Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Christian Buck - Carbon Dioxide

Christian Buck


Large doses of carbon dioxide (5% of the air content) are toxic to animals. Like carbon monoxide it is colorless, and can be dangerous. However we need small amounts of carbon dioxide to live. In fresh air the carbon dioxide content is 0.04%. Trees on the other hand, need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. The chloroplast converts carbon dioxide into oxygen. This makes trees a useful tool in diminishing the effects of global warming. It is a key part of life on the planet, but too much can be hazardous.

Carbon dioxide is a dry ice in its solid state. It has a melting point of –78.5 degrees Celsius (–109.3 degrees Fahrenheit). After this temperature it changes directly to a gas, bypassing the liquid stage, giving it the name “dry ice”. Dry ice is used for industrial purposes and to cool food items as well as fog for special effects. There are many other uses for dry ice, given its unique properties.

In our oceans there is a large amount of carbon dioxide. They are found in the form of bicarbonate. Bicarbonate is created through a reaction between water, rock, and carbon dioxide. Most bicarbonate is at the bottom of the ocean and will eventually draw the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the sea, but this will take hundreds of years because the bicarbonate must come to the surface for the reaction to occur.

Carbon dioxide is something we all have to deal with and is important to all life. We just have to prevent too much of it being released. We can do this through carbon sequestration. The Carbon Zero Project is an initiative to lower the amount of carbon dioxide we release. Part of our project is the planting of trees that help turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.

All information was received from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide


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