Where's all the CO2

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  • Where's all the CO2
  • Premier Icon euain
    Subscriber

    It’s a low concentration to start with.. 0.04% or so.. Oxygen is somewhere about 20%.. doubling CO2 doesn’t make that much difference to oxygen.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Thanks to these.

    That said because we cut them down the levels have risen.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    they keep it in a big biscuit tin, somewhere near Biggleswade

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    I think you need a lesson on carbon dioxide from leading Republican and climate change denier Michele Bachmann.

    There isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAaDVOd2sRQ[/video]

    Three_Fish
    Member

    Atmospheric CO2 is also absorbed by the oceans.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic_IOZ3HvOA[/video]

    More info

    Junkyard
    Member

    apparently we’re pumping shit loads of CO2

    You have some doubts? Saome basic chemistry and measurment proves this to to be the case- not even the deniers claim we are not doing this

    C02 has doubled in terms of parts per million so its unlikely to reach levels that mean we can no longer breathe but its enough to alter the radiative forcing effect – that is it stops the suns energy “bouncing” back out in to space and is more like putting an extra blanket or two on the planet to keep it warm.

    Ernie that video lost me with it complicated message just one question is it a natural part of earths natural nature?

    maxtorque
    Member

    Luckily, due to the increased participation in cycling as a hobby, since the olympics last year, enough CO2 has now been removed from the atmosphere and stored in peoples bike tyres that global warming has been entirely negated!

    HURRAY FOR CYCLING 😉

    **none of that may be even slightly true.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    I’m not doubting it – I know and am aware of the chemical equations that show when you combust something with oxygen the CO2 is produced. My question is really where is it? Its clearly not in the air we breathe cause we’re not all suffocating. If its being absorbed by trees and the oceans then there shouldn’t be an issue with global warming due to CO2 absorbing infra red radiation. I’m genuinely interested and some initial googling hasn’t really provided a killer answer. If we can measure it there its there, but where? Its not detectable at ground level.

    The CO2 in the air we breathe may not be a huge proportion, but it takes much longer for the human body to purge CO2 out of the bloodstream, so it builds up over time if the CO2 levels in the air we breathe is increasing, even by a small amount, we will eventually we will start to suffocate.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    euain has already answered your question in the second post of the thread.

    If humans were that sensitive to increased levels of carbon dioxide millions would die every day in crowded tube trains, packed public venues, etc.

    EDIT : RE :“to purge CO2 out of the bloodstream, so it builds up over time”

    Now I’m no scientist but I’m fairly sure that carbon dioxide doesn’t get adsorbed into your bloodstream, it gets exhaled. Carbon monoxide does though, and it can lead to suffocation, do you mean that ?

    zokes
    Member

    Is it school holidays again?

    stevious
    Member

    Interesting question, wobbliscott, but a quick look at wikipedia suggests that the atmospheric levels of CO2 (typically ~0.04%) are a tiny fraction of the levels required for toxicity (about 7%). In fact, even if the atmospheric level was increased tenfold it probably wouldn’t be enough to make most folk feel dizzy. The article details some of the ways your body can deal with excess CO2 as well, so we’re a long way from suffocating ourselves (literally, at least).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Toxicity

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Is it school holidays again?

    Can’t be my 10 year old knew the answer.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Its clearly not in the air we breathe cause we’re not all suffocating.

    Non sequitor – there is clearly not enough of it in our air to suffocate is the actual conclsion you should have reached not, the false, it is not in our air. We can easily measure the ppm and see that it has risen – though clearly not enough to kill us

    If its being absorbed by trees and the oceans then there shouldn’t be an issue with global warming due to CO2 absorbing infra red radiation.

    Its not hence why its rising – some is absorbed but it is rising.

    I’m genuinely interested and some initial googling hasn’t really provided a killer answer.

    Nice pun but to what exactly?

    If we can measure it there its there, but where? Its not detectable at ground level.

    Its measured at ground level at Mauna Loa generally

    The CO2 in the air we breathe may not be a huge proportion, but it takes much longer for the human body to purge CO2 out of the bloodstream, so it builds up over time if the CO2 levels in the air we breathe is increasing, even by a small amount, we will eventually we will start to suffocate.

    Much longer to purge than what? what are you comparing this to?
    Its not at a level we cannot “purge” currently as shown by the fact we are not dieing from C02 asphxiation
    It requires much higher levels of C02 that there are currently in the atmosphere for us to suffocate or you would be suffocating currently

    toys19
    Member

    I think this is an excellent illustration of the issue with climate change denial/seances/creationists/ghost believers/gullibles etc.
    It is essentially ignorance and fear. The poor chap has no understanding (or a little understanding) of the science and a lot of mistrust in the govt/scientists/large corps.

    So instead of ridiculing him (which would be fun) lets try and actually help. I will start..

    OP: you are an actual certifiable moron, try not to think about these things and let the clever people run the the planet yeah?

    stevious
    Member

    Ernie – CO2 does indeed get absorbed into our blood – that’s how it gets from where it’s made (in the tissues of our body where we do respiration) to the lungs where we breath it out. The haemoglobin in our blood is really clever at picking up oxygen in our lungs, dumping it in our tissues and picking up the CO2 made. The issue with carbon monoxide is that it binds to haemoglobin very strongly, preventing either CO2 or O2 from binding. Which is bad news, obviously.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    I’ve load in the loft that I’m keeping safe for Ms Bachmann. She’s going in there to demonstrate how “natural” and “safe” a high concentration of CO2 is to breathe. Acidosis woman!

    wobbliscott
    Member

    OK, so apparently we’re pumping shit loads of CO2 into the atmosphere causing all this global warming. Now my understanding of the behaviour of gasses is that gasses will always mix via diffusion, also due to air currents, so the CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere SHOULD mix with the air we breathe. Also my understanding is that you don’t need the percentage of Co2 to rise alot in the air we breathe before we would start suffering the effects of asphyxiation, so why is the percentage of oxygen in the air we breathe not reducing as it is replaced with CO2? A few years ago I used to scuba dive and we used oxygen sensors to test the percentage oxygen in Nitrox gas mixes and one calibration test we did with the O2 sensor was to measure the % of O2 in the atmosphere – and it was always what it should be, around 20%….so where is all the CO2 going?

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Ernie – CO2 does indeed get absorbed into our blood – that’s how it gets from where it’s made (in the tissues of our body where we do respiration) to the lungs where we breath it out.

    Yes, I meant atmospheric carbon dioxide obviously. Does carbon dioxide get absorbed through the lungs into your body ? I didn’t think it did, which why I said that “it gets exhaled”.

    zokes
    Member

    Does carbon dioxide get absorbed through the lungs into your body ?

    Even if it did, it would be massively outcompeted by 500-fold excess of O2 molecules trying to bind with the haemoglobin.

    Either way, the OP has demonstrated himself to require a serious amount of education in this regard before anyone can expect to enter a sensible conversation on the topic with him.

    johnners
    Member

    Even if it did, it would be massively outcompeted by 500-fold excess of O2 molecules trying to bind with the haemoglobin.

    Although most of the CO2 to be eliminated is transported in the red blood cells a relatively small proportion binds to the haemoglobin. In any case, unlike CO it doesn’t bind to the same place as oxygen so competition doesn’t come into it.

    stevious
    Member

    Ernie, you’re right my apologies. My explanation up there is a bit incomplete in that it leaves out the fact that most of the CO2 in our blood is dissolved in the form of a carbonic acid / bicarbonate buffer. There’s some clever stuff to do with partial gas pressures and pH that determine how much CO2 is in the blood but my recollection of the details of that are shakey. Basically though, we CAN absorb CO2 into the blood in our lungs but the concentration of CO2 would have to be really high for that to happen.

    Zokes, your dismissal of the OP seems unnecessarily aggressive. The process of education usually involves asking questions that an expert might consider silly. It strikes me that the OP’s intention was to fill some gaps in his knowledge, which I hope he has done.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Zokes, your dismissal of the OP seems unnecessarily aggressive. The process of education usually involves asking questions that an expert might consider silly. It strikes me that the OP’s intention was to fill some gaps in his knowledge, which I hope he has done.

    I agree that the OP has been dismissed in an unnecessarily aggressive manner on this thread, but the OP himself has a track record of rather “robust” posting.

    And I think it is rather naive to think that “the OP’s intention was to fill some gaps in his knowledge”, he has a history of being an aggressive climate change denier. And anyway, he’s asked this question before :

    wobbliscott – Member

    One question though – CO2 is a powerful gas and you only need a small increase in CO2 in the air we breathe before the effects of asphyxiation take hold. Also CO2 is heavier than air – there are loads of mass dinosaur fossil sites near volcanic areas where CO2 pumped out has suffocated them, so if we’re pumping all this CO2 into the atmosphere then why is it not sinking to ground level and suffocating us all??
    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Does carbon dioxide get absorbed through the lungs into your body ? I didn’t think it did, which why I said that “it gets exhaled”

    There’s more in the blood than in the lung, so it passes out rather than in, but no reason I know of that it couldn’t go the other way. There’d have to be a BIG increase in atmospheric CO2 to achieve this but, for example, it was considered as an option for the badger cull (pumping it into burrows)

    (and a couple of small-scale “extinction events” around african lakes believed due to CO2 release)

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Thanks Toys but if read my OP you will not detect any level of scepticism in my question – it is simply a genuine question and I expected that most people would have taken it on face value. You’re clearly much much cleverer than me, but I wonder why didn’t you answer the question and instead resorted to dissing someone you don’t know. What a nice person you are, not to mention arrogant and conceited. On the contrary – I think it is you who is the “poor chap’. To go through life being so disappointed that you’re surrounded by such buffoons that know so little and ask all these simple questions you can’t be bothered to answer (or can’t?).

    Anyway, I thought this was a logical question (clearly not for some) that I struggled to find an answer for. If the answers that the levels of CO2 is too low to be an issue then fair enough – i’m satisfied with that as an answer.

    And on the absorption thing – CO2 is absorbed into the blood just as Oxygen is (just as Carbon Monoxide), and it takes the place of oxygen in our blood thus reducing the level of Oxygen in it. It is more readily absorbed, so displaces more Oxygen, and takes longer for our bodies to purge – it serves no function so hangs around in our blood, before it is ‘breathed out’ via the lungs.

    zokes
    Member

    It strikes me that the OP’s intention was to fill some gaps in his knowledge, which I hope he has done.

    He’s tried to fill these gaps before (as noted by Ernie). As his OP demonstrates, he’s got some way to go yet…

    EDIT: Crossed post with the OP. I had assumed this thread was a prelude to another tedious climate skeptic love-in, given the OP’s previous. I’ll take it at face value that he has actually learned something today then.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    By the way, its nice to be stereotyped as a ‘denier’ and as such my opinions don’t seem to matter. Its more worrying for me that good open discussion is so quickly quashed in our society. I’m neither a denier or a ‘believer’ and do have questions about climate change as its a subject that interests me and is relevant to the industry I work in so would love to know the facts. The most worrying aspect here is that just by asking questions you just seem to be swept aside by all those who are fully convinced – but they seem to struggle or not want to explain why they are so convinced – i’m genuinely interested. Afterall this is science and not religion and science has been known to get it wrong sometimes.

    Anyway thanks for the sensible posts, i’ve genuinely learned something.

    toys19
    Member

    Its more worrying for me that good open discussion is so quickly quashed in our society

    So actually now you reveal that the last post before this one was just crocodile tears right? Because how can this be a “discussion” , its just some facts about CO2 levels. Nobody discussed the ins and outs of global warming, which is what you really wanted to do?

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    In fairness OP, you asked the question ernie quoted 3 weeks ago. zokes was the first to reply to explain diffusion which you seem to have accepted. I then replied with:

    Given the concentrations needed to asphyxiate us all, we’d have a lot to be worrying about before it gets to that level anyway.

    I think we’re approaching 400ppm at the moment and we’d need to be at 10,000 ppm just for us all to be feeling a bit drowsy. So, it might be best to get back to worrying about the other effects of CO2 concentration increase and forget about the risk of asphyxiation for now.

    I is disappoint that you paid so little attention.* 🙁

    *I ought to be used to it by now though 🙂

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    There’d have to be a BIG increase in atmospheric CO2 to achieve this but, for example, it was considered as an option for the badger cull (pumping it into burrows)

    All I can find is references to carbon monoxide being used for badger culling, not carbon dioxide. Obviously if you pump any gas other than oxygen, even nitrogen, you will eventually cause death due to oxygen displacement.

    Actually if you pumped pure oxygen you risk killing them, oxygen can be quite lethal – I wonder what Michele Bachmann would make of that ?

    zokes
    Member

    its nice to be stereotyped as a ‘denier’ and as such my opinions don’t seem to matter.

    On a topic you clearly know very little about, no, I’m sorry, they don’t count for much. It’s not an open discussion, there is no room for ‘balance’, as about 99% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real, and is caused by humans.

    Media tries to give it balance, finding (to the lay-person) two equally credible scientists, one on either side of the fence. But really, they should have 99 scientists on the ‘for’ side, and 1 on the ‘against’ side, as that would be more reflective of the current opinion of the science.

    Big industry lobbies governments and the media lap it up, running scare stories about how ‘green’ laws will impact on our way of life (and their advertisers’ and shareholders’ back pockets). Add a few more interviews with mis-placed balance, and all of a sudden, we’re at the stage where everyone thinks it’s just one big con.

    So sorry for being ‘robust’ in putting my thoughts across, but really, the argument that global warming has nothing to do with humans burning fossil fuels holds about as much water as a flat earth.

    I should add, I’m not a believer. I save belief for the religious amongst us. I accept the scientific recommendations of the world’s experts on the topic.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    I’m neither a denier or a ‘believer’

    Well you have a funny way of expressing your neutrality on the subject :

    wobbliscott – Member

    The problem is that there is a whole global industry employing hundreds of thousands of people based upon the myth of man-made global warming.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Using the word “myth” suggests a certain amount of denial.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Its nice to be stereotyped as a ‘denier’ and as such my opinions don’t seem to matter.

    well they are quite illinformed so they dont matter as much as those who comprehend the subject.

    Its more worrying for me that good open discussion is so quickly quashed in our society.

    you do realise you are placing this on a good open discussion that has not been squashed,understanding evidence is not your strong point
    Who on earth thinkg AGW is not discussed in this society – its over discussed by deniers who cloud the issue with poor comprehension and doubts as your question so ably demonstrates.

    I’m neither a denier or a ‘believer’ and do have questions about climate change as its a subject that interests me and is relevant to the industry I work in so would love to know the facts.

    Man made C02 is causing climate change by warming the atmosphere.
    HTH

    The most worrying aspect here is that just by asking questions you just seem to be swept aside by all those who are fully convinced

    by swept aside I assume you mean explained why you were incorrect?

    – but they seem to struggle or not want to explain why they are so convinced

    As noted we do explain you just seem to struggle to remember, recall or learn,

    Afterall this is science and not religion and science has been known to get it wrong sometimes.

    Particularly when the science is your hands it would seem

    Anyway thanks for the sensible posts, i’ve genuinely learned something

    I think we all have.

    johnners
    Member

    And on the absorption thing – CO2 is absorbed into the blood just as Oxygen is (just as Carbon Monoxide), and it takes the place of oxygen in our blood thus reducing the level of Oxygen in it. It is more readily absorbed, so displaces more Oxygen, and takes longer for our bodies to purge – it serves no function so hangs around in our blood, before it is ‘breathed out’ via the lungs.

    No, it’s carried by the blood by quite different mechanisms from the way Oxygen and CO is transported, it doesn’t displace Oxygen or reduce Oxygen levels, and is eliminated quite rapidly from the bloodstream. It serves several functions, probably the most important of which is influencing breathing rate.

    Other than that you’re spot-on.

    AdamW
    Member

    As a side comment, a while ago I did some simple maths on how much CO2 would be generated from a full tank in my little Yaris and was quite surprised.

    On the assumptions that the fuel was 100% octane and that it burned completely to give carbon dioxide and water it was over 100kg per 45 litre tank.

    Makes you think, when you consider how many cars are on the road, for a start, and then the power stations etc.

    If I could be bothered I’d try to write something clever about The Bohr effect but I cant be bothered and I’m not very clever anyway.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It’s all in here

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The op’s question was reasonable, just that this

    Also my understanding is that you don’t need the percentage of Co2 to rise alot in the air we breathe before we would start suffering the effects of asphyxiation

    … is not true.

    Interestingly though, current CO2 levels are only just above starvation levels for plants. They did a lot of their evolving when levels were much higher. If you feed some CO2 into your polytunnels or greenhouses the plants grow like mad.

    That’s why trees were so big in the Carboniferous period were so huge, lots of CO2 in the air. As the plants ate it all up and buried it in the ground in coal seams, levels dropped.

    Moses
    Member

    If anyone doubts the danger of CO2, try breathing a mixture of air & CO2, the reflex to get away from it’ll knock you backwards.

    It’s heavier than air & displaces it in some circumstances. A few years ago there was a big release from a volcanic lake vent in Africa (Cameroon?) which killed thousands.

    EDIT: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/21/newsid_3380000/3380803.stm

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