A blog from University of Borås

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Earth capacity in CO2 absorption?

CO2 concentration in air is continuously measured at different places in the world. In a period of 50 years, the CO2 concentration has been increased from 318 ppm in 1962 to 394 ppm in 2012. As I see the average numbers of each year, there was no decrease in any this these year, but increasing all the time.

In the last 10 years, the average increase in the CO2 concentration has been 2,08 ppm per year. Considering a global production of CO2 by about 30 billion tons per year, and the atmosphere has a mass of about 5×1015 tons, we add every year about 6 ppm CO2 to the air. It means the earth has the capacity of absorbing of 4 ppm CO2, and the 2 ppm extra CO2 remains in air. A simple conclusion is that we have to reduce  1/3 of our CO2 production, otherwise, this alteration of the environment might not be for our favor!

CO2 concentration in air. Data from Mauna Loa Observatory

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