It has been known that lands smash against each other from time to time. This natural phenomenon caused continents to move into a different location than they originally were. But a new study shows that there are more effects from these collisions that changed the way the world was arranged.
The magnitude of changes was surprisingly huge for anyone to miss. A team of scientists found out that the oxygen level in the world’s ocean escalated. This effect changes the conditions for life in the oceans.
Important Points In The Study
The team is trying to gather data that will help further understand global climate studies. They took microscopic seashells to identify the level of nitrogen present in the waters from 70 million to 30 million years ago.
Nitrogen is the key to understanding life and all the changes in the environment. It comprises 78% of the gas present in the atmosphere. This makes it the most important gas on the planet.
To determine the oxygen levels, the team had to use the ratio of 15N-to-14N isotope. An environment with low levels of oxygen would use a fixed amount of nitrogen. Ancient shelled- tiny sea creature fossils were analyzed because nitrogen levels are preserved in its shells.
Effects of the Changes in Oxygen Levels
The presence of oxygen dictates the distribution of life in the ocean. However, past global changes affected the ocean oxygen resulting in limited availability of habitats for sea animals. They foresee that if the levels of oxygen continue to drop in the ocean, the marine ecosystem might be depleted.
It was previously believed that warm climate caused the oxygen level to drop because it is less soluble in warm water. But it turned out that the culprit is shifting tectonic plates that cause massive changes in the ocean. Climate change may not be the primary reason for this occurrence, but it still holds an upper hand in making things worse.