Questions tagged [co2]

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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 ...
24
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
255 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
711 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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
2answers
921 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
764 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
162 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
527 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
6k 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? ...