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Questions tagged [oxygen]

Questions regarding the 8th chemical element, a main component of the athmosphere and of the crust.

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17 votes
2 answers

How is the equilibrium of 21% oxygen in Earth's atmosphere established?

The atmosphere is 21% oxygen. I assume that there must be an equilibrium between processes that produce oxygen (e.g. photosynthesis) and those that consume oxygen (e.g. aerobic respiration). Moreover,...
Irigi's user avatar
  • 573
4 votes
2 answers

Causes of fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen in past 300 Mya

I have two questions based on the history of atmospheric oxygen levels depicted below. Source: The notes below the chart explain ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 351
-4 votes
2 answers

Why cannot people burn all the atmospheric oxygen? [closed]

We are told that photosynthesis, developed a couple of billion years ago has produced all the atmospheric oxygen. I wonder, why did the process stop? Why do modern plants prefer to recover the entropy ...
Little Alien's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Why limestone formation was not a concern in atmosphere oxidation event? [closed]

I have just got to know why Fe was a problem. After clay (alumnum) and Silicon got oxidized, there has left a lot of unoxidized Fe in the crust, whose oxidization has finished during GOE. But, ferrum ...
Little Alien's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers

Is oxygen the most abundant element on Earth?

When I was in school, I was taught that we need oxygen to breathe, but it actually constitutes only a small fraction of the atmospheric composition, and that nitrogen constituted the largest fraction ...
Matthew Layton's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Why is Great Oxidation Event associated with Iron oxidation but not Aluminum or Silicon?

Just to build up on my previous success with oxygen origin in the atmosphere, I want to expand the question as was advised in the answers. The official heresy, despite denied in the comments and ...
Little Alien's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Percentage of Oxgen left after burning all the available biomass

A documentry stated that during the Permian asteroid strike the atmosphere heated up to above 400C, potentially to 600C. As this would ignite most of the biomass, including us, I wondered if this fire ...
Bob Hay's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote
3 answers

How could oxygen levels have ever been higher if there is so little carbon dioxide present?

Assumptions: Essentially all oxygen that's ever been present in the atmosphere originated from oxygenic photosynthesis. The production of an oxygen molecule during photosynthesis leads to the ...
Alessandro Power's user avatar