This picture was created from http://www.carlosestima.fot.br/ photos. Carlos Estima is an Engineer and Photographer; and from “Billions and Billions” book by Carl Sagan. A true measurement graphic showing CO2 increasing exponencially in the air year by year.
The governments and peoples of the Earth are gradually becoming aware of a dangerous consequence of the fossil fuels burning producing carbonic gas, a greenhouse gas, as follows:
C + O2 = CO2
Imagine now each year our civilization putting 7 trillion kg of CO2 in the air ? (That´s right 7.000.000.000.000 kg per year !!! Actually the number for 2011 grows to 9 trillion !!!). Look please one more time the chart above and think about….
If we have a look in the average air temperature increasing, however, it is “only” 0.6ºC +/- 0.2ºC in the 20 century (actually for 2011 is 0.51ºC). The main consequence is happening on the sea, where we have in the last 50 years an increase of 10 to 20 cm in its average level. The snow covering regrected 10% worldwide from the 60´s and Artic ice about 40%.
When greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate does not respond instantaneously. Instead it seems to take about a century for two-thirds of the total effect to be felt. Thus, even if we stopped all CO2 and other emissions tomorrow, the greenhouse effects would continue to build at least until the end of the 21 century !!!
The thickness of most of the atmosphere is only 0.1 percent of the diameter of the Earth. Even if we include the high stratosphere, the atmosphere isn’t as much as 1 percent of the Earth’s diameter !
Unfortunately the ocean is being poisoned trying to save us against a higher velocity in climatic changes, absorbing about 1/3 all CO2 delivered in air mainly industrial revolution started, and he is trying to pay our attention asking for help.
Concentration increasing in CO2 is followed by partial pressure increasing in the air leading to a higher solubility of CO2 in the water and a lower pH (acidity increasing) in the Ocean by:
(C02)water = K x p(CO2)air;
Henry´s Law where K is a constante varying 30-60 moles/Kg in sea water (from 0 to 24 oC)
so the consequence is (CO2)air → (CO2)water; absortion in water
but (CO2)water + H2O → H+ + HCO3-; carbonic acid formation
and pH = – log[H+]; When H+ concentrations increase pH decreases.
Did you realize there are two different mechanisms one opposite the other? Carbon gas in atmosphere lead to global temperature increasing and part of the gas is absorbed by the ocean increasing acidity. At the same time increment of temperature causes lower absortion of it and CO2 tend to remain in the atmospehre unabsorbed. This effect will continue until an equilibrium but it is necessary a lot of CO2 in the air to increase only 1 oC in the earth / ocean temperature by greenhouse effect. So, it is expected the ocean will continue to absorb CO2 until a limit due Henrys Law but this limit is too high causing a high change in pH in the first moment.
For 2 oC increase in air temperature is necessary an increasing of CO2 in atmosphere to 460 ppm, or 65% more than pre-industrial era (estimated in 260 ppm). In comparison, since 1750 acidity in the sea increases 30% decreasing the average pH from 8,16 to 8,05 projected to down to 7,6 up to 2100.
The water acidification lead to calcium carbonate reaction present in corals, shells of zooplanktons destroying it and even interfere in fertility of many marine organisms.
One example is the krill population decreasing noticed in the last 25 years indicating the chain feed is being affected and consequently the fish population tend to decrease.
One exemple of imbalancing is the possibility of red tides formation as some variety of algaes tend to increase changing the equilibrium between algaes and zooplankton and other species absorbing suddenly O2 from the ocean causing successive cycles of death putting in risk all life in earth.
Algae breathe carbon dioxide from the water consuming 25% of CO2 emitted worldwide delivering oxygen and zooplankton starts a biological chain to sustain all nature which now claim for your help. Algaes has about 3 billion years, long before animals, near to the origin of life on Earth. They’ve all been working together—plants, animals, microbes—for a very long time to create the nature capable to sustain us.
Our breath of life is expiring unless we discover and use another source of energy, considered “clean” for the environment.
key words : life environment ocean atmospheric pollution clean energy red tide CO2 greenhouse effect climatic changes acidification effects of the fossil fuels burn