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Global and Domestic Carbon Dioxide Emissions & their Effect on Climate Change

Carbon Dioxide Emissions And The Warming Time Frame
The issues surrounding the possible adverse effects of increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere require serious attention and action. A proper examination of the event requires a methodical survey of the historical trends before and after the advent of the carbon-combustion economy.

Historical Records
Accurate measurements of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 began at the Mauna Loa Hawaii observation site in 1958. CO2 levels started at 315 parts per million by volume (ppmv) and over the last 35 years increased at 1 ppmv per year to the current 351 ppmv reading. Information on the CO2 concentration before 1958 comes from ice core samples. Data from Vostok, East Antarctica yielded a chronological record of the last 160,000 years that showed considerable natural variation in the CO2 ppmv in concert with global geologic disturbances. Over the long record, the magnitude of CO2 has varied from 200 ppmv during a glaciation to 285 ppmv signaling a warming trend [3].

From 1958 to 1986 an estimated [3] emission of the equivalent of 56 ppmv of CO2 due to fossil fuel combustion, left an airborne accumulation of 31 ppmv, or 55% of the emissions remained in the atmosphere, the rest primarily sequestered by the oceans.

Not only has the CO2 concentration increased over time, but the total amount of carbon-combustion has also escalated annually. Using information on the growth of developing countries, population expansion, and future energy requirements fossil fuel consumption may increase by 3.6% annually [3] if no limit on CO2 emissions is enforced. To stabilize CO2 levels at today's value would require a reduction of 50-80% [4] to follow the decreased capacity of the ocean uptake as time continues.

Of the global flows of CO2 in the biosphere and cryosphere, man's contribution is relatively small. The respiration and photosynthesis of land and aquatic life dominates the exchange of CO2 pathways.

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