I’ll admit that I don’t feel like hunting through what has become a lengthy thread that I haven’t closely followed, but I’m skeptical. I have to wonder how much CO2 would be produced in the death of the plant vs. what was removed from the air and broken down into carbon and oxygen. I’m not aware of any other major process in nature that cleanses the CO2 and produces O2. And without it, animals and humans breathing would ultimately deplete the O2 and choke us with CO2.
Now I suppose you’re going to claim that CO2 (regardless of the isotope) is NOT utilized by green, growing plants? That’s the current, faddish claim of the greens when they couldn’t refute the FACT that green plants ABSORB atmospheric CO2 to use in photosynthesis, and are thus, CO2 sinks. It’s BS–and I suspect you know it.
The amount is exactly the same. I don’t know how solid your chemistry-basics are, but did you know that Atoms can neither be produced nor destroyed?
A plant breaks down CO2 from the atmosphere. It keeps the C-Atoms and releases the O2 Atoms. The C-Atoms are stored within the plant. But when the plant dies and when it decomposes then it fall to pieces. And the C-Atoms are among exactly these pieces. The C-Atoms do not stay in the compost but reconnect to the O2-Atoms from the atmosphere and so the process of rotting emits (or creates) CO2.
What has a to do with b?
Even if plants would give off METHANE, this would not mean that they do not give off CO2 too.
So, what has a to do with b?
See above. Research: “COMPOST + CO2”
Dave, you’re being willfully dumb.
Your own body uses oxygen, and you do not use every milliliter of it that you breathe in. You in fact do breath oxygen out, right alongside CO2.
This is why breathing into a paper bag helps to treat hyperventilation.
Plants are no different, and when they die, portions of CO2 are still trapped inside of them, unprocessed.
CO2-12 is in the atmosphere, and the only reason it’s there, is because we put it there. If we weren’t burning it, it’d be in the ground.
What has that to do with my comment? I KNOW what breathing into a paper bag is supposed to do. It INCREASES the amount of CO2 one is breathing to prevent hyperventilation (too much Oxygen). Again, what has that to do with whether or not green, growing plants utilize CO2 in the process of photosynthesis…regardless of its isotopes?
Fossilized plants leave behind CO2-12. They do not absorb it all, they leave it in the deposits of oil and gas we excavate, and we bring it out into the atmosphere, when we burn it.
CO2-12 is a fingerprint, stating that yes, the increase of CO2, is humanity’s doing. Because there’s nowhere else for that isotope of CO2 to come from. It’s cause & effect.
I’m not talking about atoms being destroyed; I’m talking about carbon and oxygen atoms no longer being together.
If the carbon in the plants rejoins oxygen back to the same quantity of CO2 when they die, does the reverse happen in animals that convert O2 to CO2? If not, again, all the oxygen would quickly deplete, and CO2 would fill the atmosphere. Do you dispute this?
I’m not sure if I understand you question correctly. But in any case the CO2 exhaled by animals does not reconvert to O2 by itself. To understand the whole thing clearly, imagine process as a loop
(1) A plant takes up a C-atom from atmosphere’s CO2, O2 remains (we say the plant “produce” or exhale O2)
(2) Many C-atoms get stored while the plant is growing
(3) When the plant dies, there are two options:
a) it is eaten up by animals or humans who subsequently connect the (eaten) C-atoms with atmosphere’s O2 (then we say the animal “produce” or exhale CO2)
b) it decompose, and in this case bacteria “eat up” the plant’s C-atoms and subsequently connect them with atmosphere’s O2-molecules. (so bacteria “produce” or exhale CO2)
In any case the plant’s C-Atoms find their way back to the atmosphere, as soon as the plant is dead
Does this answer your question?
Imagine the world wide vegetation. Or even better: Imagine a restricted area of forest.
This forest is very old (let’s say a piece of rainforest), so it isn’t growing any more. Does this forest take up CO2?
The answer is no!
The forest’s growing plants are constantly taking up C-Atoms.
But the forest’s dying plants are constantly emitting C-Atoms (by rotting or animals that eat them).
The forest – if it’s old and doesn’t expand anymore – does not take up CO2 at the bottom line. Why? Because the amount of growing plant matter and rotting/eaten/exhaled plant matter are the same.
“Old forests” are ALWAYS growing…perhaps a bit slower than “new forests,” but growing nevertheless. As long as a forest is ALIVE, it’s “growing” in the sense that it’s constantly consuming CO2 for food to keep it alive.
You say: No matter how old and dense a forest is, it will continue growing forever.
(1) Would you say space (for plant matter) within one square mile is infinite?
(2) How many percent of new pant-matter does an old forest (let’s say a piece of the rainforest) generate per year? What would you estimate - about zero or noteworthy more?
So how does the O2 not get depleted by us oxygen-breathers, especially since plants need oxygen too? And how does the atmosphere not get filled with CO2?
O2 never will run out. But Why? The answer is: Although humans and animals are permanently exhaling CO2 (resp. are permanently attaching C-Atoms to O2-Molecules) - plants on the other side have to extract C-Atoms from CO2 and thereby have to to free O2-Molecules before (else plants could not grow and animals had nothing to exhale).
The “BEFORE” is the point of the matter.
An animal or a human can only exhale exactly theses C-Atoms a plant has taken up before. For every O2-Molecule that is used up by an animal, a plant has to set one free before. Understandable?
Imagine there were no plants on the planet at all. So there would be no food. So animals couldn’t exhale anything. CO2 couldn’t increase by exhaling.
If we want animals to exhale something, we had to produce food BEFORE. That means: If we want animals produce CO2, we necessarily had to decrease atmosphere’s CO2 before, because else (without CO2-reducing plant-growth) we couldn’t produce food.
Pappadave believes that plants are taking up C-Atoms and that these C-Atoms remains stored within dead plant material (i.e. compost) forever. But this can’t true! Because this would implicate that more and more C-Atoms accumulate in the soil (since a forest is producing plant material continuously e.g. foliage, dying plants in winter, old trees,…).
If C-Atoms indeed would remain in the dead plant material, the earth logically would be contaminated by C-Atoms quickly. So I wouldn’t believe him. Sooner or later compost moulders into earth and the C-Atoms move back into atmosphere.
Ever heard of coal and oil? And to a lessor volume diamonds?
phillip obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about here. Carbon (C-atoms) is one of the more abundant elements on the planet. WE are considered “carbon-units” by some. (Ever see the original Star Trek movie?)
You always do this:
- You claim that the other person is wrong.
- You make him appear as an idiot via statements like “…he doesn’t know what he’s talking about…”
- But in fact you can’t refute the other person’s position.
In this case I said:
a If C-Atoms removed by plants would stay within the compost resp. earth,
more and more C-Atoms would accumulate in the earth over time.
b Your brilliant counter argument is: C-Atoms are very abundant on earth. And humans are considered “carbon-units” by some.
What has a to do with b?
If you claim that the other person is wrong: Please explain WHY he is wrong. Create a concrete refutation. Just saying: “Oh, you don’t know what you are talking about” and adding arbitrary data that hasn’t the power to refute the other person’s statement is not enough!
So I ask you again: What has a to do with b?
And carbon atoms DO accumulate in the earth over time. What about that statement do you not understand?
The carbon atoms removed as food by plants ARE persistent in the environment.
But by your earlier explanation, the plants must use up the same amount of oxygen they produce in order for the carbon they accumulate to revert to carbon dioxide; a zero-sum scenario without oxygen-breathers.
So you say, in the earth under a very old forest there must be very much carbon?
And over the time more and more C-Atoms get accumulated in it’s ground?
And if we would let a forest grow forever (or a very long time): Would the earth consist 99% of carbon some day?
What do you mean with “environment”? The Air or the ground?
All C-Atoms that are taken up by plants move back to the atmosphere sooner or later. If they are not eaten by animals they emit their C-Atoms by the process of decomposing. If animals (or human) eat them then – that’s true – they can’t emit CO2 by rotting anymore. In the last case it would be zero-sum scenario only if you include animals.
When I said plants do not reduce CO2 below the line, I meant either they emit C-Atoms when they rot or their C-Atoms get released through the bodies of animals if and when they are eaten up.
Plant’s do not “use up” O2 in the narrower sense. Plants set free C-Atoms after their lifetime and this releas in turn takes O2.
This freeing of C-Atoms can happen directly through rotting or indirectly through exhaling by larger animals.
If all plants were eaten by larger animals the whole Carbon release would happen through animals’ exhaling of CO2. Nothing would rot because there would be nothing left what could rot.
A zero-sum scenario without oxygen-breathers would indeed exist if pants were left alone (e.g. if you would kill all animals). But - that’s true - if plants were eaten up before they could rot, plants do not “use up” O2 in the direct way (but indirectly through animal bodies).
I don’t know where you got you “science” education, but you need to go back to school…as soon as possible.
Where does coal come from? (I think someone already mentioned that).