The Carbon Exchange Inventory of the World, excluding
agriculture, April 2, 2011
Are the activities of man causing global
warming? Are we using too much fossil fuels? Are volcanoes causing global
warming? Forest fires? Solid waste? What about cows and pigs and sheep?
I have given these questions some
thought.....done some web research, found some numbers. How much carbon goes
into the air every day from fossil fuels, volcanoes, solid waste, wildfires.
How much carbon is taken up by all the
forests of the world, and the tundra., every day, averaged out for the whole year
Last time I wrote a story like this for my
website, I did the calculations for North America, I also included agriculture. But
it very very hard to come up with good numbers for carbon exchange for all of the
agriculture for North America, and much harder to find these numbers for the entire world.
And if we are trying to determine if the
use of fossil fuels can effect our climate, maybe we should not be concerned with the
carbon exchange of farm animals, and crops, and even wild animals. Why?
Carbon gets used over and over again by the
plants and animals of the world. An animal cannot give off more carbon that it takes
in. A simple example- the Sun shines, the hay grows with the energy from the sun,
carbon dioxide from the air, and water. The carbon in the CO2 becomes the plant.
All of the carbon in the hay comes from the CO2 in the air..the cow eats the hay,
grows bigger, makes milk, and burps and farts and breathes out CO2.. All of the carbon
that comes out of the cow comes from the carbon that was in the food that the cow ate.
No more, no less.
If we are worried about the planet, and we
want to make choices that help the planet, we should not spend time and energy worrying
about the carbon that goes in and out of agriculture. It all balances out.
What we need to ask is does the use of
fossil fuels add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?
And that is what I have tried to find out.
have attached a spread sheet of all of my work,
And to make a long story short, this
is the summary:
carbon emissions from the burning of all the fossil
fuels in the world= 25 million metric tons per day
carbon emissions from all the forest fires=
0.003 million metric tons per day
carbon emissions from solid waste=
0.4 million metric tons per day
carbon absorbed by all the forests of the world=
47 million metric tons per day
carbon absorbed by all of the tundra of the world=
1.58 million metric tonnes per day
and the balance is :
22.84 million metric tonnes per day
(in other words, every day, the forests
need more carbon dioxide than we can make by burning coal and oil and natural gas).
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