LANZHOU, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- A new study has revealed that future terrestrial ecosystems will produce more oxygen for the atmosphere due to climate change and anthropogenic activities.
Researchers from the College of Atmospheric Sciences of Lanzhou University found that the future terrestrial ecosystems will produce more oxygen for the atmosphere when exploring the variation of the modern oxygen cycle.
The oxygen cycle is an essential biogeochemical cycle for all aerobic life on Earth. However, the modern oxygen cycle has experienced a drastic change compared with that in the pre-industrial period, explained Huang Jianping, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor at Lanzhou University.
The team of researchers developed a database for long-term global terrestrial ecosystem oxygen production to evaluate the response of ecosystem oxygen production to climate change and anthropogenic activities.
The results of the study showed that terrestrial ecosystems can produce more than 80 percent of the total oxygen production. The main oxygen sources are located in the tropics, and oxygen production decrease as the latitudes increase.
The study enriches the understanding of the modern oxygen cycle and provides better estimates for future variations in atmospheric oxygen levels. The newly-built database also provides a new tool for assessing the ecosystem health, said Ding Lei, lead author of the study.
The study findings have been published in the journal Science China Earth Sciences.