What is all the fuss about – carbon dioxide emissions by source – a very simple guide

It is very hard to be accurate because no one has a measuring stick that is large enough, by the planet earth is in a constant state of emitting carbon dioxide – from natural combustion, volcanoes, respiration of animals, land disturbance and by simple release from the oceans (which also absorb carbon dioxide). Mankind (or would it be more correct to say humanity) is responsible for somewhere between 3% and 5% of annual worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.

Why then, should we be worried about anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide which most scientists hold to blame for the rapid recent global warming and their expected future global warming? Whether humans are responsible for 3% or 5% it is simply a tiny amount of the overall carbon dioxide emissions that occur on planet earth.

The reason lies in the carbon cycle. Natural emissions of carbon dioxide are balanced by natural absorption of it. The oceans absorb carbon dioxide, as does vegetation. Humanity, by burning fossil fuel, creates atmospheric carbon dioxide which seems beyond the capability of the oceans and vegetation to absorb, and thus atmospheric carbon dioxide, as a proportion of the constitution of the atmosphere, is rising and has been rising quite drastically ever since the industrial revolution, which is when humanity started burning fossil fuel in serious quantities.

Best estimates indicate that only about 40% of humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions are being absorbed in the carbon cycle by vegetation and by the oceans. As far as we can gather it would normally take our planet’s atmosphere about 5,000 to 10,000 years to increase atmospheric carbon dioxide by 100 parts per million. The last increase of 100 parts per million took just 120 years, so far out of balance iis the natural process of absorbing carbon dioxide.

Now for some simplified facts:-

Amount of suspending carbon in oceans                                                      37,400 GT

Amount of suspended carbon in land biomass                                             2,500 GT

Amount of carbon dioxide in atmosphere                                                          720 GT

Amount of human carbon dioxide emissions                                                        27 GT

Amount by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is rising each year               15 GT

One gigatonne is a billion tonnes.

2 Responses

  1. I’ m back.

    There are great gaping holes in the figures you have given Robert, for instance.

    Since 1990 over half the worlds rain forest has been taken out of the equation, put this alone back and the figures would be quite different.

    Secondly since deforestation began many thousands of years ago there was greater land mass covered with vedgetation, creating larger bio Co2

    The human factor is not and should not be quoted since the industrial revolution whichbegan in Europe, it on going, using less and less land for food production, since the post modernisation of the whole which occured after the teo major wars, the main contributor andcatylist to the industrialisation.

    While we number crunch the gigatons and who is to blame and who should pay, we conveniently forget about our ability to sustain the paradigm which is based upon the ready energy being blamed.

    There are clues in the video I posted earlier, lets look at the past historical and or evidence/s, human nature andcontrol of the living carbon units is where ours and the wealth eminates.
    Given this humwn predictability and it now repeating itself, via boom and bust at the cost to the physical and immediate enviornment, clear pictures are starting to emerge, and notbeing looked at in the overall context.

    There comes a time when everything peaks, oil supply is in question, (IE, that which can physically be removed by mechanical and technological means) is purported to be at peak flow in 2005.

    There is not any questioing about there being greater reserves to follow, because these have been found recently, but the laws of conservation and pure physics tell us we cannot get at them easily, the recent accident in the gulf shows this.

    To be continued.

  2. A new andriod later and

    There have been all the free trade agreements instegated of late and an ever increasing global redistribution of the energy which points directly at the peak energy supplyers and for many hundreds of years now, wars and energy mergers and hostile takedowns where ever the energy reside….Including several Rhodes type models, where less industrised nations are to be found and were slaved out to the highest and most lazy, namely those who benefitted from this, can do so for only so long, before they are assimilated into the same long term model.

    My main point is this, long long before the Co2 becomes at all detrimental to any living human, the usable energy is now at peak by design, it is now being stolen and is being used as a most valuable weapon by those who ultimately control it.

    Gather, at least the human insight to see the problems now in full view, who are also purpously drip feeding the whole on which everything we use to live upon, food, land, technology and many others too many to mention.

    When one major and beneficial resorce has been depleted, the virus amongst us humans will return to capture and exploit the second best energy providers, who 12 of adult age working for a year, need to do so manually to break even with 42 gallons of Brent Crude.

    Its all their in one shape or form if you care to look outside the boxes that currently all look the same.

    Now, put just about every post and reply that has been shared within this valuable blogathon and see the elements of control at work, never taking a rest when its dark, but light somewhere else and how easy it is to get what one wants for doing very little, those who fail to prepare using their own hand to eye coordinations as is beneficial to their whole, will never get to where they are going, out there on their own divided as they have been conditioned to think so.

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