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Questions tagged [co2]

CO2 is the chemical formula for the molecule carbon dioxide, which consists of carbon and oxygen.

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How are Mauna Loa $\ce{CO2}$ monthly trends computed?

The problem I am trying to figure out how $\ce{CO2}$ concentration trends are computed in the data provided by the Earth Systems Research Laboratory Mauna Loa Observatory. The data contains monthly ...
Dima Chubarov's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
34k 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 ...
Shannon Torstonson's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
10k views

Does rain (temporarily) deplete the surrounding atmosphere of carbon dioxide?

CO2 in the air dissolves into rain water, making them slightly acidic. Is that enough to deplete the surrounding air out of CO2? If yes, how fast does this occur? Is it only with the first drops of ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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What is the importance of mixing caused by outgassing in the ocean?

I have been asked the following question for which I have no clear answer: What is the relative importance on mixing of the vertical flow of gases (e.g., Oxygen produced by photosynthesis, CO2 ...
arkaia's user avatar
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CO2 emissions per calorie (food)

I have seen several lists with CO2 emissions by weight for producing several different food products. I think this is an interesting consideration, and possible argument for vegetarianism/veganism. I ...
Toke Faurby's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
WolfRevokCats's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
827 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 ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
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How did CO₂ originate on Earth before there was life?

To start life there has to be $\ce{CO2}$. $\ce{Solar energy + 6CO2 + 6H2O -> C6H12O6 (sugars) + 6O2}$ $C_6H_{12}O_{6} + O_2 \longrightarrow H_2O + {CO}_2 + \text{Energy}$ So to start this cycle, ...
Marcel Plan B's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
816 views

Will the Southern Ocean act as a net source or sink for atmospheric $\ce{CO2}$ in the future?

Some estimates claim that currently about one third of current human annual emissions of $\ce{CO2}$ are absorbed by the oceans. Some authors have calculated that about half of the global ocean total ...
arkaia's user avatar
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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 ...
Pablo's user avatar
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What would happen if we could revert $\mathrm{CO}_2$ production but took it too far?

So recently, scientists managed to produce fuel basically out of thin air (water, air and sunlight). And in a discussion I had with a friend, the question came up, what would happen if you took that ...
kram1032's user avatar
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5 answers
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Carbon dioxide on Mars, Venus and Earth

Earth's atmosphere is 0.038% carbon dioxide. Mars's atmosphere is 95.3% carbon dioxide. Venus's atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide. If Earth's climate is controlled by CO2, then why is Mars so cold ...
Lucian09474's user avatar
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10 votes
7 answers
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Does climate change cause increase in CO2?

My main question is how do we know that increase in global temperature does not CAUSE an increase in CO2 concentration? I am trying to develop my mental model of what's going on for the climate ...
Acumen Simulator's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
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Is volume of air increasing as CO2 levels increase?

CO2 levels are increasing, they have crossed 400 ppm, which means that of every million gas molecules in the air, 400 are of CO2. It has been increasing. Does that mean the total volume of air in the ...
Ram Keswani's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why are CO2 sensors so expensive when CO sensors aren't?

Please excuse me if Earth Science is not the correct place to ask this question. I read a New York Times article about increasing $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ levels in the atmosphere: "Carbon in Atmosphere ...
hwmartin's user avatar
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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 ...
Puffin's user avatar
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Are there any high-resolution urban CO2 concentration data sets?

I gather that higher-than-ambient CO2 "domes" can form above urban areas, enhancing other local air pollution. Are there papers or datasets of average CO2 concentrations down at ground level (say 0-20 ...
410 gone's user avatar
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9 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
Grumdrig's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Is the impact of carbon emision dependent on the location on the earth?

While I was reading how the EU taxes aviation companies based on carbon emissions it occurred to me that the effect of carbon emissions on global temperature etc. may depend on where the carbon is ...
St.Clair Bij's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
252 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, ...
Puffin's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
233 views

Do the large forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere?

Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times columnist, wrote yesterday: These intact forests — from those in the Amazon and Congo River basins to ones in Canada, Russia and Ecuador — are the world’s life-...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
669 views

Has the present rise of CO2 ppm been proved to be caused by human activity?

The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen roughly from 300 to 400ppm over the last 60 years. What are the reliable calculations showing that such a rise has been caused by human activity? I am ...
Greendrake's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
278 views

How much heat was released from the 2019-2020 Australian bush fires?

How much heat was released from the 2019-2020 Australian bush fires? And is that likely to have a measurable impact on global atmospheric heat content? Maybe as a secondary question: How much impact ...
naught101's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
163 views

Why is Belgium (and Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Norway) still above consumption CO2 levels per capita of 1990? While many others did go down

"Consumption-based emissions reflect the consumption and lifestyle choices of a country’s citizens." Via this article https://ourworldindata.org/consumption-based-co2 I see that Belgium's ...
O0123's user avatar
  • 311
6 votes
3 answers
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Are Ice Ages Affected by the Freezing Out of CO2 in Antarctica?

The freezing point of carbon dioxide is -78.5 $\small\mathsf{^o}$C. Occasionally this low is exceeded in Antarctica, and small quantities of CO2 are frozen out, but are returned soon after to the ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
372 views

What causes the counter-intuitive presence of CO2 in the atmosphere during spring and summer months?

Recently, I stumbled upon this NASA map of the Earth from the OCO-2, a satellite that measures CO2 density in the atmosphere. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/nasa-tools-co2-19681 Specifically, I'm ...
Throsby's user avatar
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1 answer
344 views

Do carbon dioxide hydrates exist in nature?

Do CO2 hydrates exist in nature? If so, how much carbon could they contain?
Victor1995's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
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5 votes
4 answers
302 views

What are the technical solutions to measure $\ce{CO2}$ emissions?

I'm currently at COP24 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Katowice, Poland. (some editing since I took a screenshot of my laptop) I've asked some guys about $\ce{CO2}$ emissions but very ...
Mars Robertson's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
526 views

How to explain the remarkable regularity of the increased concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide?

The Keeling curve is very well approximated with an exponential function with an offset $256$ [ppm] $$256+A\cdot e^{\alpha\cdot t}$$ where $A=1.095\cdot10^{-12}$ and $\alpha=0.0161$ ($t$ is in years ...
Lehs's user avatar
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1 answer
373 views

Technical term for percentage of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere

I have a theoretical exercise where I calculated the amount of CO2 that is released to the atmosphere per year (4.6 ppm). We assume that the relative increase of CO2 is 2 ppm, hence the percentage of ...
andreas's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
245 views

If US emissions went to zero how long until global emissions reach current levels

Given the current global CO2 emission trends, if the US overnight magically went to zero emissions (without affecting worldwide emissions), how many years until global CO2 emissions return to exactly ...
RobC's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
118 views

Why are $\small\sf{CH_4}$ and $\small\sf{CO_2}$ levels coupled during the Pleistocene?

CH4 and CO2 levels show correlation throughout the Pleistocene: Source: trustyetverify.wordpress.com What are the reasons of this coupling?
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5 votes
1 answer
16k views

What is the CO2 concentration by altitude and why?

Here is a measurement of CO2 concentration by altitude measured by aircraft:(from Pulsed airborne lidar measurements of atmospheric CO2 column absorption) Is this the usual vertical structure of CO2? ...
Gorgulak's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
59 views

Does the extension of the absorption line of $\text{CO}_2$ with temperature play a role in the climate change?

I've read not long ago that the absorption line of the $\text{CO}_2$ becomes larger with temperature thanks to Doppler effect (if it's false it would be great to tell me). My question is the following:...
thephysics17's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
205 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., ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

What would the pH of rainwater be if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubled?

Natural rain water is slightly acidic (pH = 5.6) since there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that dissolves to make carbonic acid. What would be the pH of rainwater if carbon dioxide in the ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
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5 votes
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Can the absorbtion of infrared around the 650 wavenumber in water be a substantial cause of converting that spectrum range into other spectra?

CO2 absorbs around the 15 microns wavelenght or wavenumber 650, and radiates in the same but also a somewhat wider range. However, the top layer of the oceans seem to also convert that spectrum range. ...
MP1's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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How is causality between past CO$_2$ levels and fossilized plant pores proxies established?

According to Mann and Kump (2015), Geologic proxies are characteristics of sedimentary rocks that we can use to infer ancient environmental conditions. Climate scientists study proxies because there ...
Ryan da Silva's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
357 views

Total CO$_2$ is not constant?

I've got a friend who is a climate change sceptic. He argues that because all the CO2 in fossil fuels originally came from the earth's atmosphere. Then there can't be a problem releasing the CO2 back ...
user16756's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
142 views

Are small reductions in CO2 emissions better than no reductions, in terms of mitigating climate change?

My understanding of climate change is that a large increase in human-caused CO2 emissions is likely to lead to large change in the Earth's climate through a global warming effect. Scientific consensus ...
jl6's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
775 views

What are the ranges of natural (or pre-industrial era) levels of CO2 in the atmosphere in ppm and tons?

Are the levels of natural (before the industrial revolution) levels of CO2 and ppm known? Also as a related question, should the "natural" levels be considered before the industrial revolution or ...
Pablo's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
145 views

Difference between the oxygen/$CO_2$ ratio during the period of the dinosaurs and the present

Here's the base of my question: Was volcanic activity more prevalent when the dinosaurs roamed? Is it true that during the time of the dinosaurs, both the oxygen requirements (by all living creatures ...
Yordan's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
dibs487's user avatar
  • 149
4 votes
1 answer
754 views

Do trees capture more CO2 during a fast growth stage?

I understand that trees capture CO2 from the air and use that carbon to grow. As trees reach mature height, do they begin to capture less CO2 as they would only need carbon for "maintenance" as ...
noctonura's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
1 answer
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How was it possible that CO2 levels were higher nearly 650,000 years ago?

Recently I've been working on a debate for climate change and I'm working on a rebuttal statement but then I came across many different sites that claimed that there were higher CO2 levels before ...
Math4life's user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
2 answers
359 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 ...
Tom Weston's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do rising CO2 levels change the appearance of the sky in infrared?

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been rising, recently passing 400 parts per million. CO2 is a greenhouse gas; it absorbs and emits radiation in the thermal infrared range. It is, as far as I ...
Keith Thompson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
918 views

How to measure Air CO2 Cheaply for a School Science Experiment

I'm helping my daughter with a science experiment for school to show the effect of CO2 enrichment on plant growth. We have two small tabletop greenhouses with approximately 10 Liter volume and we're ...
Robert S. Barnes's user avatar