Carbon Sinks

I was thinking about carbon sinks and the like in the universe. On our planet, it took about 5 billion years for life to get to the point that it could communicate with the universe. At this time, a spectacularly large amount of carbon is tied up in limestone and hydrocarbons. Consider what would have happened without humans. Eventually, the amount of carbon, naturally sequestured, would have reached the point that photosynthesis would no longer be possible. I think, prior to man, the planet was very close to that point. If CO2 levels drop to the point that photosynthesis stops, then life on the planet is hooped. Especially the more evolved forms of life, such as man. Could this be why there are no other civilizations in the universe? Death from lack of CO2?

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About John Eggert

A minerals processing engineer in Canada. A cynic by nature, but open to being convinced!
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2 Responses to Carbon Sinks

  1. John, I think that you are assuming that CO2 contributes to climate and that existence of plant life has lead to the reduction of CO2 (which is very doubtful) and that the mammal man has caused an increase in CO2 in the last 50 years which has caused warming and greater plant life.
    Have you thought that CO2 is actually irrelevent to climate. After all it has been found that temperature leads CO2 both in short term (eg recently Dr Spencer & a few years ago Beck (http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/realCO2-1.htm) & a good look at the paper by W Kreutz 1941 (in German can be downloaded from Beck’s website) – 6 months to 5 yrs) and long term (ice core analyses -800 to 1000 years). No one knows what causes ice ages which result in increased absorption of CO2 into the oceans but were life continues.

    • John Eggert says:

      I think you underestimate the ability of animal (not plant) life to sequestor CO2. You only need to look at the limestone deposits around the world to understand how much carbon is tied up in carbonates. The masses are absolutely stunning. Fossil fuels are a trivial component compared to them.

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