Questions tagged [co2]

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24
votes
3answers
16k 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
3answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
525 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 ...
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
287 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
11
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2answers
203 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
241 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
458 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
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2answers
544 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
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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
1answer
122 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
6answers
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
582 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
99 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
3k 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
151 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
200 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
332 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
411 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
3answers
256 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
142 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
161 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
101 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
1answer
222 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
88 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?
5
votes
1answer
54 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
136 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
4k 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
177 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
1answer
134 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
71 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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
2answers
126 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
908 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
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4answers
150 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
876 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
96 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
607 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
100 views

Reference units for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and meaning of a slight downward tendancy during the 1600

I discovered here a set of yearly historical atmospherical CO2-concentrations from year 0 - 2014. Since they haven't mentioned which measure they used, I'm not sure whether it is right to talk about ...
3
votes
1answer
509 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
77 views

In the 800 kyr $\ce{CO_2}$ record, how detectable would a short-term peak be?

It is stated in https://cdiac.ess-dive.lbl.gov/trends/co2/ice_core_co2.html that the temporal uncertainty for the glacier $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ records is less than $\small\mathsf{5~\%}$ at any given ...
3
votes
1answer
36 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
264 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
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4answers
190 views

Review of calculation of CO$_2$ contribution to warming

In a Swedish Facebook group for "climate change skeptics" Erik Larsen has shared his calculation of how big part of temperature change can be attributed to human emissions of carbon dioxide. ...
2
votes
1answer
164 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
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5answers
176 views

Why is smoke considered a factor of global cooling when analyzing nuclear winter scenarios, but arent when analyzing global warming scenarios?

In many articles on the internet (I'll cite a couple for the sake of the question), smoke from the fires (composed mainly of $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ and CO) following a nuclear war would cool the ...