Rise in atmosphere's oxygen linked to fossil fuel formation: Scientists

Oxygen enables the chemical reactions that animals use to get energy from stored carbohydrates in food.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Dec 31, 2016, 16:42 PM IST
Rise in atmosphere's oxygen linked to fossil fuel formation: Scientists
Representational image

New Delhi: Scientists claim that the fossil fuel formation is linked to rise in atmosphere's oxygen. They claim that the rise in oxygen levels in linked to a rapid increase in the burial of sediment containing large amounts of carbon-rich organic matter - a process that leads to the formation of fossil fuels.

Oxygen enables the chemical reactions that animals use to get energy from stored carbohydrates in food.

So it may be no coincidence that animals appeared and evolved during the "Cambrian explosion," which coincided with a spike in atmospheric oxygen roughly 500 million years ago, researchers said.

It was during the Cambrian explosion that most of the current animal designs appeared. In green plants, photosynthesis separates carbon dioxide into molecular oxygen and carbon.

However, photosynthesis had already been around for at least 2.5 billion years.

Researchers wondered what accounted for the sudden spike in oxygen during the Cambrian.

(With PTI inputs)