Essay Carbon Dioxide Is The Most Important Greenhouse Gas

1307 Words Apr 16th, 2016 null Page
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important greenhouse gas, contributing to 60% of the enhanced greenhouse effect. The atmosphere now contains more carbon that at any other time in the last 2 million years. Each sink of the carbon cycle will change as this carbon makes its way through the cycle. The global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions also accelerates the rate at which carbon is released. Permafrost contains rich deposits of carbon and large amounts are released as a result of their thawing due to global warming. In addition, due to global climate changes, changes in the distribution of plant and animal species and vegetation types due to habitat loss are occurring which directly impacts the carbon cycle as it changes the way matter is cycled through an ecosystem. Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by plant photosynthesis and carbon fixed into plants is then cycled through plant tissues, litter and soil. Removal of these carbon stores reduces the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere and increases the amount released. Warming exerts a direct control on the CO2 exchange between the land and atmosphere because both photosynthesis and respiration are sensitive to changes in temperature. For every 1°C of positive global temperature anomaly, there is a decrease of 4 PgC yr–1 of the global land CO2 sink.
This enhanced greenhouse effect results in ocean warming with the upper 75m warming on an average of 0.11°C per decade. More…

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