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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-36
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-36
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Apr 2019

Research article | 10 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Impact of anthropogenic activities on global land oxygen flux

Xiaoyue Liu1, Jianping Huang1, Jiping Huang2, Changyu Li1, and Lei Ding1 Xiaoyue Liu et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China
  • 2Enlightening Bioscience Research Center, Mississauga, L4X 2X7, Canada

Abstract. Atmospheric oxygen (O2) is one of the predominant features that enable Earth as a habitable planet for active and diverse biology. However, observations since the late 1980s indicate that O2 content in the atmosphere is falling steadily at part-per-million level. Although a scientific consensus has emerged that the current decline is generally attributed to the combustion of fossil fuel, a quantitative assessment of the anthropogenic impact on the O2 cycle on both global and regional scale is currently lacking. This paper quantifies the anthropogenic and biological O2 flux over land and provides a quantitative and dynamic description of land O2 budget under impacts of human activities on grid scale. It is found that total anthropogenic O2 flux over land has risen from 35.6 Gt/yr in 2000 to 46.0 Gt/yr in 2013, while the compensation from land (11.5 Gt/yr averaged from 2000 to 2013) displays a faint increase during the same period. High anthropogenic fluxes mainly occur in Eastern Asia, India, North America and Europe caused by fossil fuel combustion and in Central Africa caused by wildfire. Due to strong heterotrophic soil respiration under higher temperature conditions, the positive O2 flux in the tropics is not significant. Instead, boreal forest and Tibetan plateau become the most important sources of atmospheric O2 in the Anthropocene. The anthropogenic oxygen consumption data are publicly available online at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.899167.

Xiaoyue Liu et al.
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Anthropogenic oxygen flux from 1975 to 2013 X. Liu, J. Huang, J. Huang, C. Li, and L. Ding https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.899167

Xiaoyue Liu et al.
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Short summary
Atmospheric oxygen is crucial to life on earth. In this paper, we quantify oxygen consumption and production processes under the impact of human activities to build a dynamic global oxygen budget on a grid scale. Our result shows that the oxygen consumption related to human activities has risen significantly in recent decades while the oxygen production only displays a faint increase. Regionally, boreal forest and Tibetan plateau become the most important sources of atmospheric oxygen.
Atmospheric oxygen is crucial to life on earth. In this paper, we quantify oxygen consumption...
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