Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
The atmospheric co2 concentration increases by about 2 ppm per year. That equates to about 1.03x10^13 kg/yr or 10.3 billion metric tons added to the atmosphere per year (which has a mass of about 5150000 billion tons). However, the global production of co2 from fossil fuel combustion (coal, oil, and gas) is about 48.9 billion mt per year. Therefore, approximately 79 percent of all of co2 produced from fossil fuel combustion is sequestered as well as 100 percent of the co2 produced from respiration, forest fires, organic matter decay, natural gas seeps, etc. To put this in perspective, if all of the known reserves of global fossil fuels were combusted at present rates, they would last about 75 years during which time the atmospheric co2 concentration would rise from the present 400 ppm to about 550 ppm before plummeting as the supply of new co2 fizzled out. More likely, though, is that fossil fuel prices will rise as they become more scarce leading to reduced combustion rates that will extend their life out to several centuries. In that case, the atmospheric co2 concentration would rise from 400 ppm to some number quite a bit lower than 550 ppm. Will planetary temperatures skyrocket when the co2 concentration is 550 ppm? No more than they have at present. As TFA points out, the heat that is allegedly being trapped by the atmospheric co2 gas...cannot be found. If the additional heat is being trapped as the crude computer models have predicted, it has to be somewhere. Global surface temperatures, polar ice caps, ocean surface temperatures, and, now, deep ocean temperatures do not show the present of sufficient heat. Where is it going? Or...as the deniers have been saying, the computer models might be...wrong...and co2 does not block the heat in the way that they claim due to kinetic gas mixing and radiation of heat from other much more abundant atmospheric gas molecules of o2 and n2.