The total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is independent of biogenic and anthropogenic CO2 generation and primarily dependent on temperature gradients on the surface of the oceans. The Earth’s atmosphere contains a trace amount of CO2 at 0.04% in a gaseous mixture of predominately nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. All life forms on Earth are carbon based. Plants acquire their carbon from gaseous carbon dioxide or CO2 in the atmosphere and convert it to plant cells through photosynthesis. Mammals acquire their carbon by eating plants. Biogenic carbon dioxide is produced naturally by animals, bacteria and the decomposition of organic matter some of which may be deeply sequestered underground and gradually vented. Additional natural CO2 is released into the atmosphere by volcanic activity much of which occurs under deep ocean waters. Anthropogenic CO2 is produced by the use of hydrocarbon fuels and the production of cement. All free or non-contained CO2 on Earth is contained in the hydrosphere or atmosphere in a temperature dependent ratio of approximately 50:1 controlled by Henry’s Law. Additional quantities of CO2 combine with other chemicals primarily in the Earth’s oceans forming stable chemicals governed by Raoult’s law as altered by non-ideal solutions. These fundamental laws of physics and chemistry control the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in real time and falsify the incorrect but often cited “residency time” of atmospheric CO2. The controlling predominate factor of the relative percentage of anthropogenic CO2 in the total atmospheric reservoir of CO2 is Henry’s law and its partition ratio. CO2 is CO2 and the atmosphere treats all sources of CO2 the same regardless of the carbon’s isotope and source.
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