Carbon and Freight Trains


Everyone seems to think that carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere and sort of sits there like some invisible smoke, trapping outgoing IR like our automobile windshields and heating us up. Carbon dioxide is more like a freight train. Humans currently pump nearly 10 gigatons, the weight of 10 cubic kilometers of distilled water, of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. That sound like a lot right? It is a lot.

freight train

But the Oceans cycle 90gt of biological and mineral CO2 with the atmosphere and mostly biological processes on land 120gt more each year. So for all our might, we are contributing less than 5%  to a natural cycle that has existed since plants colonized land nearly 400 million years ago.

Carbon dioxide has an almost magical affinity for water. Leave distilled water out and it will equalize with ambient CO2 in hours. This may have something to do with Carbon being the element of life. But it surely has something to do with the freight train of Carbon cycling between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere each year.

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This entry was posted in Climate, Climate Change, Geography, Oceanography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carbon and Freight Trains

  1. Omega User says:

    Do you know how much is contained by land plants and trees? And if you compared carbon being put into the air from deforestation vs. the effects of Ocean pollution which one has more of an impact?

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