I have a question that doesn't have to do with global warming but this was the only place to post since I don't see "climate science" or "atmospheric science" anywhere else. I recently saw a show on NatGeo called "Aftermath: When the Earth Stopped Spinning". The idea of the show was to explore the effects of the rotation of the earth by considering exactly what would happen if the earth came to a complete stop over the course of five years. Of course, such a thing is pretty impossible unless the earth were to collide with a planetoid, in which case there would be bigger concerns, but that is beside the point. I don't think the idea was to consider this as a realistically possible catastrophe scenario. It was more of a thought experiment to illustrate just how important the rotation of the earth is to life. Although I found the show interesting, as a physics student who has studied rotational systems, there was one thing I found quite perplexing.

According to the program, as the earth slows, not only would the oceans migrate toward the polls causing north/south regions to submerge and equatorial areas to become dry, but so much of the atmospheric oxygen would migrate north and south that the equatorial regions would lack sufficient oxygen to sustain life. This was very surprising to me and I'm not sure I understand why. It seems to me that right now there is more atmosphere (O2 & N2) piled up around the equator than the poles due to the rotation of the earth, but I can still breathe at the north pole even though the atmospheric pressure is less there. So if the earth stopped spinning and the atmospheric levels reached some equilibrium, although the partial pressure of oxygen would be less at the equator than it is today, wouldn't there still be enough for it to be breathable? And if not, please explain why not? The show didn't explain why this occurs, only that it would. I suspect that it has something to do with the uneven warming of the sun - direct rays vs. indirect rays, but I really am not versed enough in atmospheric science to offer an educated opinion.