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  (Source: All American Patriots)
Goal of study is to constrain temperature change to 2 degrees Fahrenheit

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg have calculated the amount of carbon dioxide humans can safely emit before effecting the heating of the Earth.

Scientist Erich Roeckner and his team have created a model that determines the highest volumes of carbon dioxide that humans are allowed to emit in order to ensure that Earth does not heat up by more than two degrees Celsius, which is the gate to climate warming. They've used the methodology proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to reconstruct historical emission pathways "on the basis of already-calculated carbon dioxide concentrations." 

In order for this to occur, carbon cycle data, such as the volume of carbon dioxide absorbed by forests and oceans, is added to the model. The model then simulates the evolution of carbon dioxide emissions in order to understand what the future holds and how it should be changed to prevent warming. 

The model is based on a low-resolution spatial grid with 400 kilometer grid spacing. With this kind of model, the land surface, ocean, sea ice, atmosphere and terrestrial and marine carbon cycle are all included in the study.

According to the model, carbon dioxide caused by fossil fuels must be reduced to almost zero by the end of the century to achieve long-term goals of carbon concentration stabilization in the atmosphere. The model calculated that, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, fossil carbon dioxide has increased by 35 percent.

Other figures the model has calculated is that carbon emissions will increase from seven billion tonnes in 2000 to 10 billion tonnes in 2015. Then, emissions will have to be decreased by 56 percent by 2050, and reach zero by the end of the century for long-term stabilization to be achieved. But even if these goals are met, global warming would only stay below two degrees Celsius until 2100, and further measures will need to be taken to control warming. 

Roeckner noted that it will take centuries to stabilize the global climate system, and that their data is being studied and evaluated at other climate centers in Europe. 

"As soon as all of the results are available, we can evaluate the spread between the models," said Roeckner. "The more significant the data we have, the more accurate our forecast will be."

In other news, a University of Georgia marine chemist, Wei-Jun Cai, just disproved that melting ice at the poles will allow open water to catch carbon dioxide from the the air. According to a survey of waters in the Canada Basin, the potential carbon dioxide "sink" would be a very short period of time with minor effects due to the amount of rising emissions. 

The study was published in the July 2010 edition of Science

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RE: Cute
By ppardee on 8/3/2010 3:05:51 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, and the number of how much CO2 we may produce is essentially 0.... So hold your breath. We can't afford any extra CO2!

RE: Cute
By mcnabney on 8/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Cute
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Cute
By HotFoot on 8/3/2010 5:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
Um... no, really, it does come from the food we eat. His point being that it's part of a cycle. Not that it was entirely important a point to start with.

Burning fossil fuels is also part of a cycle, but the timeline is very, very long. The carbon stored in fossil fuels was once in the atmosphere. It was stored slowly over eons. We are releasing it relatively quickly, and that has some people worried (perhaps overly worried) about what the impact will be on the environment.

Getting back to the article, I really look at these modelling techniques with a great deal of scepticism. The feedbacks can hardly be properly calibrated. I recall reading an article a couple years ago where the surprise result was that the Earth was getting greener over time: even with all the deforestation that's occurred the biomass has been increasing. Higher CO2 levels and perhaps changing precipitation patterns are the likely cause.

So, my question is still whether the CO2 being released is at a significant enough rate to really disturb the natural balance of things. Compared to the natural CO2 cycle, burning fossil fuels is relatively a small portion. How well is the increased plant activity accounted for in the global warming models?


Anyways, Reclaimer, this post I've replied to is one of your least sensible. Sheesh.

RE: Cute
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/2010 5:59:28 PM , Rating: 1
He gave no indication that his statement was part of a "cycle". He said, flat out, CO2 you exhale is from the food you eat.

At worst you can accuse me of taking him too literal. But I prefer to judge people by what they said, not speculate as to what they meant.

But I have no desire to get drawn into a "chicken or egg" argument. Of course I understand that without food, we wouldn't be able to breath. And that everything we are and do is part of a cycle. But he really did a bad job of wrapping that into his statement.

RE: Cute
By BigDH01 on 8/3/2010 6:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't that difficult to interpret. At least the C part of the CO2 we exhale is from the food we eat. This is not a result of a macro carbon cycle, but the Krebs cycle. Actually, looking back on it (and it's been awhile since I've taken Biochem), atmospheric oxygen appears to only be needed as the final electron acceptors in the ETC. This means that the CO2 produced by your body originated from atoms coming from glucose, not atmospheric sources. So yes, the CO2 you exhale is from the food you eat.

RE: Cute
By Spuke on 8/3/2010 6:10:55 PM , Rating: 1
Um... no, really, it does come from the food we eat.
You are perpetuating misleading information by oversimplifying the process. See BigDH01's post.

RE: Cute
By walk2k on 8/3/2010 5:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
Talk about opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

RE: Cute
By BigDH01 on 8/3/2010 5:54:40 PM , Rating: 3

You derive your energy from a redox reaction whereby glucose is oxidized and oxygen is reduced. This reaction results in CO2.

RE: Cute
By Spuke on 8/3/2010 6:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
You derive your energy from a redox reaction whereby glucose is oxidized and oxygen is reduced. This reaction results in CO2.
The reaction also results in water (H2O), not just CO2.

RE: Cute
By JonnyDough on 8/4/2010 2:16:48 AM , Rating: 4
I actually believe you have a somewhat valid point. The carbon found in our atmosphere was pretty much created by the sun via plant life and rotting vegetation (that's where oil, coal, etc come from). The "CO2 problem" we are experiencing is indeed from the burning of it...but its been accumulating since the beginning of life here on earth. Humans are only to blame for setting it loose into the air. The question is then, if we didn't take oil out of the ground and burn it, what would happen when the earth consists of a lot more time compressed biological matter? Or does it somehow naturally go away? It is my believe that the earth will go in cycles of hot/cold regardless of what mankind does. We can't survive on this planet forever. It's simply not possible. Planets that support life must also at some point "reset" themselves.

RE: Cute
By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
From an Astronomic point of view - I'd be really interested to see what happens to Earth-like planets once they hit the age where their composition was primarily carbon - it seems like there'd be a lot more to consider. It could end up that the entire surface would be awash with oil and all life would have died for all we know.

RE: Cute
By JediJeb on 8/4/2010 6:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well unless some form of carbon is dropping on the planet from outer space, then the composition of the planet will remain basically the same forever. The elements may change in how they are bonded to each other, but the net amount of each element(barring the decay of radioactive elements into other elements) is not going to change. A planet will not become primarily carbon as time progresses. Geologic and biologic processes may move the location of the carbon from air to water to ground and to under ground, in any direction at any time, but the percentage of carbon as a total of the planet remains unchanged.

If biologic and geologic processes made the surface of the planet become awash in oil, then eventually that oil would oxidize either slowly to tar, then asphalt, then more like coal, or it could ignite and oxidize rapidly into char and CO2. Then the CO2 would be captured from the air into the water and become carbonates, turning into limestone as it is left in evaporation pools, then later those pools would be mountains that are dissolved by rain back into carbonates washing into the ocean or if life has begun again being taken up by plants and the cycle just continues on.

RE: Cute
By JonnyDough on 8/4/2010 11:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
Geologic and biologic processes may move the location of the carbon from air to water to ground and to under ground, in any direction at any time, but the percentage of carbon as a total of the planet remains unchanged.

I disagree. Plant life gets a large part of its growth from the sun. Through photosynthesis, photons become bio matter. Its why a weed that starts as a seed can sprout up out of just a bit of soil and become a giant plant. Over time, carbon has increased on earth. We're talking millions or perhaps billions of years.

It is my belief that inevitably, there would become so much carbon that it would have an impact on the earths overall ability to sustain life complex life.

Imagine what might happen if we were to take leaves and water and combine them in a jar under pressure. I believe that eventually we would get some sort of oil...even if its simply "sludge" regardless of the bacterial cycle. The slight tremors in the earth would eventually wear the molecules down, much in the way bacteria do by digesting bio matter. Consider that the earth's atmosphere is in a way one gigantic "jar". Some life might exist, such as anaerobic oil eating bacteria but eventually the environment might get so polluted with bio waste that most life as we know it would not be able to survive.

If what we are doing is simply taking carbon from the earth and changing its form, then we may just be speeding along the natural evolution of things. Since humans are a part of nature this was inevitable as well and could have even been done here on earth before billions of years ago - maybe many times over. History does repeat itself after all. The trick is to theorize not only about what can be in the future, but what was in the past - and then try to be smart enough to not repeat mankinds previous mistakes. Maybe then we'd have enough time/technology to colonize space and solve basic human problems. I'd like to think we're not simply parasites confined to a planet. :)

RE: Cute
By rett448 on 8/5/2010 3:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
Photons do not become matter. Photons from the sun provide the energy necessary energy to break the carbon-oxygen bonds from CO2 (a low energy molecule). Then the liberated carbon is combined with oxygen and hydrogen (from water, another low energy molecule) to create glucose or a similar sugar derivative (high energy molecule). The amount of carbon in this cycle remains constant, it just changes form from CO2 & H2O to C6H12O6. Respiration is the reverse of this cycle. The Carbon bonds in glucose (a high energy molecule) are broken down releasing energy. The carbon is then combined with oxygen to form CO2. Again the amount of carbon stays constant through this cycle.

In you example above, the increase in biomass from a seed to a weed comes from carbon taken out of the air via CO2. The only way to increase or decrease the amount of an ELEMENT on the planet is through nuclear reactions. The amount of specific MOLECULES (CO2, H2O, O2) are constantly changes via the trillions of chemical reactions that occur every day.

RE: Cute
By JonnyDough on 8/4/2010 11:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
On second thought, I probably should just addressed your first line.

Well unless some form of carbon is dropping on the planet from outer space, then the composition of the planet will remain basically the same forever.

It is. Sunlight/Radiant energy. Why do you think rotted bio matter (coal, oil) are used for power and heat? They have captured the essence of the sun. It isn't like bio-matter magically trapped gasses found naturally in dirt. That power came from the sun. Heat and light that is slowly leaking out of the sun in a fiery inferno. Bacteria, water, compression, time...turns those fibery plants into dirty liquid or rock. Coal or oil. That's why coal and oil aren't clean clear energy. They contain rock particles. Its our job when we use them as sources of power to capture the dirt/rock particles before they go flying about in our atmosphere causing all sorts of breathing problems and potentially trapping more radiant light/heat from the sun on the earth's surface.

RE: Cute
By JediJeb on 8/11/2010 5:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
For there to be more carbon today because of sunlight hitting the earth then the law of conservation of mass would need to be broken. In that basic fundamental law of physics matter can neither be created or destroyed, with the exception of a nuclear fission or fusion reaction. The amount of carbon on the earth today will always be the same unless a carbon bearing rock from space lands on earth. A very tiny amount may come from radioactive decay but would be so little that it would barely be measurable, let alone enough to be seen as a tree.

I am so discouraged these days that even the simple points of science are not being taught in our schools.

RE: Cute
By clovell on 8/6/2010 3:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
That makes sense, except it seems that there's plenty of carbon and hydrogen on/in the planet to wash the surface in hydrocarbons. But, I'm admittedly a moron when it comes to this stuff. That's why jumped to wondering if there are any other earthlike planets that were older which we could look to for answers.

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