Questions tagged [co2]

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23
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
404 views

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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
245 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
191 views

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, ...
11
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
413 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
114 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
302 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
88 views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
139 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, ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
265 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
8k 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?
5
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
860 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 CO2 levels in the atmosphere: "Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even ...
5
votes
1answer
46 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:...
5
votes
1answer
113 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., ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
119 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
108 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
624 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
130 views

Total CO2 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
811 views

If we burn all carbon in the Earth's crust, by how much would the atmospheric concentration of $CO_2$ increase?

If we burn all carbon in the Earth's crust, by how much would the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increase?
3
votes
1answer
84 views

What is meant by Global-warming Potential (GWP)?

I was under the impression GWP (global-warming potential) is the measure of a gas' impact on global warming, in comparison with CO2. E.g. methane has a GWP of 86 over 20 years - Wikipedia Comparing ...
3
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
340 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

How can every ton of CO2 cost 3 square meters of summer sea ice per year - quantitatively?

The Science article The average U.S. family destroys a football field's worth of Arctic sea ice every 30 years states: Every additional metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) puffed into the atmosphere ...
2
votes
3answers
68 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Could earth run out of O2? [closed]

Death in a closed environment due to lack of O2 is actually not that bad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUfF2MTnqAw And as far as I know as we are cutting down our life saving woods and jungles ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

CO2 density, is it really a greenhouse gas?

Since there are only 400 ppm in the atmosphere how can a molecule, which doesn't generate heat but absorbs it, possibly have such a great heating effect on the other 999,600 molecules? During the ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Main sources of $\ce{CO2}$ emission to the atmosphere

What are the main sources of $\ce{CO2}$ emission to the atmosphere? I know that the answer would probably be from the electricity sector and transportation but wouldn't most of the carbon dioxide ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires in California

According to the California Air Resources Board, in 2016 (the most recent year for which figures appear to available) California's total greenhouse gas emissions were 430 million metric tons CO2 ...
2
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0answers
64 views

Cooling effect from the oceans in global warming

The ocean soaks up about 90 percent of the heat of climate change, because of ocean heating. When using the formula of Svante Arrhenius to calculate forcing due to atmospheric $CO_2$ $\Delta F=\alpha\...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Building massive seawall around endangered Islands like Mauritius to save from climate change [closed]

Would it be possible to build a massive seawall, say maybe even made from metal that could rise as the sea level rises to prevent being erased? I am not considering costs here, nor beauty, only if ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How to analyze this data showing atomospheric CO2, CH4 and tempertures obtain from an ice sample?

Here is the chart: My questions are: Is the atmosphere in equilibrium over this record? how would I determine what the maximum and minimum values for each record is (approximation). Is there a ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Residence time for another planet [closed]

This is a question about residence time for another planet with the following information below: When we arrive on the second habitable planet, we discover that it is also exactly like Earth, except ...
1
vote
0answers
66 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Is the Mauna Loa CO$_\mathsf{2}$ record affected by the nearby mantle plume?

How is it possible that Mauna Loa Observatory is the International Reference Observatory for CO2 Global Measurements if it is placed above the most important earth thermal plume that is heating the ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Which are the mechanisms of the correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxid and global warming/cooling?

In the end of glacial periods there seems to be an increasing release of carbon dioxide as the global warming increase and at the end of these global warming periods the content of carbon dioxide in ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Formula for rising temperatures

I'm looking to extrapolate rising temperatures based on the increasing CO2 levels. From this article: CO2 in 2050, with the following formula used to extrapolate the CO2 levels: $CO_2\ level = 280 \...