NASA claims Earth will ‘run out of oxygen’ in the next billion years

The Sun will destroy all animal and plant life on Earth in one billion years, according to the latest NASA research.

Oxygen will disappear from our planet's atmosphere as the star gets old and starts heating up, scientists predicted.

This will see carbon dioxide in the air broken down – leaving plants unable to create oxygen via photosynthesis, their study said.

Animals would also be wiped out with none able to adapt quickly enough to the changes in our atmosphere.

The 10,000-year process would return Earth to a time when it didn't have abundant oxygen, US and Japanese researchers said.

They explained the ozone layer, which consists of oxygen and protects us from harmful UV light and heat, would completely vanish.

This would see the extinction of all aquatic and terrestrial life, leaving only anaerobic (doesn't use oxygen) and primitive bacteria hiding in the shadows.

The study published in the journal Nature Geoscience entitled, "The future lifespan of Earth's oxygenated atmosphere," predicted he Sun will being heating up in one billion years, the Science Times reports.

Its authors Dr Chris Reinhard from Georgia Tech and Dr Kazumi Ozaki from the University of Tokyo carried out the research as part of NASA's NexSS program to assess and explore the habitability of exoplanets.

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The Sun was predicted to start to age and give out more heat, breaking down carbon dioxide then sparking runaway global warming on Earth.

Dr Reinhard said that the drop in oxygen will be very extreme – a million times less than levels in the atmosphere today.

The deoxygenation of the atmosphere would coincide with the rise of methane levels to about 10,000 times the amounts currently in the atmosphere.

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The experts predicted that the deoxygenation would occur too rapidly for adaptation.

Their study modeled planets' climatic, geologic, and biological systems to fine-tune scientific understanding of the Earth's future atmospheric conditions.

Our planet's atmosphere consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and 0.1% of other gases.

But over the first two billion years of the Earth, there was no oxygen in the planet's atmosphere.

Low levels of oxygen appeared first when cyanobacteria known as blue-green algae released oxygen as a byproduct of their photosynthesis.

Roughly 2.4 billion years in the past, the planet experienced what has been dubbed the Great Oxidation Event.

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