Lecture_25_Greenhouse - Fossil Fuels: Energy from Ancient...

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1 1 Fossil Fuels: Energy from Ancient Photosynthesis light energy CO 2 + H 2 O -> CH 2 O + O 2 photosynthesis CH 2 O + O 2 -> CO 2 + H 2 O respiration Energy released Almost all organic matter (C org ) is oxidized quickly (< 5,000 years) either by heterotrophs or inorganically (burned) Small amount escapes oxidaton. How do we know? For every O 2 in the atmosphere, there is one C org in sediments. Fossil Fuel: Find this “reduced” carbon and burn it (release energy) 2
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3 5 6 How do we know that atmospheric CO 2 concentrations have been rising since 1800 1. We know that fossil fuel is burned and infer a CO 2 rise 2. CO 2 is measured in air trapped in polar snow and ice 3. We don’t. Atmospheric CO 2 has increased only since 1958
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4 7 Sources of CO 2 to the Atmosphere + deforestation + destruction of soil carbon 8 Where does the extra CO 2 go? Only 60% of CO 2 can be found in atmosphere!
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5 9 Ocean uptake of CO 2 1. Surface ocean will absorb some of the extra carbon (fast- approximately 1 month for surface ocean and atmosphere to equilibrate 2. Some CO 2 will combine with CO 3 = in the ocean. This will help soak up some extra CO 2 . This will happen relatively quickly in the surface ocean (1 year to equilibrate) CO 2 + CO 3 = + H 2 O -> 2HCO 3 - 10 Ocean uptake of CO 2 3. This water that is “full” of fossil fuel carbon will downwell into the deep ocean and “old” deep water will be upwelled to the surface. This water will also absorb and neutralize some fossil fuel CO 2 from the atmosphere. It takes 500 years to cycle most of the deep water through the surface ocean C deep ocean C atm
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course EAS 1601 taught by Professor Lynch during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Lecture_25_Greenhouse - Fossil Fuels: Energy from Ancient...

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