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Questions tagged [carbon-cycle]

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2
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1answer
37 views

How much net carbon can coral sequester?

So I am wondering how much carbon any given coral can sequester given that carbon dioxide dissolves in water and forms carbonic acid, and coral uses that carbonic acid in their own calcification ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Could we plant enough trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions? [duplicate]

In 2014, the world emitted 10 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. A 50 year old oak tree forest sequesters 30,000 pounds of CO2 per acre. At that rate of sequestration per acre, offsetting all ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Effect of reducing conditions on melting point

I've been reading a paper(*) looking at the deep carbon cycle and it mentions a key process that the authors refer to as "redox melting". According to the paper, reducing conditions increase the ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

What caused the Carbon Dioxide Variations observed in the 800,000-year polar ice record?

I have seen several graphs showing the prehistoric temperatures and CO2 concentrations derived from ice-core data. My understanding is that CO2 and temperature correlate. I assume that Milankovich ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Will photosynthesis based carbon sequestration always be more efficient than other chemical means - in terms of rate?

There seem to be many ideas for carbon sequestration. The problem with anything electrochemical, is that unless it is solar-based, you're putting carbon into the atmosphere at probably a great rate ...
10
votes
3answers
252 views

Did climate cool down when underground hydrocarbons stocks formed?

As far as I understand, the dominant theory of modern climate change says that recent warming is mainly caused by the massive burning of hydrocarbons that used to be stored in solid form mostly ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Does organic decay release the same CO2 as burning?

Does a fallen tree left to decay release essentially all of its stored carbon as CO2 to the atmosphere? Or is the carbon uptaken by termites and bacteria, preventing its release to the atmosphere?
6
votes
1answer
324 views

Estimating the residence time of atmospheric CO2 from bomb 14C

This (rather dodgy) graph shows a number of estimates of the residence time of atmospheric CO2: My question concerns why there is so much variation (Machta, 1974 about 3 years, Seuss and Druffe, 1983 ...
-6
votes
2answers
365 views

Why cannot people burn all the atmospheric oxygen? [closed]

We are told that photosynthesis, developed a couple of billion years ago has produced all the atmospheric oxygen. I wonder, why did the process stop? Why do modern plants prefer to recover the entropy ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Is it possible that a reduction in vegetation is a cause of global warming?

A lot of people seem to believe that the entire cause of global warming is that humans are emitting lots of carbon dioxide. However, according to a source I found online (I accept it may not be ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Locate people by Oxygen/Carbon Dioxide levels [closed]

I've been challenged to think of some really out-of-the-box ways to locate people, and I had one. I'm 90% sure this isn't reasonably possible (probably only in laboratory settings), but I couldn't ...
5
votes
2answers
317 views

How did plants adapt to $\small\sf{CO_2}$ levels past 400k years? Why won't they do it again?

(Description from climate.nasa.gov: This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric $\small\sf{...
5
votes
4answers
816 views

Are all natural diamonds made of organic carbon material?

I've read that diamonds are created at a depth of about 180 km. By volcanic activity it comes above. But did plants and trees of 300 million years ago sink so deep? Or is it possible that inorganic ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

What is the distribution of global photosynthesis?

Has anyone attempted to classify global photosynthesis? For example, what percentage of it occurs over land? What percentage comes from agriculture? Same questions for total growth of plant mass. ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the evidence it is feasible to reverse ocean acidification by adding large quantities of a base (bicarb soda)?

A commenter made the following reflection: Ocean acidification is different than sea level rise and global warming, however. With ocean acidification, we're making an excursion unlike anything the ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Why has CO2 decreased in the history of the Earth?

I noticed that the $\ce{CO2}$ is actually decreasing in the eon time. My guess is lush vegetation or forests began to grow which absorbed the $\ce{CO2}$ by photosynthesis? Would anyone give me any ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the difference between a carbon sink and a carbon reservoir?

I am trying to figure out the difference between a carbon sink and a carbon reservoir. The definition for a carbon sink from wikipedia is that “carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Timescale of the biological pump?

I'm tying to find any clue about the timescale of the biological pump. That the carbon is recycled to the surface ca. 1,000 years is clear but the timescale of the biological pump seems hard to find. ...
10
votes
4answers
901 views

Why do we recycle paper?

Recycling metal and some plastics makes complete sense to me. Why bury something in a landfill that you'll have to find and dig up more of later. What I don't get is why we recycle paper products, ...
6
votes
2answers
127 views

Sources of $\ce{CO_2}$ during Carboniferous period

It is believed that during the Carboniferous period, fungi and bacteria lacked the biochemical means to decompose lignin and release $\ce{CO_2}$ back to the atmosphere. So dying trees carbon became ...
10
votes
1answer
191 views

Hypotheses about Silurian carbon isotope excursions?

The Silurian Period is now known to have undergone several significant positive $\delta^{13}C_{carb}$ excursions, namely the early Aeronian, Late Aeronian, Valgu, Ireviken, Mulde, Lau & Klonk ...
14
votes
1answer
648 views

How is carbon distributed among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt fossil fuels?

In relation to my other question about carbon cycle and climate change, i would like to know some estimates of the carbon distribution among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt ...
10
votes
2answers
778 views

To stop anthropogenic climate change, is it necessary to stop extracting petroleum and start pumping carbon under ground?

The amount of carbon (C) on Earth is constants. As far as i understand, all carbon that is not found in the atmosphere or the oceans in the form of CO2 or CO is stored either in the biomass (plants, ...
36
votes
4answers
17k views

How many trees would I have to plant to solve Global Warming?

According to Nasa, causes of the Earth's greenhouse effect include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and CFCs. Carbon dioxide gets the most press, and NASA's page says: Carbon ...
13
votes
1answer
108 views

Does the heating of the oceans due to greenhouse effect negate the acidification due to increased CO2 levels?

As I understand, the dissolving of carbon dioxide leads to increased acidification of the oceans, and thus increased atmospheric CO2 levels would lead to more dissolution in the oceans and thus ...
11
votes
1answer
116 views

Estimate litter production

How would one go about estimating litter production (fine root turnover, leaves, etc.) for a forested area? I have some estimates from literature - which were derived from models, but I'd like to ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the status of the Raymo & Ruddiman idea that Tibet cooled the Earth?

What is the current status of the Raymo & Ruddiman hypothesis that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau during the Cenozoic cooled the Earth, resulting the current ice age(*)? cf. Raymo, M.E. and W....
5
votes
1answer
53 views

Do river fluxes help contribute to long-term carbon sequestration?

Rivers help transport sediment from higher regions into the oceans (where it's hard to get back into the atmosphere). And this sediment could be carbon-rich.
17
votes
5answers
443 views

Does vegetation contribute to long-term carbon sequestration?

So we know that vegetation sequesters carbon dioxide into its leaves. Much of this carbon sequestration is temporary, since when the plant dies, much of it is released as CO2 back into the atmosphere. ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How were we able to measure carbon dioxide levels in earlier climates?

It is said that carbon dioxide levels were much higher during the Cretaceous and Eocene periods: which proxies are used to determine paleo-pCO2?
8
votes
1answer
144 views

How much carbon is sequestered out of the atmosphere through marine snow?

Marine snow in the deep ocean is a continuous shower of mostly organic detritus falling from the upper layers of the water column. How much carbon is sequestered in this process? How does it compare ...