The Gas of Life

By Jim Goodridge  – former California State Climatologist

Photosynthesis simply stated is 6CO2 + 6H2O + photons = C6H12O6+6O2.

It is suggested by the relative abundances of atmospheric CO2 and O2,

That CO2 is a quite active material and it is always in short supply.

Plant growth is basically the chemical reaction of storing solar energy.

Chemical reactions generally double with an increase of 10°F.

Rising temperatures cause CO2 to boil out of ocean water.

Rising temperature and CO2 concentration both stimulate plant growth.

Our atmosphere originally contained about 30 percent CO2.

The era of chlorophyll dominance is referred to as the Great Oxidation.

This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The ocean’s dissolved iron.

Rusted out, producing our planets iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.

Chlorophyll is still the mechanism controlling the CO2 and O2 abundance.

All life forms basically originated by a photosynthesis process.

Chemically our hemoglobin and chlorophyll are quite similar.

Suggesting a common origin, that is supported by common DNA code.

Where as animals do not photosynthesize, their plant foods do.

Beef, chicken or fish feed off photosynthetic products.

It is mainly trace minerals that supplement photo-source.

CO2 is literally the gas of life for all macro life forms we encounter.

The existence of extremophiles suggests very early non-solar energy sources.

Demonizing CO2 started with the plan for peaceful use of atomic bombs.

The big dream in 1946 that was that atomic energy would be so cheap,

That electricity would never again need to be metered.

The attribution of increased CO2 to fossil fuel burning was born here.

Atomic energy advocates wanted to save Earth from runaway GH heating like Venus.

A conservation ethic developed to conserve the finite petroleum for the future and

Anti-pollution and anti-growth advocates added voices to the anti- CO2 theme.

All earthly macro life forms are photosynthically derived from CO2,

Either directly or indirectly by chlorophyll that absorbs solar photons.

We are not here not at the whim of a deity but by evolution of CO2 derivatives.

================================================================

Note: Jim’s line, The attribution of increased CO2 to fossil fuel burning was born here.

There’s a tremendous backstory to this which I have been chasing for awhile. See this post from the earlier days of WUWT in 2008. If anyone can help find it, I’d be appreciative.

Scavenger Hunt: find the lump of coal

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This is a wonderful short synopsis of the CO2 situation. Thanks for this post!

APACHEWHOKNOWS

Moderators etal of Watts Up With That
over on http://www.hotair.com
Post there on a poll about 2/3’s of Americans belive AGW is real.
317 post so far, a poster with nic,,,
trible,,,
is calling out the $44,000.00 from Heartland
He was chalanged to come on here and tell Anthony how unethical that Anthony is.
Watch for that poster, you might check out his post, his posting style will clue you if he comes under another nic.

The whole thing is a natural self-regulating system. As temperatures rise, oceans slowly warm generating additional CO2 into the atmosphere because warm weather favors plants which need the extra CO2. When temperatures decline, oceans slowly cool and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere because cool weather means less plant growth hence lower CO2 requirements. This system is not by accident.

History will look back in amazement at the Carbon Dioxide Demonisation Era.

Merovign

I’m not sure *inviting* trolls here is the best policy.
HA is and always has been dominated by the trolls – one shows up, and *everything* discussed is about *them*. Nothing useful survives.
The behavior should be discouraged, not spread.

APACHEWHOKNOWS

Merovign,
Your correct, just wanted to shut him up on calling Anthony names.
Not worth the time.

John Cooper

…yet another example of how leftists hate life.

R. de Haan

“Atomic energy advocates wanted to save Earth from runaway GH heating like Venus”.
Which is a BSB (Bad Science Based) argument.

Acorn1 - San Diego

Alan Love says we’ll look back in amazement….true, and how soon?
In a few years, decades maybe, we will also realize that higher levels of
CO2 in the atmos are truly beneficial..! We’ll use this to help feed our
seven billion and growing population. Many studies show up on
http://Www.CO2science.org
And how about temperature, too? Beneficial, if it’s up…!

DesertYote

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is directly related to the rate of ukariote metabolism which is directly related to temperature. Soda-pop fizz is just part of the relationship.

R. de Haan

And with the CO2 scare thrown under the bus now we’re ready for the next scare which will be introduced by planting the UN flag on the bottom of our oceans.
By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh Full Story
The World Oceans Summit in Singapore is the latest platform for United Nations World Bank to announce its latest assault on sovereign economic decisions and freedom. The oceans are suddenly very sick and “we need coordinated global action to restore our oceans to health,” says World Bank president Robert Zoellick.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/44945

ChE

APACHEWHOKNOWS –
Careful with the commas. Somebody might mistake you for Gleick.

Philip Bradley

There was a study recently that strongly indicated that trees, and presumably all plants, grow taller to access more CO2, rather than more sunlight as was believed.

Benjamin D Hillicoss

always thought the gas of life was…methane….. between me, my five brothers, my father and my son, my life is never short of methane

Dale

Sorry for the OT.
But can anyone explain to this lay-person what the sun is doing? SSN is now down to around 50 in February, and solar flux is dropping too. Aren’t we supposed to be still rising to cycle 24 peak?
http://www.solen.info/solar/

Agile Aspect

And on a side note, the burning of hydrocarbons produces slightly more water than carbon dioxide.
If you’re worried about the so-called “greenhouse effect” of carbon dioxide, then your concern may be misplaced.

Graphite

Could someone with more scientific knowledge than I have (pretty much everyone) please re-write this paragraph:
“This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The ocean’s dissolved iron.
Rusted out, producing our planets iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.”
Should it be: This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The ocean’s dissolved iron
rusted out, producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.
(I had to read it a few times to figure out whether “dissolved” was a verb (and the possessive in “ocean’s” didn’t belong) or adjectival on “iron”.)
There are a few others. The word processing program used seems to have decided that this piece should be rendered as free verse, with every line starting with a capital letter and ending with a full stop.
As an observation, people can broadly be split into two groups — arty and scientificky. Those of us who fall into the arty camp have real trouble following the argument when the scientificky types don’t pay due attention to the arty, i.e language, aspects when presenting their case.

Graphite

Actually, as I have a warmist journalist lined up to send it to, I’d like the whole thing rewritten, with all the quirky punctuation and capitalisation fixed . . . and “where as” compressed into one word.

Anything is possible

“Plant growth is basically the chemical reaction of storing solar energy.”
___________________________________________________________________________
So how much of this solar energy is stored without EVER manifesting itself as atmospheric heat?
If the right answer is anything other than zero, it would open up an enormous can of worms…….

Allan MacRae

Jim Goodridge says:
Rising temperatures cause CO2 to boil out of ocean water.
pyeatte says: February 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm
The whole thing is a natural self-regulating system. As temperatures rise, oceans slowly warm generating additional CO2 into the atmosphere because warm weather favors plants which need the extra CO2. When temperatures decline, oceans slowly cool and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere because cool weather means less plant growth hence lower CO2 requirements. This system is not by accident.
DesertYote says: February 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm
The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is directly related to the rate of eukariote metabolism which is directly related to temperature. Soda-pop fizz is just part of the relationship.
___________________________________
Keep it up guys… … as the children say, when you get closer and closer to your objective:
“You’re getting warmer…”
Remember – CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

Richdo

@Anything is possible
“So how much of this solar energy is stored without EVER manifesting itself as atmospheric heat?”
I tried to do that calc a while back and came up with ~0.14w/m^2/yr (spreading the energy over the area of the earth) Can’t guarantee the math or unit conversions. If someone else wants to double check I’d appreciate it. Here’s the starting variables w/ref.
110 kcal/moleCO2 used in photosynthesis, avg of two references
http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7241e/w7241e05.htm#1.2.1%20photosynthetic%20efficiency
http://biosensitivefutures.org.au/overviews/principles/photosynthesis
210×10^9 tons CO2 fixed by earths plants per year http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2486.1998.00125.x/abstract

Bomber_the_Cat

Graphite says:
February 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm
Could someone with more scientific knowledge than I have (pretty much everyone) please re-write this paragraph:
“This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The ocean’s dissolved iron.
Rusted out, producing our planets iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.”
Should it be: This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The ocean’s dissolved iron
rusted out, producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.
——————————————————————————————————
Seems that you are more concerned about the grammar than the science Graphite. You introduced the apostrophe to planet’s correctly, but left in the incorrect apostrophe in Ocean’s. So it should be…
This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The oceans dissolved iron rusted out, producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.
However, even with this corrected, I don;t know what he means.but I think ‘rusted out’ must mean ‘precipitated out of solution’ .
So perhaps,,,,
This happened 2.5 billion years ago. The oceans dissolved iron precipitated out, producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.

Rosco

I often wonder how all the “climate scientists” energy balance calculations account for an ever increasing Biomass – or do they just ignore it ?

Bomber_the_Cat

I got that wrong. On re-reading oceans should be ocean’s. So….
The ocean’s dissolved iron precipitated out producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.

R. Shearer

Forget the soda-pop fizz, CO2 is the cabonation in BEER.

Anything is possible

Richdo says:
February 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm
I just tried to answer my own question by doing a back-of-an-envelope calculation assuming each human being consumes 2500 calories per day, based on the idea that all that energy ultimately had to have come from the Sun.
It came out at 1.11 x 10^-8 watts/metre^2 !!
That was a salutatory reminder of how insignificant we truly are in the great scheme of things (:-

Louis

When iron rusts it becomes iron oxide (Fe2O3). Wouldn’t that bind up oxygen rather than release it? Or is he trying to say that the iron oxide changed into some other form and released oxygen in the process. The way it is worded doesn’t make sense. Can the author help us understand what was really meant here?

RACookPE1978

Bomber_the_Cat says:
February 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm
I got that wrong. On re-reading oceans should be ocean’s. So….
The ocean’s dissolved iron precipitated out producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen.

Lettuce continue trying to resolve the long debate between engineering majors and the liberal arts ….. 8<)
"The oceans' dissolved iron precipitated out producing our planet’s iron ore deposits and releasing oxygen."
However written, that sentence said in that manner allows us more than one "ocean" on a single "planet." But … I've always been taught that the irons in our most common deposits were not "dissolved out" – dissolving being the practice of a material going into solution into a liquid. Rather, precipitation is the deposition of a formerly dissolved material from a solution onto a substrate.
However, the iron oxides are understood to be deposited from ancient biologics pulling them from ??? and combining them with oxygen already in the air.
That free oxygen came from even older biologics that pulled CO2 from the air and releasing oxygen by photosynthesis as a free gas. Prior to that radical "tipping point", earth's atmosphere more resembled Venus as a hot, cloudy poisonous gas of CO2 and nitrogen. Therefore, one should say that CO2 is the basis for not just life, but our metals and ALL plant and animal life since the oceans were laid down.

RockyRoad

Philip Bradley says:
February 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

There was a study recently that strongly indicated that trees, and presumably all plants, grow taller to access more CO2, rather than more sunlight as was believed.

Since CO2 is heavier than most gasses in the atmosphere, I thought it was deeper roots that took advantage of that aspect.

Lady Life Grows

The grammar:
“The oceans’ dissolved iron rusted out….”
The CO2 gas of Life science: I have specifically studied Origin of Life. The biochemistry of life began on the ocean floor, specifically the vents. It involved the reduction of CO2 at the very start–apparently with sulfur metabolism, but in any case NOT photosynthesis. CO2 is and always has been, the gas of Life.
As to when the hysteria will stop: it will stop when we move beyond plants to examine the role of CO2 in ANIMAL metabolism, including humans. It is not relevant whether there is a God behind any of this, nor whether there is more to Man than an animal. We are looking at health, longevity and animal biodiversity.
From the beginning of Life, metabolism has functioned/evolved in the presence of CO2. Nearly all of paleontological history, concentrations of CO2 were much higher than today, which means that animals as well as plants are likeliest to function better as a result of the human releases of fossil carbon back into the atmosphere.

GOE (Great Oxygenation Event), it’s a very interesting period in the history of our planet. Photoshynthesis was already around for about 1 to 1,2 billion years, but 2.4 billion years ago the great oxygenation event marks the point at which minerals and iron became saturated and free oxygen started to accumulate in the atmosphere.
It lead to the first extinction event, and quite possible also the largest extinction event ever when anareobic lifeforms started to die off in large numbers due to the rising oxygen levels in the atmosphere.
Abundant atmospheric methane that was oxidised to form CO2 and that plunged the Earth into a global claciation period that lasted some 300 to 400 million years and started right after the GOE.
Methane was a waste product of those anareobic lifeforms also known as methanogens wich dominated the Archean timeperiod wich ended with the GOE.
Very interesting.

Byron

I sometimes wonder if the watermelons have become so enraptured of their dark malthusian dreams that , as long as humanity suffers and civilization declines , they would not care one whit if the biosphere itself started shrinking and dying . What else can explain Their perverse loathing of the building block of life itself , or their strange yearning for the icecaps and glaciers that covered so much of our world to start growing again ?

Graphite

Bomber_the_Cat says:
February 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm
Seems that you are more concerned about the grammar than the science Graphite.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
No, I am not more concerned about the grammar. The grammar is of trifling importance when compared with the overall debate.
However, without the correct grammar it is difficult to follow an argument.
And by the way, you were no help at all. I’m sticking with my original translation.
My main point is that it annoys me to have to go through these contortions. The odd typo or misplaced apostrophe can be forgiven (in my journalistic career we’d use the phrase “mistakes happen, it’s why pencils have erasers”) but Goodridge’s piece has been mangled to the point of needing repair. If the message is to get through, accuracy is needed .

RACookPE1978

Lady Life Grows says:
February 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm

The grammar:
“The oceans’ dissolved iron rusted out….”
The CO2 gas of Life science: I have specifically studied Origin of Life. The biochemistry of life began on the ocean floor, specifically the vents. It involved the reduction of CO2 at the very start–apparently with sulfur metabolism, but in any case NOT photosynthesis. CO2 is and always has been, the gas of Life.

Keep explaining the chemistry and exchanges behind that concept: I have not heard it before.

What people should be marveling at is the fact that a gas (CO2) at such a very low concentration would be able, through photosynthesis, to maintain our atmosphere at about 20% oxygen. That is an incredible feat and anybody with half a brain would be wanting to feed our photosynthetic benefactors all of the support (CO2) we can give them.
With global cooling a serious problem for years to come, we should be wanting as much CO2 as we can get to maximize our food supply. Higher CO2 increases plant temperature tolerance and effectively extends the growing season and the growing day. It’s a win-win as they also utilize water and nutrients more efficiently. There is no downside to CO2.
Of course, the Agenda 21 and AGW crowd really want starvation to take out billions, so they are not at all interested in maintaining our food supply. After all, starving to death is natural, eh?

Gilbert G Leggett

Way [too] much carbonated bubbles (excluding the beer) not enough scavenge…… Toss us a hint Anthony… were you reading Popular Science type magazines or your Mum’s magazines circa those years? (just thinking if it was about propaganda it would be best placed in front of the ladies. Ladies, please don’t get mad at me, I think you are superior to men at least 51% of the time!)
peace

David Joss

Anthony,
Not sure that Dr Teller was the first to demonise coal as suggested in your archived link.
This article:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticlePdf/27160940/3?print=n
suggests that Dr Gilbert Plass was banging that particular drum way back in 1953.

cgh

Rosco: “I often wonder how all the “climate scientists” energy balance calculations account for an ever increasing Biomass – or do they just ignore it ?”
Very good point, Rosco. My recollection of AR3 and 4 is that they are very weak on carbon sinks. They assume that because the increase in atmospheric CO2 is in rough correspondence with human total emissions that there has been no increase in carbon sink.

Yancey Ward

The part about the iron is hopelessly confused. Iron (0) is quite soluble in water, and on the ancient Earth, prior to the onset of photosynthesis, the world’s oceans were full of it. When the first organisms started producing oxygen, this oxygen reacted with the reducing agents in both the atmosphere and the oceans, and in the case of iron, produced the fairly water insoluble oxides which precipitated out, probably over the course of millions of years, but, eventually, the iron (0) and the other reducing agents were oxidized and it then that O2 could accumulate in the atmosphere. I think it is this event to which the author is referring.

NeedleFactory

Philip Bradley at 4:26 pm said: There was a study recently that strongly indicated that trees … grow taller to access more CO2, rather than more sunlight as was believed.
I am slightly skeptical, but ever willing to change my mind in the light of evidence. Any chance you can remember something about the study? or better yet, a URL?

jorgekafkazar

“Rising temperatures cause CO2 to boil out of ocean water.”
Very poor choice of words, since “boil” indicates phase change from liquid to gas. More accurately, rising temperatures cause CO2 to desorb from sea water, a different process.

Toto

Isn’t it ironic that the green’s favorite color comes from chlorophyll which runs on CO2?

jorgekafkazar

Anything is possible says: “I just tried to answer my own question by doing a back-of-an-envelope calculation assuming each human being consumes 2500 calories per day, based on the idea that all that energy ultimately had to have come from the Sun…”
Dietary “calories” are kilocalories. Your calculations are way off unless you corrected for that. .

pat

You will find this in millions of biology text books throughout high schools around the world. About ten chapters before the one on GLOBAL WARMING CALAMITY. Hmmmm.

pat

Yancey Ward says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm
The way I learned it also. Interesting. Mars.

The chemical reaction rate will approximately double with every 10°C rise in temperature—not 10°F.

Bill

Dale says:
February 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm
Sorry for the OT.
But can anyone explain to this lay-person what the sun is doing? SSN is now down to around 50 in February, and solar flux is dropping too. Aren’t we supposed to be still rising to cycle 24 peak?
http://www.solen.info/solar/
———————————
Hmmm,
interesting… verified it at Leif’s site… 10.7 polynomial trend going down…
http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-Latest.png
Cheers,
Bill

Jon

Photosynthesis is basically a way to catch and store energy.
This is the basis for more than 99% of the life on Earth.
We feed on that Sun energy trough eating indirectly sun energy that has been harvested from plants or plankton.
This energy has its origin from the Sun.
So we are Sun based creature.
Coal, oil and gas is therefore fossil sun energy.

John Marshall

Good post thanks.
The claims that Venus suffered runaway global warming is simplistic and does not explain things. The one thing that Venus lacks that we have in abundance is water. Without water there can be no life and as pointed out above life changes atmospheres. Water is also a mechanism for transporting heat from the surface to high in the atmosphere, through latent heat of evapouration and condensation, to more easily escape to space. The surface atmospheric pressure on Venus is 90-100 times that of Earth due to the high CO2 content and this pressure alone is quite capable of raising the temperature at the surface to that of Venus without any GHG theory. Venus also gets twice the solar radiation received by Earth.

Urederra

Toto says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm
Isn’t it ironic that the green’s favorite color comes from chlorophyll which runs on CO2?

Nope, chlorophyll harvest photons, not CO2.
The molecule that “captures” CO2 is called RuBIsCo and it is part of the Calvin cycle.

higley7 says:
February 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm
What people should be marveling at is the fact that a gas (CO2) at such a very low concentration would be able, through photosynthesis, to maintain our atmosphere at about 20% oxygen.

Well, technically atmospheric O2 comes from the photolysis of water produced in the light dependent part of photosynthesis. It is true, though, that during the light independent part of photosynthesis a molecule of water is formed per molecule of CO2 that enters into the Calvin cycle.
I also want to point out that the mean atmospheric oxygen concentration during the carboniferous was about 32 % (http://jeb.biologists.org/content/201/8/1043.abstract) and the mean CO2 levels were 800 p.p.m. (more than twice as nowadays) The mean temperature during the carboniferous was the same as nowadays. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_palaeotemps.png