Just by the sheer size of the natural generation of carbon dioxide from ongoing life processes, whatever feeble little amount that man produces shrivels to total insignificance.
Despite rulings to the contrary, carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant, and attempts to picture the substance as being so, are either displaying willful ignorance, or knowingly propagating a falsehood. Carbon dioxide is so bound up in our very life processes, it cannot ever be disentangled. We are a carbon-based life form, for cat’s sake, and plants NEED carbon dioxide to even exist.
Water vapor is from some twenty to over 100 times as potent a “greenhouse gas” as carbon dioxide could ever be. And it would be totally pointless to regulate water vapor.
The sea-level composition of air (in percent by volume at the temperature of 15°C and the pressure of 101325 Pa) is given below.
Name- Symbol- Percent by Volume
Nitrogen- N2- 78.084 %
Oxygen- O2- 20.9476 %
Argon- Ar- 0.934 %
Carbon Dioxide- CO2- 0.0314 %
Neon- Ne- 0.001818 %
Methane- CH4- 0.0002 %
Helium- He- 0.000524 %
Krypton- Kr- 0.000114 %
Hydrogen- H2- 0.00005 %
Xenon- Xe- 0.0000087 %
Water vapor is a highly variable component of the atmosphere, ranging from less than 1% to more than 4% of the volume of a given amount of air, and is expressed as “relative humidity”.
CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
by David R. Lide, Editor-in-Chief
Well put. Here’s a similar set of numbers that I put together on another posting. The idea is to put the numbers in a context that ANYONE can grasp the insignificance of the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere...
One of the biggest problems we deniers face is that few real facts are ever given by the AGW crowd. This is intentional, of course. For instance, they throw around labels like green and clean but never define them. It can be demonstrated that the atmosphere is cleaner today that it has been in decades (in the U.S.), if not centuries (parts of Europe). How can something like CO2, necessary for life itself, be labeled dirty? It boggles the mind.
Ive come up with (what I think is) a simple, understandable-by-anyone concept to explain why folks should stop being afraid of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.
Heres the line of thinking:
What are the molecules that compose air? Name them in order of most-to-least abundant. [By the way, few folks will get any of this right without looking it up.]
Nitrogen, Oxygen, Water, Argon, Carbon Dioxide, and Other.
If you take a random (or average) sampling of 10,000 molecules of air and assume that each molecule is worth a penny, approximately how much would each of the different components of the air be worth?
(Note: 10,000 pennies is the same as $100.00. If you couch the discussion in dollars and cents rather than, say, PPM - folks will have an easier time grasping the numbers. Even a second grader understands completely the difference between a $20. bill and 4 pennies.)
Oxygen: $20.00 (animals NEED this to live)
Water: $ 2.00 (this is the real GHG)
Argon: $ 0.95 (thats right, 25x the amount of CO2)
CO2: 4 cents (plants NEED this to live)
Other: 1 penny
As youve heard, Humans have pumped MASSIVE amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, yet it only makes up 4 cents of the entire $100.00 of the atmosphere. (Thats 4 CO2 molecules per 10,000 air molecules). How much of these 4 cents worth of CO2 has been added by Humans?
1 penny. (280ppm to 380ppm)
Lets say that Humans had subtracted a pennys worth of CO2 from the $100.00 worth of our entire atmosphere, instead of adding CO2. What would be the impact?
Plants would be severly impacted and dying.
There are many more points that can be made. For instance, if we continue to pump out CO2, we can probably only push the concentration of CO2 to about 5-6 cents worth. Also, the threshold level of CO2 above which the MSDS suggests CO2 becomes a problem for workers is 50 cents worth (5000ppm) - more than 10x the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Anyhow, you get the idea.
Feel free to steal the concept, if you find it useful...