According to a 2013 Daily Mail article :

greater evaporation and chemical reactions with rainwater will take away more and more carbon dioxide.

In less than a billion years, its levels will be too low for photosynthesising plants to survive, say scientists. When that happens, life as we know it on Earth will cease to exist.

A more scientific version of this is Swansong Biospheres: Refuges for life and novel microbial biospheres on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes International Journal of Astrobiology.

This article says:

Increased Temperatures --->

Increased weathering of silicate rock --->

Carbon drawdown --->

Plate tectonics slows --->

Carbon recycling slows --->

Pant life unsustainable <10 ppm CO2
~0.9 Gyr

As background see Carbonate–silicate cycle. Carbon Dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by the chemical reaction:

CaSiO3(s) + 2CO2(g) + H2O(l) → Ca2+(aq) + 2HCO3-(aq) + SiO2

Is this really accepted science, that plant-life on Earth will end, due to too little CO2, in less than one billion years?

  • 10
    Strange article. Currently experts are trying to find ways to cut levels of the greenhouse gas to prevent global warming running out of control. immediately followed by But as the Sun ages and grows hotter, greater evaporation and chemical reactions with rainwater will take away more and more carbon dioxide. As if there is a relation between a time scale of centuries and one of a billion years.
    – user22865
    Jan 26, 2017 at 15:19
  • 5
    It's obviously disregarding the fact that life always evolves to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Initially all life was CO2 consuming and Oxygen was a waste product. About 2.5B years ago, Oxygen started to accumulate killing off many of these life forms. However oxygen breathers evolved and since the exhale CO2 a balance was formed.
    – Hilmar
    Jan 26, 2017 at 16:47
  • 1
    @DavePhD Hopefully this is not used by climate change deniers to argue that increasing CO2 levels is a good thing?
    – ventsyv
    Jan 26, 2017 at 18:15
  • 1
    @ventsyv " Do you want to save the planet? Fire up the SUV this holiday weekend and go for a pleasure ride; burn some more coal..." thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/…
    – DavePhD
    Jan 26, 2017 at 18:18
  • 4
    Our planet has on multiple occasions created conditions that very much work against the continuation of life (e.g., snowball Earth and the end Permian). Drawing CO2 down to levels that are insufficient to sustain complex life is unsustainable is one of the many possible ways that our planet may eventually become naturally uninhabitable (i.e., without human help). What may or may not happen a billion years from now does not give us free reign to do whatever we please.This is one of the saddest excuses for climate denial I've seen. Jan 27, 2017 at 4:12


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