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Homework Help: Importance of carbon dioxide

  1. Feb 25, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What is the importance of CO2 in our environment?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    CO2 can help is keeping the earth warm.It can be used by the plants to release oxygen during day.It can be used by decomposers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2016 #2


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    I suggest reading the wiki page about CO2 and making notes. You can skip some parts that are irrelevant to your work and concentrate on the enviornmental factors. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide)
    You should emphasize the role of the CO2 in biological processes and -like you said- the contribution to the glasshouse effect.
  4. Feb 25, 2016 #3
    Thank you so much !
    CO2 is used in fire exintinguishers.Solid form of CO2 called dry ice is used as refrigerant.It is added to drinking water and carbonated drinks to add a sparkle.
    It is also used for welding.
    Looks like am going to get a big A!
  5. Feb 26, 2016 #4


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    No problem. I'm glad I could help.
  6. Feb 26, 2016 #5


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    I would argue that the role of CO2 in global warming Is of secondary importance. The primary one surely is that plants use it to make - well, plants.

    And the role of CO2 in global warming is surely important, in fact a controversial can of worms, but where has it come from anyway? From burning fossil fuels - formed largely from ancient plants!

    You should also be aware that CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere by volcanoes - a fact that the anti-anthropogenic global warming lobby has not failed to make something of. But it was probably much more important in the early earth's history, again enabling life - this time by keeping the place warm enough. In fact I have seen it authoritatively claimed that the exhaustion of CO2-producing volcanoes on Mars is the reason for the aridity of this life-promising planet which was previously well watered.*

    I don't know how deep and detailed you need or want to go; below are some starting points, others may be able to give others.


    * the book I read that in is now well out of date though I doubt that this has changed very much - try and find up-to-date "Universe" by Roger Freedman.
  7. Feb 26, 2016 #6
  8. Feb 26, 2016 #7


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    There were plenty of volcanic CO2 long before plants started to grow. The amount from burning fossil fuels is definitely a part of the CO2 present in the atmosphere now, but there also exist an old volcanic cycle responsible for the CO2 presence. Normally CO2 is sequestered by precipitation of carbonates which removes them from the atmosphere, but once they slid under the tectonic plate they decompose and CO2 is blown back into the atmosphere. If memory serves me well temporary removal of CO2 in the form of carbonates was proposed as one of possible mechanisms leading to snowball Earth.
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