[NAFEX] Weather (Off topic)
mddorogi at comcast.net
Sun Mar 29 12:43:18 EDT 2009
One of the most fascinating things to me is the difference between earth and
Venus, where the atmosphere is practically all CO2, 100 times thicker than
ours, the surface pressure is 1400 psi, and the temperature is 900F. Why?
All the carbon is in the atmosphere on Venus, since there is no water to
complete the cycle where carbon is fixed in rocks and other underground
storage methods. There is no water because Venus is close enough to the sun
that the solar energy disassociated water molecules long ago, and the
lighter H2 escaped to space. All of the carbon was eventually oxidized, and
there is sits in the atmosphere. It is believed that earlier in its
history, when the sun was cooler, Venus did have water and could have been
more earth-like, but we obviously don't know.
At least, that's the prevailing theory to explain the situation on Venus,
not without some shortcomings no doubt.
Earth has around the same amount of carbon as Venus, but most is locked up
in rocks and underground. The atmosphere holds around 750 billion tons of
CO2; sequestered amounts of carbon are something like 80 million billion
There is no danger of having the same run-away greenhouse effect here on
earth, we are simply too far from the sun for that. So, yes, the earth is
a closed system, we still have the same amount of carbon we always had, but
we are moving large quantities from sequestered forms like fossil fuels into
the atmosphere by burning those fuels and changing land use patterns. We
are putting more into the atmosphere than the normal carbon cycle can
remove: hence, the atmospheric concentration is building. Roughly, we put 6
billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year, something like half or
more is took up pretty quickly by the oceans and plants, etc, and the rest
is building in the atmosphere.
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of william Eggers
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 10:53 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Weather (Off topic)
I've always wondered about this CO2 business. Since the earth is a closed
system, it looks like to me that we still have the same amount of carbon
that we have always had. If so, how did we get so much more that we are
worring about it?
--- On Sat, 3/28/09, Kieran &/or Donna <holycow at frontiernet.net> wrote:
From: Kieran &/or Donna <holycow at frontiernet.net>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Weather (Off topic)
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2009, 5:06 PM
Well, I had some interesting thoughts the other day. We had cut down a 50
year old pine and I was thinking about how they'd used these
impossible-to-split virginia pines for making log cabins. Next day I was
walking in the neighboring field and thinking about how it was all once
virgin timber and that all the wimpy woodlands surrounding it were huge old
trees before the white man came. Then I wondered, "Where are those trees
now?" All the timber that was cut down not just the first time, but all the
times since, where did they go? Where are the houses, the barns, the fences
that were built with them? Most have rotted away or burnt down, and they
are now existing as CO2 and water and some minerals in the soil or most
likely in the ocean. What does THAT do to global temps? I am only too
aware of what it does when you chop down all the trees and have exposed soil
or pavement or house roofs. But the difference between the amount of carbon
that was in trees, not to mention what was in the rich organic matter
content of the soil... all that must be in the atmosphere now. Donna
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