Questions tagged [co2]

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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 ...
9
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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 ...
8
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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, ...
6
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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 ...
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 ...
4
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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 ...
5
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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
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
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 ...
3
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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 ...
6
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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 ...
18
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
2
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1answer
138 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 ...
4
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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 ...
3
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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?
14
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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 ...
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 ...
18
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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 ...
24
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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 ...
10
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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 ...
13
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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 ...
11
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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 ...

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