The new big problem of alien civilizations.  Are they able to handle it?

As scholars point out, Free atmospheric oxygen is one of the main signs of possible life on other planetsH- This claim is based on an analysis of how life evolved on Earth. In a new scientific article, specialists point out that the ability to breathe is not the only advantage resulting from the presence of oxygen in the air.

As the scientists write in their scientific article: “On Earth, fire certainly played a major role in the emergence of human civilization and the beginnings of technology“.

The researchers point out that fire allowed food to be cooked, providing our ancestors with much more energy than, for example, raw meat. This in turn had an effect on him Increase the size of our brain and continue evolving. In addition, fire was and is still used (in some places on Earth) to control the environment and was useful for hunting and increasing food resources. In addition, researchers say that without fire there would not have been an industrial revolution, and it is thanks to it that we owe a whole range of technological solutions.

The article also stated: “Sure, though The most important role of fire in the development of human civilization is its use as a source of energy. This probably began very early as a means of staying warm, thus increasing the range of environmental conditions suitable for settlement; It then developed into more advanced uses such as smelting and tool making. After all, it provided the energy, source, and fuel (for example, coal) that launched and led to the Industrial Revolution "The Industrial Revolution".Great acceleration“It ushered in a new era of the Anthropocene.”

According to research, if there is too little oxygen in a given atmosphere, then Plant material will not catch fire. In turn, if the oxygen level is not less than 35%. Air formation, the fire will continue to rage until the material is completely burned. This will cause the vegetation to be unable to sustain itself and become extinct (or not develop at all).

Scientists state in their studies that the oxygen level is just over 20%. (As with the Earth) it is ideal From this perspective, fire can exist by itself, and at the same time, plants can develop freely.

However, if the oxygen level is less than 18.5%, starting a fire will be a very big problem. For potential Intelligent beings Living on such a planet, creating complex technology (even smelting simple tools) would be out of reach.

As Dr. Adam Frank, co-author of the study, told Big Think: “Imagine a young, intelligent species living on an alien world with an atmosphere containing only 1 percent oxygen. These intelligent tool-wielding creatures would never have been able to see a tree burning after being struck by lightning, and would never have thought of using fire for their own purposes. They never had the opportunity to learn how to use fire to cook food, clear land for farming, or most importantly, smelt metals. The low oxygen content of the air would likely trap these creatures forever, limiting their development.

– The presence of a high percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere is like a bottleneck that must be passed through to obtain technological species. You can take care of everything else, however If there was no oxygen in the atmosphere, there would be no technological species – added the scientist.

“Oxygen asphyxiation” may prevent intelligent organisms using, for example, wooden tools, from reaching living organisms Creating technologically advanced species. This will automatically prevent you from contacting us – this may explain the continued no contact.

Meanwhile, researchers point out that exotic species could benefit from this Geothermal energy Or the concentration of sunlight from their host stars. However, these methods are not easy to apply to organisms at a relatively early stage of development, and such solutions may not be as “free” as fire.

The new analyzes aim to aid the search for intelligent life on alien planets. Currently, specialists are looking for oxygen (and other signatures) on alien worlds, the presence of which may indicate the possibility of encountering life there. Interestingly, Other research He showed that we should also look for carbon deficiency on other planets – this is linked to the presence of water oceans that can absorb this element.

The consequences of discovering intelligent technological life on another planet would be enormous. Therefore, we must be especially careful when interpreting potential results. Our study suggests we should be skeptical of potential technological signals coming from a planet that doesn't have enough oxygen in its atmosphere, says study co-author Dr. Amedeo Balbi.

The research results were published in a prestigious scientific journal Nature astronomy.

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