[2021] What will happen if Oxygen doubled on Earth?

Our universe is created with all the things in balance for the existence of the living species, if we try to misuse them or change them, it shows us some adverse effects. As it is rightly said in Sanskrit, ‘अति सर्वत्र वर्जएत’ which means too much of anything is harmful. Oxygen is a very essential gas in the atmosphere. Oxygen is required for the respiratory process in animals, combustion for fuel, and also to control the temperature of the atmosphere.

Many scientists and researchers say the level of oxygen is decreasing in the atmosphere due to excess pollution by emitting carbon dioxide, sulfates, and other harmful chemicals from the industrial area.

Deforestation is also one of the reasons for a decrease in the amount of oxygen. Therefore, they recommend growing more trees to balance the level of oxygen. Today, let us see What will happen if Oxygen doubled on Earth?

Amount of gases present in the Atmosphere

Gas Amount in the atmosphere (in %)
Nitrogen 78.08
Oxygen 20.95
Water 0-4
Argon 0.93
Carbon Dioxide 0.036
Neon 0.0018
Helium 0.0005
Methane 0.00017
Hydrogen 0.00005
Nitrous Oxide 0.00003

Uses of Oxygen

Oxygen is an essential gas for the existence of living species. It is mainly used as:

  • Respiratory process in animals
  • Combustion of fuel to lit fire
  • Production of metals, textiles
  • The life support system in submarines, aircraft, spaceflights, and diving

90% of our body is made up of oxygen molecules, it is either in the form of water which is almost 73% of the formation of body, proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and fats. Our teeth and bones also consist of oxygen molecules. Human blood cells also contain oxygen for survival.

Another form of Oxygen, the Ozone(O3) layer is present in the stratosphere which protects the living species from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted from the Sun. Water (H2O) also consists of 2 molecules of hydrogen and 1 molecule of oxygen.

Production of Oxygen

Oxygen is mainly produced by the process of photosynthesis in plants and trees. Green algae and cyanobacteria in marine environments produce 70% of the total production of oxygen. Oxygen is also produced commercially for industrial and medical purposes.

Oxygen is mainly produced commercially in 2 ways, i.e. by cryogenic distillation process and electrolysis process. In the cryogenic distillation process, the air is liquified where the air is cooled and oxygen is separated and distilled at its boiling point in the air separation plant.

The same process is applied with oxygen concentrators. It extracts the oxygen from the air directly. In the electrolysis process, oxygen is separated and liquified by separating the molecules of water into oxygen and hydrogen.

Earth Oxygen level History

Scientists have examined the ice from Greenland and Antarctica and found the ancient ice which is about 3.5 million years ago. They found those ice have air bubbles which are formed in the middle of the ice which reveals the formation of the atmosphere.

They also stated that over 800000 years, the level of oxygen is decreasing by 0.7% every year. They believe that before life on earth existed, oxygen was absent in the atmosphere. Only after the presence of cyanobacteria, the production of oxygen started in the atmosphere.

About 2.5 million years ago, due to some natural calamity or process, a huge layer of carbon dioxide was produced between the core of Earth’s crust and metal which caused the explosion and resulted in the release abundant amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Since then, the ratio of gases in our atmosphere hasn’t changed much.

All about Earth’s information & Evolution of Earth.
What is Earth’s geological pulse? (A complete study)
For further information, please read

What would happen if the atmosphere was 40% oxygen?

If the oxygen level in the atmosphere increases from 21% to 40%, then the insects or the bugs will be bigger. As these insects breathe through tiny tubes called the trachea; the increased amount of oxygen in the tubes will cause an increase in their size. The increase in the size of these insects scars humans, but the ability to overcome those also increases in humans.

As the oxygen level increases in the human body, the energy level of the body also increases. It will also increase alertness. As the oxygen level increases in the blood cells, the immunity level also increases, and humans are less likely to fall ill.

Effects of doubling the Oxygen in the Atmosphere

1.Effects on animals

Many of the animals and insects will thrive with the extra oxygen, they will grow quickly into enormous sizes. Based on the research by our scientists on the fossils; about 30 million years ago, the size of the insects and other living organisms was larger as the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere was about 30%.

2. Effects on plants

As the ratio of oxygen increases in the atmosphere, the size of the plants will also increase. The flowers will go into trees and the long trees will grow into giant trees reaching to the clouds. Due to a large amount of oxidation in the atmosphere it may also lead to forest fires which were very rare earlier. The forest fire only happened only in California in 2018 which will start happening all over the world.

3. Effects on the human body

90% of our energy comes from oxygen in the atmosphere and the rest of energy comes from food and water. Hence, when the oxygen level increases in the atmosphere, our body will also inhale more amount of oxygen with each breathe. This results in more oxygen in the human blood cells. The brain cell of the human body also gets more oxygen through the blood, which leads to more alertness and smartness.

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in the immune system which also gets improved due to the higher availability of oxygen. As the immunity also increases with more oxygen, the scenario of oxygen toxicity is also developed on the other side. As free radicals are formed due to excess oxidation in the atmosphere, it can damage human DNA. This can lead to cancer and other life-taking diseases.

4. Effects on Earth’s atmosphere

Due to the increased amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, the density of the air will become dense which will lead to scatter and diffuse the sunlight in a larger area. As a result, less vapor will be formed in the air and the atmosphere will be more oxidized which will lead to the death of several species.

5. Effects on machines and industries

Cars will be able to run with the least amount of fuel at high speed. This may also lead to the burning of the car or other machinery which requires fuel. Because of oxidation, our machines will rust faster than before.

What is Oxygen Toxicity?

Oxygen toxicity is the damage of lungs from breathing oxygen in an excess amount. It is also known as oxygen poisoning. It can cause coughing and trouble in breathing which may also lead to death. Oxygen toxicity also leads to loss of vision.

What would happen if the Earth lost oxygen for 1 second?

If the earth lost oxygen only for one second, the Earth will die. No one would die because of the lack of oxygen. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the body will increase but it will take more than 1 second for the condition to become critical.

As the ozone layer in the atmosphere would disappear completely, the ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sun would surely harm the human body. As the Earth will lose 21% of its pressure instantly, the human inner ear will explode.

The car which uses internal combustion engines that requires oxygen will suddenly stop all of a sudden due to lack of oxygen. The engines will not ignite and those which are running will also come to a standstill.

The earth plane just taking off will glide over the runway and those already in the air will glide in the atmosphere for a while. The internet connection and mobile communication will suddenly be stopped.

The human body is made up of 75% water. Water is formed by molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. Now, if we lost oxygen, water molecules will collapse, only hydrogen gas will be left in the body which will evaporate in the atmosphere. So only carbon, nitrogen and, phosphorus will be left in the human body.

Due to the high amount of particles that are reflecting light is decreased instantly the sky will turn grey. 75% of the Earth is filled with water as oxygen in the water will vanish the hydrogen gas will evaporate in space.

The concrete building will be converted into dust as there will be no oxygen in the concrete that binds them. The raw metals will stick to each other as they were only keep separated with the oxidation layer. All fires will be extinguished due to a lack of oxygen.


We have now seen, the advantages as well as disadvantages of doubling the amount of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. Increasing and decreasing the amount of oxygen will only lead to the destruction of life on Earth.

And hence, we should use and maintain the natural resources effectively for the sustainability of living species. We should also believe the creation of God is worthy i.e. the balance of everything in the right amount, using it in abundance or destroying it will only cause us harm.

I hope you enjoyed this Article; (What will happen if Oxygen doubled on Earth?) If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments box below.

FAQ related to (What will happen if Oxygen doubled on Earth?)

Q- Can you survive in 100% oxygen?

Ans- No, we can’t survive in 100% oxygen in the atmosphere as more oxygen causes oxygen toxicity in the human body which in turn damages the lungs and causes trouble in breathing, and is led to death. Free radicals are formed in the atmosphere which damages the DNA which leads to cancer and other life-taking diseases.

Q- If there was more oxygen in the air, were humans be bigger?

Ans- As the amount of oxygen increases in the atmosphere, the human body also inhales more oxygen, which also increases the amount of oxygen in the blood cells. This boosts the development of the human body and hence, the size of the human body increases.

Q- How much oxygen does a person needs daily?

Ans- The average adult needs approximately 11000 litres of oxygen per day while resting.

Q- Which plant gives oxygen 24 hours?

Ans- The Peepal tree releases oxygen for 24 hours.

Q- What produces the most oxygen?

Ans- 50-80% of the total production of oxygen naturally, comes from the ocean. The majority of the production comes from algae and various bacterias which can photosynthesize.

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