Carbon Dioxide And Its Effect On Earth 's World

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In today’s atmosphere, carbon dioxide (CO2) amounts to 400 parts per million (ppm), but it hasn 't always been that high, or low, depending on what we are comparing it to. It is a trace gas that is vital to Earth’s atmosphere and has been around since the creation of Earth’s first atmosphere, which occurred shortly after the planet’s creation. The advent of Earth’s second atmosphere happened when lighter gases such as hydrogen escaped into space or were bound to molecules, leaving gases like nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and other gases that were the product of volcanism to make up the majority of the atmosphere. This volcanic activity was fueled by gases that came to Earth following the “late heavy bombardment of huge asteroids”. Following…show more content…
Leading up to the present, levels of CO2 have fluctuated due to geochemical processes such suspension of the gas in sediment, silicate rock weathering, and volcanism. Also, human activity plays a large part in carbon deposition into the atmosphere predominantly through the burning of fossil fuels and the cultivation of livestock. On a drastically larger time-scale the carbon cycle is ever so slightly reducing atmospheric CO2 , which will ultimately bring the concentration down near zero, causing all life on the planet to be wiped out. The carbon cycle, including both terrestrial and aquatic processes, is the foundation under which photosynthesis is possible. Aside from the carbon cycle, CO2 is a key element in many other natural processes and phenomena such as the “Greenhouse Effect” and “Global Warming”. After the advent of the second atmosphere, the atmosphere “had ~100 times as much gas as the current atmosphere”, which contained a large amount of CO2 which is believed to have kept the Earth from freezing over. Over the next few billion years the water vapor condensed to form oceans and rain that started to absorb CO2. Eventually 50% of the carbon in the atmosphere would end up suspended in the ocean. This caused ocean acidification, which is the decrease in the pH level of the ocean. Plate tectonics played a large role in the gradual evolution of the atmosphere “by transferring carbon dioxide to and from large
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