Carbon dioxide is responsible for the life on Earth. Plants make food from carbon dioxide with the help of Sunlight by photosynthesis. Food combines with oxygen to remake carbon dioxide in respiraration. Circulation of carbon as carbon dioxide is the essence of life!
Carbom dioxide, believe it or not, is the life giving force on Earth. Nature depends on the basic chemical reaction of combustion: Carbon plus Oxygen to make Carbon dioxide for giving energy to all forms of life on the planet. It is called respiration. The animals and plants breathe in the oxygen which reacts with the carbon in the starch or sugar in the living cells to form carbon dioxide which we breathe out. The reaction is reversible with the energy of the Sun in photosynthesis which converts the carbon dioxide back into starch which is the food we eat and in the process releases oxygen back into the atmosphere. In this manner the energy of the Sun is obtained by our bodies from food and utilized with the help of oxygen which we breathe in. The entire and sole source of energy of all living beings is nothing else except the Sun.
The total quantity of carbon which is taken out of the atmosphere by photosynthesis in plant growth is about 100 to 120 billion tons of which about 40 to 50 billion tons is returned back as respiration of plants and animals and about 50 to 60 billion from the bacterial activity in decomposing organic materials. The quantity added by burning fossil fuels is only about 5.5 billion tons.
The concentration of carbon dioxide has been gradually increasing over the last few decades at about 1 to 2 ppm per year. It is now at about 380 ppm or about 0.4% of air. It is one of the constituent of what are known as the ‘Green House Gases.’ The other major greenhouse gases are water vapor, ammonia, and nitrous oxide. These gases in the tropopause layer of the atmosphere which is about 30,000 feet above the ground, contribute to global warming through their ability to reduce the radiation from the Earth and thereby result in global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC) has determined their effect at 1.6 watts per sq. meter. This is quite small as compared to the total energy of 342 watts per sq. meter from the Sun. The amount of energy reflected back into space is about 30% i.e 77 watts per sq. meter, which is 50 times more than the effect of the greenhouse gases.
Prof. Stephan Salter of the University of Edinburgh has proposed a solution for Global warming which entails creation of low level white clouds over the sea to reflect off Sun’s energy and reduce the amount of heat absorbed from the Sun. This project can economically counter the effect of increased level of carbon dioxide in the air.
Scientists have proved that the rate of growth of plants is dependent on the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. The larger is carbon dioxide, the more is the growth and vice-a-versa. The increased level of carbon dioxide is helpful in growing more food, though it may have a global warming effect. Decrease in the carbon dioxide level may lead to famine. eMaya, the expert on Climate Change and Global warming, has found a solution for the 2 opposing forces for the planet. How to stop Global warming and continue to increase the food production. Read all about it in the ‘eMaya’ book. www.trafford.com/08-0434