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Atmosphere increasing in size?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by semipro, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I was listening to a piece on the news this morning describing how oil production is up 6% in the US and wondered:
    • If all this conversion of fossil solids and liquids (coal and petroleum) from the earth into gas (CO2+) is increasing the volume of earth's atmosphere?
    • If so, what effects would this create?
    • Is the atmosphere getting taller?
    • Would atmostpheric pressure at the surface increase?
    • Would all the additional CO2 dissolve into the world's waters at higher rates because of the elevated pressure?
    • If so would this result in acidificaiton of these waters? What are the effects of that?

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  2. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    I would think any extra pressure would cause a greater "venting into space" effect. The bad part is that CO2 is fairly heavy, so we lose smaller stuff like hydrogen and helium pretty regularly.
  3. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I don't think it will get any bigger. It's mostly to do with gravity.
  4. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    The additional mass in the atmosphere is pretty insignificant re pressure and height (i.e. <0.01% increase), but a warmer atmosphere expands and gets taller (happening). CO2 is acidifying the (upper layers of the) ocean, and that will continue to accelerate. CW is that corals and shellfish will struggle from the acid, but research is still ongoing.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  5. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    1 mole of CO2 has the same number of oxygen atoms as 1 mole of O2. At any given temperature and pressure, the volume of 1 mole is IIRC constant, hence since fossil fuel burning uses atmospheric oxygen the total volume of the atmosphere shouldn't change.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    One mole of CO2 is 44 grams.
    One mole of 02 is 32 grams.
    Both occupy the same space.
    So our atmosphere becomes denser instead of larger in volume.
    This would increase atmospheric pressure if thickness (height) remains constant.
  7. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    It just struck me that increased atmosheric pressure will result in lower pan evaporation rates.
    These are already in decline due to global dimming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming
    The next century or so is going to be interesting.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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  9. dougstove

    dougstove Member

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    Dissolution of CO2 into the oceans has been (partially) offsetting the CO2 releases from fossil fuel combustion.
    We are just starting to see all sorts of effects on ocean biogeochemistry.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well, it ain't humans that caused that. Nosiree, can't prove that by me. Must be volcanoes and termite farts. There's been a lot of them in the last 6000 yrs since the earth was created.
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Not correct. It's a LOT more complex than that.

    The pressure exerted by a gas is independent of the mass. Pressure is due to the collision of molecules: larger molecules move slower, and this all equals out. Remember Boyle's law and the ideal gas law- there is no mass term in either, only "n", which is independent of gas type.

    Further, remember that CO2 is not the only combustion product. One O2 yields 2 H2O in the process- an entropic increase (of course) and an increase in "n", therefore an increase in the PV term.H2O is only 18- so average those in with your CO2's etc- has the average mass increased?

    There are other combustion products as well as an increase in entropy. These are spontaneous reactions, therefore the Gibbs free energy is NEGATIVE.
    ::DTG= ::DTH - T ::DTS Of course ::DTH is negative and ::DTS positive each contribute to pressure. Higher pressure drives many other equilibria in reverse (Think 2NO2 <--> N2O4 in smog)

    While we're at it- The concept of the atmosphere "pushing down" on you is incorrect; think about it- you would have high pressure on top of you, and none under you. This is the sort of thing that gets beaten out of you after a couple/few P Chem classes :)

    Now- is the gas confined closer to the earth because of higher mass, therefore increasing pressure as more molecules are smashing into you? Maybe
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    The calender is almost out. I'm using up my vacation days.
  13. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I guess I didn't write my response to PDF well. The point that I was trying to make is that even if the volume didn't change (PDF's point) , something else would. You can't take mass from the earth and introduce it into our atmosphere without consequences.
    I agree, its a very complex issue and we're fools to think:
    1) Its a natural climate change event
    2) Its going to be good for us.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with what AP said.:p
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's getting very hard to explain this to our children and grandchildren.

    http://www.upworthy.com/the-speech-no-grandfather-wants-to-give-their-grandchildren
  16. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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