CO2 And Climate Change Science–Part 1 Carbon Cycle

This posting sets out a preliminary understanding of the “carbon cycle” that you may not be aware of. The next posting will build off of this to lay out the science of climate change.

The Sun is the Earth’s source of energy. The energy is transported in the form of waves (radiant energy) known as electromagnetic energy. The Sun’s enormous surface temperatures generates these waves. The waves have a wide range of frequencies. In general, the waves are known familiarly as x rays, ultraviolet, sunlight, short wave infrared, radio waves, and microwaves. These waves heat the Earth.  Not all of the waves get through to the Earth’s surface.  Some are absorbed like Ultraviolet by ozone;  some are reflected back into space by clouds; and some are scattered by encountering mater in the atmosphere.

Much of the  Suns energy is reemitted from the Earth as longwave infrared. Some of the reemitted energy is delayed on its way back out into space by the so called greenhouse gases and water vapor. This slowdown is the reason the Earth has a habitable temperature. The primary greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2).  However, water vapor is the largest factor, by far, in the greenhouse effect.

CO2  has been framed by the catastrophic man-made climate change theory(CACC) as a gas that has the potential to make life on Earth impossible. The theory postulates that atmospheric CO2 in sufficient quantities will result in runaway global temperatures with the concomitant results of a surging sea level inundating cities, deadly storms and other weather events, and devastation of food crops.

Without atmospheric CO2 there would be no humans on Earth.  CO2 is the ultimate plant food. Generally, it is thought that atmospheric levels of CO2 below 150 parts per million (ppm) are insufficient to sustain plant life.  No plants, no humans.  So we are currently living pretty close to the edge with the generally accepted current level of 400 ppm.  People who call CO2 a pollutant are just parroting something put out by some big green organization to poison your mind.

Where does the CO2 come from you might be thinking.  There is a carbon cycle that attempts to explain sources of  CO2.  First thing to know is that the natural sources of CO2 are fairly well known but the quantities are at best, estimates.  Human sources are better estimates because the use of fossil fuels and certain other human activities are pretty well documented.  The following picture is from Wikipedia.  It an overview of sources of CO2 and sinks of CO2:


 This diagram of the fast carbon cycle shows the movement of carbon between land, atmosphere, and oceans in billions of tons per year. Yellow numbers are natural fluxes, red are human contributions, white indicate stored carbon. Note this diagram does not account for volcanic and tectonic activity, which also sequesters and releases carbon.

Focusing on the fluxes going up:

Plant respiration              60 gigatons per year

Microbial respiration         60     ”            “      “

Air-sea-gas respiration    90     “            “      “

Fossil fuel, cement etc.      9     “           “      “

Total Flux Up                219    “            “      “

Fluxes going down

Photosynthesis            123

Sea-air-etc                     92

Total flux Down            215

According to this chart, there is an imbalance of 4 giga tons per year and that is explained as the reason for the annual increase in atmospheric CO2.  You might note that in the down fluxes there is a human made component of 2 and 3 gigatons.  This is the Wiki chart maker’s acknowledgement that some of the human CO2 is returned to increase photosynthesis on land and in the ocean.  Of course in the atmosphere, the CO2 is considered to be thoroughly mixed.  As noted before, the actual amount of CO2  in the carbon cycle is an estimate.  But for the moment if we consider the amounts “factual”, the percentage of the man-made CO2 released annually would be 9 / 219= 4.1%

By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen,[1] 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.  That means there are only 400 moles of CO2 in 1,000,000 moles of air.  Maybe it would be better illustrated by saying, that if each mole of air were a marble and within those marbles were 400 of them were CO2, it would look like this—–where there was 1 marble of CO2, that marble would be surrounded by 9,999 other marbles.


I am providing this posting to add some perspective to illustrate the part CO2 plays in the warmer’s theory of catastrophic man-made global warming.

The next posting will summarize the science of climate change in perhaps the most understandable summary ever.


2 responses to “CO2 And Climate Change Science–Part 1 Carbon Cycle

  1. Chuck: Thank you! Keep up the good work. Ed

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