Carbon Dioxide

CARBON DIOxIDE IS a naturally occurring gas. Chemically, it is stated as CO2, which means that each carbon dioxide molecule has two oxygen atoms bonded to a single carbon atom. CO2 has many practical applications. CO2 measurements are now being used as a way to test the cardiovascular system. This new tool has the promise of not being as invasive as other diagnostic methods. CO2 can be frozen into dry ice, and has numerous chemical uses. It is often a byproduct from chemical reactions. It has a number of common uses, such as providing the fizz in soft drinks.

Humans and other animals also expel CO2 when they exhale. In the respiratory processes of humans, mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, oxygen is breathed into the lungs and CO2 is exhaled. Their breath contributes to the CO2 cycle. In the CO2 cycle, plants take in CO2 and in the photosynthesis process make chlorophyll and oxygen from the CO2 as it combines with water, minerals, and other products in the plant's chemistry.

Plants are able to store huge quantities of carbon in hydrocarbon compounds. CO2 plays a vital role in plant growth. There are also tremendous quantities of CO2 locked in fossilized hydrocarbons, such as coal and oil. In addition, peat bogs and the plant material frozen in the Arctic tundra are repositories of vast quantities of organic material and, thus, of carbon and CO2.

The Earth's atmosphere is composed of a number of gases, including: nitrogen, oxygen, CO2, water vapor, argon (an inert gas), methane, varying amounts of ozone, and other gases such as nitrous oxide. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that is caused by these gases. Without the greenhouse effect, the biosphere of Earth would either never have existed, or it would die because the Earth's climate would be too cold. CO2 and other gases such as methane, ozone, and others act as a thin blanket that retains heat that would otherwise be radiated out into space. Instead, these gases capture some of the long-wave infrared radiation and return it to the Earth's surface.

Sunlight enters the Earth's atmosphere as white light of all wavelengths, from ultraviolet to infrared waves. Some wavelengths of energy, such as gamma rays and x-rays, are adsorbed or reflected in the upper levels of the atmosphere and do not affect the surface of the Earth. Most of the sunshine that strikes the surface of the Earth is white light sunshine. It is in the visible light spectrum, which is seen by human eyes, and ranges from purple to red in a spectrum of increasing wavelengths. Just beyond the visible red spectrum is infrared radiation. About 60 percent of the sun's radiation is infrared, which is radiation invisible to humans and most animals. The tongues of snakes have infrared sensors to detect the heat of animals in the dark. Camera film can be designed to detect infrared radiation, making it visible to humans.

Carbon dioxide and other gases, such as methane and ozone, act as a thin blanket that retains heat that would otherwise be radiated out into space. Without this natural greenhouse effect, Earth's climate would be too cold for much life.

As sunshine strikes the Earth, much of it is reflected away by clouds, the polar icecaps, desert surfaces, and other bright surfaces. When the Earth, buildings, plants, or other objects adsorb it, some of it is emitted from surfaces as heat. Radiant heat is composed of infrared wavelengths. There is a range of infrared wavelengths radiated skyward. Most of these infrared wavelengths pass through the atmosphere and emerge to vanish into outer space. However, CO2 adsorbs some infrared wavelengths.

CO2, water vapor, and trace gases all absorb some of the heat energy of the Earth. Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared waves that are from 13-100 micrometers (.0004-.004 in.) in length. Water vapor absorbs infrared waves that are between 4-7 micrometers. The infrared waves that are between 7-3 micrometers, on the other hand, are not usually absorbed. Instead, they pass easily through the atmosphere and into space.

The major infrared window is the infrared wave range between 7-3 micrometers. This means that the major work of the greenhouse effect is accomplished by CO2. In contrast, although methane absorbs 30 times as much energy per molecule compared to a molecule of CO2, the amount of methane in the atmosphere has not increased as dramatically as the CO2. While other gases have increased, none have increased as much as has CO2.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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