Top-Rated Free Essay

Carbon Dioxide

Good Essays
Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs in small quantities in the earth's atmosphere naturally. The earth's ocean, soil, plants and animals release CO2. The formula of Carbon Dioxide is CO2. The CO2 molecule contains 2 oxygen atoms that each share 2 electrons with a carbon atom to form 2 carbon - oxygen double bonds. The atoms are arranged as so (OHT). This is called a 'linear molecule'.

Carbon dioxide is commonly found as a gas and is never a liquid. It sublimes to a solid known as 'dry ice' which is used as a substitute for normal ice as it is a lot colder and doesn't melt.

Humans and animals breathe out Carbon Dioxide, often referred to as the greenhouse gas, as a waste product. Plants take in this CO2 and use it to make food. This is called photosynthesis. During this process oxygen is released which is then breathed in by humans and animals. This procedure is repeated over and over and a natural balance is obtained. However this natural balance is disrupted by human activity. People of the world are putting more than 5.5 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. 75% of this is caused from the burning of fossil fuels. These fuels are burnt all the time to run factories, power plants and vehicles. The main sources of CO2 emissions are electric utilities, residential buildings, industry and transportation. The other 25% is induced by the destruction of the world's forests. The reason for this is that there are less trees and plants to take in the CO2 but there is just as many, if not more, humans and animals to breathe it out.

The amount of CO2 in a planet's atmosphere affects the temperature of the planet. As more and more CO2 builds up in the atmosphere, less heat can escape and the planet gets hotter. The CO2 traps radiation from the sun like a greenhouse. This is called global warming or the greenhouse effect. Global warming is becoming a serious problem and CO2 is the major cause. The earth is now warmer than it has been in 1000's of years. The amount of CO2 deposited in the earth's atmosphere from human activities is expected to double by the year 2050. It could possible increase by four in the future with developing countries, such as China, anxious to improve their standard of living.

Global warming is more serious in areas of Alaska, Canada and Northern Eurasia where temperatures have risen by as much as 10 degrees F over the last 35 years. Global warming causes many environmental problems. By raising the world's temperatures, sea levels rise, mountain glaciers recede and snow cover decreases. 1100 square miles of Antarctic ice shelves have broken up in the last year and the rest of the massive shelves are in full retreat. Spring has started to arrive earlier in Europe and autumn later. 1998 was the warmest year in recorded history in the USA. In the summer of 1998 over 130 people were killed by the extremely hot humid days. Many similar trends were reported around the world. Temperatures like these are predicted to become more frequent in the next 50 years.

There are not many things that can be done to reduce the excess CO2 being released into the atmosphere. Less dependence on the burning of fossil fuels for everyday living would be an effective option. Forests around the world are being replanted to try and accommodate the extra CO2. However even replanting a considerable portion of the world's forests would only store 50 years of CO2 output. Oceans are capable of soaking up about 85% of the worlds output of CO2 over coming centuries. It is however a very slow process. It takes a century for water at the surface to cycle to the bottom and then start the process again.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a chemical made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, is a non-flammable, odorless and colorless gas that exists naturally in the atmosphere. CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases, amongst methane, nitrous oxide and other gases, which keeps the Earth’s temperature habitable (UCAR). Without it, the Earth will be inhospitably cold. However, ever since the mid-nineteenths century, humans have significantly increased the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, creating an imbalance. The gradual increase in CO2 concentration have been driving what is called global warming, which describes the current phenomenon of the increase in temperature of the Earth's surface and…

    • 1097 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Carbon Cycle

    • 3147 Words
    • 13 Pages

    According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions has led to the increase in global temperatures in the past century . Because of the preponderance of evidence linking greenhouse gases and climate change, governments worldwide are developing policy to reduce CO2 emissions.…

    • 3147 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Greenhouse Gases

    • 319 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Greenhouse Gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere that may raise average temperatures on Earth. The burning of fossil fuels could be responsible for the increased levels of carbon dioxide. If current trends continue, future concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million (ppm) could reach the levels shown in the accompanying table. The CO2 concentration in the year 2000 was greater than it had been at any time in the previous 160,000 years.…

    • 319 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Geosequestration

    • 2846 Words
    • 12 Pages

    Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. It is often referred to by its formula CO2. It is present in the Earth's atmosphere at a low concentration (0.03%) and acts as a greenhouse gas. The initial carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the young Earth was produced by volcanic activity; this was essential for a warm and stable climate conducive to life. Now, a days volcanic releases are about 1% only of the amount of CO2, which is released by human activities.…

    • 2846 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Carbon dioxide is a molecule that is essential to the survival of nearly all organisms on our planet, as in some way or another they rely on carbon dioxide or its products to provide them with respiratory substrates. However, as I will elaborate later, carbon dioxide also has adverse effects on organisms.…

    • 920 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Nt1330 Unit 3 Quiz

    • 2190 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Carbon dioxide was an abundant gas in the atmosphere in Earth's past. Its subsequent decline was caused primarily by…

    • 2190 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    ((Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It is everywhere ranging from our bodies to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is produced in living organisms as a result of cellular respiration (glucose + oxygen -->carbon dioxide + water + energy). It occurs in high concentrations in the tissues in our body. It then diffuses in the circulatory system where it may be carried in our blood))3. When this blood combines with water and then dissolves, Carbonic acid (hydrogen carbonate ions + hydrogen ions). are formed in the red blood cells which are then carried in the plasma. ((CO2 + H2O --> H2CO3))1. This dissolved carbon dioxide can easily change the pH of water. This carbonic acid is toxic to cells and therefore, whenever carbon dioxide is produced, the body tries to get rid of it before chemical activities are disturbed.…

    • 1741 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas found in our atmosphere. It is a chemical formula is CO2, which means it is one carbon atom bonded to two oxygen atoms. It is a waste product in all of our bodies, and is also produced by burning fossil fuels (study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-carbon-dioxide-definition-lesson-quiz.html). The activity of racing cars at very high speeds over a short distance. This gas is absolutely necessary for dragster racing because without the carbon dioxide what would push your car to the finish. Breakout, Burnout, Christmas Tree: Deep stage, Dropped cylinder, Elapsed time, Eliminations, Foul start, Full Tree: Hole shot, Index, Interval timers, Methanol, Nitro methane, Pre-stage: Pro Tree:…

    • 496 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    General Idea of Carbon

    • 367 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Carbon dioxide is commonly found as a gas and is never a liquid. It sublimes to a solid known as 'dry ice' which is used as a substitute for normal ice as it is a lot colder and doesn't melt.…

    • 367 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    global warming outline

    • 316 Words
    • 2 Pages

    a.) carbon dioxide-Chemical formula CC2 is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. It is a gas at standard temperature and pressure and exists in Earth's atmosphere in this state.…

    • 316 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Two main sources of greenhouse gases. Energy use: Humans derive energy from burning fossil fuels, which releases almost three quarters of all human-produced greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Half of all fossil fuels are burned to provide electricity and heat; the next big users of fossil fuels are manufacturing and transportation. Land use: How humans remove forests and use land contributes over one quarter of all human-produced greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so logging and clearing forest land for agriculture and development means…

    • 1744 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    CO2 which we will measure will arise as a product of a chemical reaction between Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and Hydrochloric acid (HCl) as it is shown in the chemical equation above.…

    • 1616 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Dry Ice Experiment

    • 595 Words
    • 3 Pages

    It is the gas that we emit during breathing and also a gas that plants use during the photosynthesis process. Carbon dioxide is also the same gas frequently added to water to make soda water and any other carbonated drinks. This gas is often trapped during industrial processes and reclaimed to make Dry Ice. At room temperature and pressure, dry ice wants to no longer be a solid and wants to become a gas. The molecules that hold the dry ice together can only be separated by heat trying to separate the molecules from each other. The molecules get the heat from the air that is surrounding it. So we have CO2(s)CO2(g) or a solid going to a gas. Being a useful device in the world of everything cold, it’s a useful tool for experiments such as this one, when mixed with other substances of different polarities. Due to the fact that Dry Ice is non polar…

    • 595 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    How Science Works

    • 1692 Words
    • 10 Pages

    carbon dioxide (CO2, Mr ϭ 44). But, unlike water, none of these latter molecules contains…

    • 1692 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    All of this began in the 1800’s when the “Industrial Revolution” took place. When this happened, people started to make goods in factories, rather than making them by hand and because of that, we have the factories today. To run machines in the factories they needed energy and they got that by burning fossil fuels like coal or gasoline. Now that leads to another topic, carbon dioxide or CO2.…

    • 358 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays