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> > 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.
Actually, it's not really even close. Geological sources of CO2 also
include weathering of limestone, but produce on the order of 0.1-0.2 Gt a
year, compared to fossil fuel burning of around 5.4-6.1 Gt/yr and carbon
released from land clearing 0.4-2.3 Gt/yr, of which 3.5Gt seems to stay in
the atmosphere, and presumably most of the rest is going into a sink, either
in the north Atlantic or Pacific or aggrading forests of North America.
That's still unclear, although we know that a big chunk of burning carbon is
staying in the atmosphere. Compare that too photosynthesis and respiration
fluxes of around 120 Gt/year globally. Of course, respiration has
photosynthesis to balance it, and unfortunately the anthropogenic sources
don't really have a corresponding sink to balance those fluxes. The IPCC
(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports are a good source of
such data. Ultimately, though, all CO2 is from geological sources over the
last 4.5 billion years, but as a player in the overall current cycle it's a
However, I suspect using volcanic or direct fossil fuel sources in our
tanks might pose certain logistical difficulties ;-)