Plants Need CO2 - Carbon Dioxide Emissions - Global Warming Climate Change Facts
Our mission is to educate the public on the positive effects of additional atmospheric CO2 and help prevent the inadvertent negative impact to human, plant and animal life if we reduce CO2
 
Home
 
    
Why CO2 is Good
 
    
Climate Change
 
    
Politics are Not Green
 
    
News & Media
 
    
Stay Informed
 
    
About Us
 
    
 
Critical Facts
5. CO2's ability to trap more heat declines very rapidly.

Decades ago it was determined that CO2 's ability to trap heat rising from Earth's surface declines logarithmically or very rapidly (see first figure below).  This means that early on, at low concentrations, CO2 does exert a significant warming of the lower atmosphere.  But as the absorption bands in which CO2 captures this rising hear begin to get saturated, CO2 can capture less and less heat with each additional unit of CO2 .  Depending on how sensitive or reactive one thinks Earth is to additional CO2 , the level of influence of rising CO2 today can be very small or still of significant impact.  Once again, we have chosen the path recommended long ago by Winston Churchill who once said, "The farther backward you look, the farther forward you are likely to see."  As we look back at Earth's climate history, far beyond the popular 1980's and 1990's which happened to see a supposedly rapid rise in temperature coinciding with a real and admittedly rapid rise in airborne CO2 , we find many examples where rises in CO2 were accompanied by declining temperatures (see the Predictions vs. Reality figure below). 

These real world observations lead us to believe that Earth is not very sensitive to CO2 and that many other factors have a stronger influence on the climate.  This is one of the reasons that one of the world's most prominent scholars, Professor of Meteorology, Dr. Richard Lindzen of M.I.T., has been "going crazy" for decades at humanity's infatuation that CO2 is a major cause of global warming. ("Resisting Climate Hysteria" by Richard S. Lindzen, 7-26-09)

click to enlarge  

Observe how rapidly (logarithmically) CO2's ability to cause additional temperature rise declines.  Warming from a doubling (or tripling) atmospheric co2 will be very small.  This physical limitation explains how Earth could have entered an ice age when CO2 levels were several thousand parts per million.  Note that CO2's warming effect is strong only at low levels of atmospheric CO2, predominantly at less than 100 ppm.

 

 

 Print This    Back

 
 
RELATED CONTENT

More Videos & Media ...

Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is essential to life on earth and is directly responsible for the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe.

31,478 American Scientists
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.


Read more about the petition >>

More CO2 Facts

Benefits to plants >>

CO2 Myths

Plants need CO2 addresses the myth that purveyed the public dialog around CO2

Read more >>