Will the atmosphere run out of CO2?


by dav2008
Tags: atmosphere
dav2008
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Jan9-05, 01:29 PM
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I watched a program on some public broadcast channel where a professor from a university detailed the possible ends of the earth.

One of them (from what I recall) had to do with lowering CO2 levels in the distant future. The lack of CO2 would eventually kill off all plant life.

I tried searching the internet for a more detailed explanation but I couldn't find much as most searches turned up global warming pages. Does anybody know about the fate of Earth's atmosphere?
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Astronuc
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Jan9-05, 05:12 PM
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Based on the discussion of global warming these days, it would seem that there is an abundance of CO2.

What is the argument for the loss of CO2?
dav2008
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Jan9-05, 06:55 PM
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That's what I'm wondering: what is the reason behind it?

Obviously in the short term CO2 levels are rising, however I am talking tens or hundreds of millions of years into the future.

russ_watters
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Jan9-05, 08:42 PM
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Will the atmosphere run out of CO2?


Quote Quote by dav2008
That's what I'm wondering: what is the reason behind it?

Obviously in the short term CO2 levels are rising, however I am talking tens or hundreds of millions of years into the future.
Well didn't the program say why? Its a little hard for us to read the minds of the guys who wrote the show...

In any case, there is no reason I can think of why the earth would run out of CO2.
Andre
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Jan10-05, 02:19 AM
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Yes there have been theories about that. My guess is that all the carbon would eventually would dissapear into the earth crust either as fossil remains of life (peat - coal) or as limestone due to chemical rock weathering.

Some of that carbon returns as magma heats up limestone and decomposes it into CaO and CO2 emitted by volcanoes but that's only a small part.

The only possiblitly to recycle the fossile carbon is human activity: mining and oil drilling.

So in the end those horrible oil companies are saving the world from becoming a barren lifeless desert.
Gonzolo
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Jan10-05, 09:08 AM
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Don't Mars and Venus have plenty of CO2?
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Jan10-05, 05:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Gonzolo
Don't Mars and Venus have plenty of CO2?
Yes, the atmospheres of Venus & Mars are mostly comprised of CO2 (over 90% for both I think). Venus' atmosphere is incredibly thick whereas Mars' is very thin.
dav2008
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Jan10-05, 09:10 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
Well didn't the program say why? Its a little hard for us to read the minds of the guys who wrote the show...

In any case, there is no reason I can think of why the earth would run out of CO2.
The reason I'm posting here is because I don't remember why.

I thought it might be a common scenario that people know about. I'll see if I can catch the show again. I think they replay it once in a while.


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