Questions tagged [carbon-cycle]

Questions about the absorption and release of carbon due to natural biogeochemical processes, and human interactions with the carbon cycle.

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8
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1answer
449 views

Carbon's role in ocean acidification

This might seem like a basic question, but I'm a little confused about the effects on ocean acidification of different carbon compounds. I have heard that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the ...
4
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2answers
240 views

When would the earth run out of carbon dioxide without man made climate change?

One of my friends told me quite seriously that Gaia had evolved humans to burn the fossil fuels and thus stop the earth running out of CO2. Leaving aside the obvious nonsense it did raise an ...
15
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5answers
950 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{...
3
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1answer
146 views

How much of the petroleum ever formed has made it into reservoir rocks?

I am aware that it's a bit general a question, and petroleum geology (or petrology ;-)) has never been a field of interest to me. A superficial search using related keywords brings up only economic ...
3
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0answers
141 views

Atmospheric $\ce{CO2}$ fell at a Pleistocene interglacial-glacial transition. Ocean absorption vs biosphere absorption

CO2 levels fell during the last interglacial-glacial transition until the Last Glacial Maximum in the Pleistocene. I can think of two causes for the reduction of CO2: Ocean absorption. The ...
3
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1answer
369 views

Is it possible to convert carbon dioxide into a solid at low cost?

Is it possible to reduce the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by converting it into a solid, thus reducing the level of greenhouse gases?
2
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1answer
72 views

For a tree over its entire existence, does it actually have a net negative effect on atmospheric CO2?

A tree while alive converts CO2 + water -> carbohydrates + O2. However, once the tree dies, it decays, releasing CO2 back into the atmosphere. My question is, over an individual tree's overall ...
15
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2answers
1k 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 ...
2
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0answers
105 views

Can CO2 / greenhouse gas levels override the effects of milankovich cycles?

I understand that we are, in all likelihood, towards the end of an interglacial period (the holocene). What I'd like to know is, what has a stronger effect on global temperatures - the low point of ...
56
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5answers
46k 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 ...
2
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1answer
215 views

Could we sequester CO$_2$ by dumping forests in deep oceans?

We know that trees are the most efficient "tool" we have to get CO$_2$ out of the air, but the problem is that most of their fixated CO$_2$ will naturally reenter the carbon cycle through ...
0
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2answers
77 views

Forest fuel biochar burial

Record fires are blazing in the west coast, huge even compared to California's notorious summers. Dead plants and debris are crucial to get a fire started. This debris could be collected, carbonized, ...
-3
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1answer
86 views

Are rainbows a reaction from earths natural release of gas after a rain? [closed]

In my studies, Ive dropped a limestone or porous stone into water, with salt and sugar. The results where an impressive light show of color flashes. With the Earths natural release of gas, these ...
4
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1answer
114 views

How does the act of producing animal feed from the leftovers of a process result in a negative carbon footprint? [closed]

According to this source, it is claimed that (emphasis is mine) At Arbikie Distillery in Angus, scientists claim to have developed the world's first "climate positive" gin. By using garden ...
6
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1answer
177 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 ...
14
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1answer
184 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 ...
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0answers
31 views

CO2 probe measuring at temperatures up to 150 °C [closed]

I'm looking for a $CO_2$ measuring probe (analog current output, digital out: RS232/485 - probe will be connected and transferring real time data to the data logger) that would operate up to 150 °C (...
13
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5answers
306 views

How will increased $\ce{CO2}$ affect forests and other vegetative areas?

Some researchers contend that increases in atmospheric CO2 (e.g., from anthropogenic emissions) will enhance plant growth in general. What is the level of that enhancement? Does the associated ...
4
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2answers
167 views

Is the net amount of CO2 sequestered by trees from the atmosphere simply related to the mass of new growth?

My simplistic model for the carbon cycle was that plants (or trees in particular) photosynthesise and transpire. The former takes up $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ and $\small\mathsf{H_2O}$ and the latter does ...
5
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3answers
16k 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 carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that ...
5
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1answer
145 views

Carbon dioxide and ocean acidification based on temperature

For our assignment, we are required to analyse and compare the $\ce{CO2}$ level (in both ocean and air) of two different sites. Theoretically, shouldn't the $\ce{CO2}$ level of a colder region (e.g., ...
4
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1answer
401 views

The effect of CO2 concentration on the pH of the ocean

I'm confused about how increased $\ce{CO2}$ concentration in the atmosphere affects the pH of the ocean. The increase in $\ce{CO2}$ concentration means the pH of the ocean will decrease (by several ...
7
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4answers
259 views

Where did all the CO₂ come from that was deposited as coal during the Carboniferous?

During the Carboniferous, vast deposits of coal (or peat at that time) were created because – as far as I understand – decomposition of wood (white rot?) was not yet "invented" at that time. This ...
3
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1answer
45 views

Is CO2 in the Pacific Ocean depleted or enriched in Carbon-13 compared to the Atlantic, and why?

Due to thermohaline circulation, the Pacific water is more 'aged' so there is a higher amount of total dissolved inorganic carbon (e.g. CO2) in the deep Pacific when compared to the Atlantic. However, ...
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4answers
671 views

Can anyone explain the reason why CO$_2$ increases global temperatures (not the simplistic greenhouse analogy provided for public consumption)?

The greenhouse effect analogy of global warming is that atmospheric carbon dioxide CO$_2$ absorbs some of the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth, and redirects a portion of that radiation back ...
3
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2answers
150 views

How do the slow and fast carbon cycles influence climate change?

I understand that the slow and fast carbon cycles are involved in the transport and storing of carbon, but how much of an influence do each of these cycles have on climate change, and how?
12
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3answers
955 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, ...
2
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0answers
54 views

Ocean Acidification - The effect of CO2 concentration on the pH of the ocean [duplicate]

I'm confused about how increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere affects the pH of the ocean. The increase in CO2 concentration means the pH of the ocean will decrease (by several chemical rxns). ...
10
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3answers
416 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
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7answers
14k 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 $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ to the atmosphere? Or is the carbon uptaken by termites and bacteria, preventing its release to ...
3
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1answer
176 views

Is the ocean a carbon sink when considering only the biospheric component?

Most people knows that the ocean overall is a carbon sink, but a big part of the sink is due to chemical equilibrium (via dissolution) with the atmosphere (for ref: https://link.springer.com/article/...
2
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5answers
461 views

If planting trees is ineffective to tackle climate change, why do people plant them?

I've read answers that outline how if we afforested large (continental-scale) masses of land, it would do little in the way of tackling climate change. While it would sequester $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ ...
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0answers
145 views

About climate sensitivity of carbon dioxide: today compared with PETM

Due to IPCC the climate sensitivity of CO₂ very likely is 3.0 ± 1.5 ℃ for each doubling of the concentration of atmospheric CO₂. Counting on earlier global warming using the Arrhenius formula [ΔT=λ·...
2
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0answers
105 views

How does extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contribute to radiative forcing?

The CO2 absorption spectrum taken at 200 mmHg partial pressure, beam path length = 10 cm, resolution = 4 cm^-1 shows that light can only travel a couple hundred meters before being completely absorbed ...
11
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4answers
2k 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, ...
2
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1answer
81 views

What is the total mass of organic carbon on Earth?

What is the estimated total mass of organic carbon plus elemental carbon (defined here as all carbon in any chemical form, minus carbon dioxide, inorganic carbonates, and other fully oxidized carbon ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Net fluxes of carbon caused by humans

The current and future amount of carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere is what currently concerns and occupies many people. I am looking for a big picture of ...
6
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2answers
151 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 ...
8
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4answers
7k 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 ...
1
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1answer
70 views

What would be the extent of the feedback on climate of unattended deaths event?

Being given that decaying corpses will stop emitting digestive metane, but would release huge amount of methane during their decaying process, I was wondering if this could be considered among the ...
3
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1answer
346 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 ...
6
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2answers
343 views

What is the relevance of Arctic coastal erosion to the Earth's climate?

Due to global warming and Arctic amplification, Northern Hemispheric permafrost is thawing and becoming a source of carbon and many greenhouse gases, which then positively feedback to global warming ...
11
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1answer
400 views

Which percentage of $\text{CO}_2$ emissions are human made emissions?

I was watching a science/myth Youtube channel (science mixed with a lot of speculative/fantasy content) with 2M+ followers and the Youtuber said volcano made emissions were higher than human made ...
4
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1answer
209 views

Is "Carbon Neutral" (roughly) 5 Gt CO₂ equivalent?

One key target set out by the IPCC is to be carbon neutral by 2050. That is, the gross green house gas emissions of Humans is less than the carbon absorbed. I'm struggling to find a good source for ...
3
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1answer
194 views

Why doesn't Earth absorb our carbon emissions?

If we look at the carbon cycle, we see that man-made carbon emission only account for a tiny fraction of all $\text{CO}_2$ emissions. However, we see a steady rise in atmospheric $\text{CO}_2$-levels....
5
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2answers
844 views

Why did the carboniferous period have so much atmospheric oxygen?

Even if all the carbon dioxide (which makes up less than 1% of the atmosphere) in the air were sequestered by plants, would the atmosphere not remain about 21% oxygen? Why did the carboniferous period ...
4
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1answer
222 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 ...
1
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2answers
732 views

Polar Ice caps are melting? Questions on enviromental impact

The polar ice caps are melting at a significant rate partly due to the albedo effect, releasing greenhouse gas-methane into earth’s atmosphere. At the same time we are logging our forests for ...
6
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4answers
2k 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 ...
5
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1answer
82 views

Are there any consequences to carbon capture and storage that also sequesters oxygen?

A big argument for carbon capture and storage is true reversal; while switching to renewable energy and eliminating CO2 emissions is a must, it will not reverse the massive movement of carbon from ...