Oxygen gas began to appear on the earth surface about 2 billion years ago by photosynthesis. Carbon Dioxide was converted into carbohydrates in the process. Where did these carbohydrates go?

If they were converted into coal, oil, and natural gas over millions of years, then by releasing them back to the atmosphere in a couple of hundred years by combustion, we are definitely changing the atmospheric composition. This will definitely change the climate. This argument for climate change seems easy to understand and bulletproof. However, I have not heard this argument mentioned by the media. Why?

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    $\begingroup$ In short, over millions of years living organisms converted it into coal & calcium carbonate (limestone) deposits. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 2:45
  • $\begingroup$ Is it true that the earth is greener today? If so, there is more photosynthesis to absorb the CO2 from the air that humans produce. How can we know if it is enough? $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 8:44

1 Answer 1


It went into:


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Mostly made out of calcium carbonate (CaCO3)


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Oil and gas

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Living biomass

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Subducted into the mantle

Occasionally coming back as diamonds

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Or as volcanic gas

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All images public domain from here


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