How Does Carbon Dioxide Affect The Environment – When it comes to global warming, many people are skeptical about what to really believe. But what is really happening? How do we know that these changes on our planet are somehow related to human activity or anthropogenic influence? There are those who believe that global warming is happening because the earth has a tendency to turn into a normal thing that others might consider a catastrophe. The rest fall under the category that global warming is due to anthropogenic influence. Why is it the fault of the people in this argument? Why point the finger at those who pollute our planet? How do we know these changes are happening? How can we define global warming? Global warming is an increase in the Earth’s temperature due to greenhouse gas emissions caused by an increase in pollutants such as carbon dioxide.
Charles David Keeling began measuring CO2 (carbon dioxide) in 1953 in Pasadena, California. Collecting data every day, he began to notice a certain pattern. The concentration of CO2 rose overnight and leveled off at about 310 parts per million (ppm), which he found strange. After some research, he pointed out that this is due to the emission of CO2 by civilization through the use of vehicles and machinery, as well as the local respiration of plants in the area (Respiration is the conversion of sugar into energy. through photosynthesis and metabolic processes in which CO2 and water are absorbed and oxygen is released). These factors changed the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and so he had to move to a new location where plants and anthropogenic causes did not affect his data.
How Does Carbon Dioxide Affect The Environment
In 1958, Keeling moved to Mauna Loa near the volcano, where an observatory was built to collect the true values of CO2 in the environment. Below is a graphical representation of CO2 in the atmosphere:
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The graph on the left shows the increase in CO2 over the years. CO2 is not decreasing, but instead is increasing very rapidly. Pay attention to the small zigzags on the graph, this is due to the seasons. For example, CO2 falls in the spring and summer when plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and use it for growth. In fall and winter, plants begin to decompose and die, causing CO2 to return to the atmosphere and create a surge, creating a zigzag pattern. The figure on the right shows the inflated part of this zigzag.
When the earth gets warmer, plants move to places where the temperature is lower and they can survive better. It’s northern location, the ice melts and makes room for plants to take over where the ice has melted. Let’s not forget that as a result of the melting of the ice, the albedo also changed (albedo is the reflection of light by the surface). Yes, light is reflected off the ice and this makes the ground colder, so if plants take over where the ice has melted, there will be no light reflection and this can cause the ground to warm up.
So what happens when we start removing too many trees from our ecosystem? We must first understand that trees act as great carbon sinks where carbon dioxide is used and stored for a long time, this is good because we are removing CO2 from our atmosphere, but what if there is deforestation? Deforestation puts CO2 back into the atmosphere, which is not good for the environment.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allows sunlight and heat to enter the atmosphere but blocks it from leaving, allowing plants and animals to exist on Earth. how do you say Now, by retaining heat, it prevents the sun from freezing the earth, and so we have the greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide and other gases. Now let’s think for a moment, how does increasing CO2 affect our planet? Therefore, increasing CO2 in the atmosphere traps more heat, so the earth’s temperature rises. Although most of the carbon on Earth is in the geosphere, carbon is found in all living things, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere. Carbon is the basic building block of life, including DNA, proteins, sugars and fats. One of the most important compounds of carbon in the atmosphere is carbon dioxide (CO
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), while carbon in rocks is the main component of limestone, coal, oil, and gas. Carbon moves through the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere through processes that include photosynthesis, fire, fossil fuel burning, weathering, and volcanism. By understanding how human activity has altered the carbon cycle, we can explain many of the climate and ecosystem changes we experience today, and why such a rapid rate of change is largely unprecedented in Earth’s history.
The carbon cycle is an important part of how the Earth system works. Click on the image to the left to open the Understanding Global Change infographic. Find the carbon cycle icon and identify other processes and phenomena in the Earth system that cause changes or affect the carbon cycle.
Carbon is transferred between the ocean, atmosphere, soil, and living things over time scales ranging from hours to centuries. For example, photosynthetic plants on land take carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, and these carbon atoms become part of the plant’s structure. When plants are eaten by herbivores and herbivores are eaten by carnivores, carbon moves up the food web. Meanwhile, the respiration of plants, animals, and microbes returns carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO)
). When organisms die and decompose, carbon is also released back into the atmosphere or into the soil along with some of their waste. Burning biomass during wildfires also releases large amounts of carbon stored in plants back into the atmosphere.
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On longer time scales, significant amounts of carbon are transferred between rocks, the ocean, and the atmosphere, typically over thousands or millions of years. For example, the weathering of rocks removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sediments, together with organic material, can be carried (washed) from land into the ocean, where they sink to the bottom. This carbon earths like carbon atoms in CO
) shells of algae, plants and animals. These shells are buried. When successive layers of sediment are compressed and cemented, they become limestone. Over millions of years, these carbonaceous rocks can be subjected to enough heat and pressure to melt, releasing their carbon back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide through volcanism. Some of these rocks will also be exposed to the earth’s surface through orogeny and weathering, and the cycle will begin again. Carbon from the mantle (see Plate Tectonics) is also released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide due to volcanic activity.
Carbon is also transferred into rocks from the biosphere through the formation of fossil fuels that form over millions of years. Fossil fuels are obtained from the burial of photosynthetic organisms, including plants on land (from which coal is mainly formed) and plankton in the oceans (from which oil and natural gas are mainly formed). Once buried, this carbon is removed from the carbon cycle for millions to hundreds of millions of years.
Human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, have dramatically increased the exchange of carbon from the land to the atmosphere and oceans. This return of carbon back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide occurs at a rate that is hundreds or thousands of times faster than the rate required to bury it, and much faster than it can be removed by the carbon cycle (e.g., heating). Thus, the carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere, raising the average temperature through the greenhouse effect, and also dissolves in the ocean, causing ocean acidification.
A Graphical History Of Atmospheric Co2 Levels Over Time
A simplified diagram showing some of the ways carbon dioxide moves through the Earth system and the overall increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from 2004 to 2013.
The rate of exchange and distribution of carbon in the Earth system depends on various human activities and environmental phenomena, in particular:
The following model of the Earth system includes some of the processes and phenomena associated with the carbon cycle. These processes occur at different speeds and on different spatial and temporal scales. For example, carbon is transferred between plants and animals over relatively short periods of time (hours to weeks), but human extraction and burning of fossil fuels has altered the carbon cycle over decades. In addition, processes that include heating and volcanism affect the carbon cycle over millions of years. Can you think of additional causal relationships between parts of the carbon cycle and other processes in the Earth system?
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