and do not even think of the situation if the air composition changes for the worse. Dr. Sivaram Hariharan, Bhaarath (India)
      • thumb
        Mar 2 2013: YA ITS 100% POSSIBLE IF WE TRY TO RESEARCH FOR THAT AND CREATE OR AT LEST FIND THE SOLUTIONS ON IT...BECAUSE NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE IN WORLD FIRSTLY WE HAV TO PLANT MORE TREES AND SEARCH SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS ON IT...STARTING FROM OURSELVES ONLY IS THE FIRST SOLUTION AND NOT ONLY THAT BUT THEN SOCIAL AWARENESS ALSO THE IMPORTANT PART OF THAT....

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.