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Questions tagged [co2]

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22
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is there a seasonal cycle to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?

I'm doing some homework on the increase of $\mathrm{CO}_2$ in the atmosphere. On one of the graphs it shows the amount of $\mathrm{CO}_2$ peaks in May and has a low in November. Why is this? Shouldn't ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do greenhouse gases affect ocean temperature so much?

As I understand it, greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation from the sun. Much of that radiation would otherwise continue and be absorbed on the planet surface in the ocean or on land. If CO2 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Does natural plant decomposition release more greenhouse gases than burning

I understand that all plant matter releases CO2 as it decomposes and also when it burns in, for example, a forest fire. My assumption, upon which this question is based, is that the CO2 release is the ...
3
votes
1answer
464 views

Why don't all living beings die at night due to lack of oxygen?

During the day plants photosynthesize and give out oxygen through stomata. But during the night, when half of the planet is dark, half of the earth's trees/plants consumes oxygen to survive. At that ...
9
votes
1answer
137 views

What is the residue after plant matter is completely decomposed?

What typical fraction of decomposing plant matter, left on the surface rather than buried, is not released in gaseous form? My simple world view is that the plant structure has all come from the air, ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

How large can local surface CO2 concentration vary due to natural processes?

I'd like to have a rough idea of how large local surface CO2 concentration vary due to natural processes. For example, a purely hypothetical experiment: If I set up some CO2 monitors in a wide ...