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Re: CO2 and it's sources

David A. Youngker answered some of my comments and raised some new

> From: Scott Hieber
> > Where the CO2 comes from and what is the stable
> > level of concentration are two different things...
> Indeed they are, Scott. And since it was put forth that organic
> activity
> "explains" why we normally read 2-3 ppm in our tanks, my question
> basically
> reads:
> "How, then, does one explain those same levels where organic activity
> (or
> even the hope of it) is _absent_?"
> > If the water is exposed to air, the CO2 will pass
> > off to the air until the level in the water is in
> > balance with that in the air...
> Hmm...would that be what's known as "equilibrium"?...

Yes, once the states of the water and air are stable.

Anyhow, what I was suggesting was that the level in the water tank
would be the same whether there was organinc activity or not because it
would approach equilibrium with the atmosphere.  I think now that
George et al have made the point that the atmosphere has too little CO2
to bring water to that to 2-3 ppm -- I might have read them wrong. 
Maybe that was your point, also --  I'll have to reread the old post. 
But if the air doesn't support the level of CO2, then it must come from
what we put in the tank (what we add (fish, food, plants, CO2)) -- as
Sam Spade said in the movie version of the Maltese Falcon, "There's no
third way."

> > But the water can pick up CO2 from other sources,
> > animal respiration being one, and unicellular
> > oganic activity being another -- in fact, isn't
> > that how much (most?? all??)CO2 got into the earth's
> > atmosphere in the first place?
> Sorry, but volcanic activity is the original source. And I believe
> it's
> still the most prevalent...

It's a source I neglected to mention and I stand corrected.  But is it
widely held to be the most prevalent source of CO2 or of carbon?  For
CO2, I thought volcanic activity about tied with fossil fuel emmisions,
both natural and unnatural, depending on which scientist you were
reading.  Isn't theory for the volcanic related process something like
carbon compounds come out and CO2 is formed and released into
waterways, the oceans, and the atmosphere by erosion due to nonbiotic
and biotic chemical action?

Scott H.

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