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Old 12-07-2016, 04:49 PM
 
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If the level of carbon dioxide is reduced through carbon capture and other means, wouldn't this kill off plants and trees thereby reducing the level of oxygen in our atmosphere?

EdX
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:08 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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In other words: if plants need CO2 for their growth, then more of it should be better, no?
Not really, and not long term - it might work under controlled conditions, inside of greenhouses, but plants cannot live on CO2 alone.
Once you increase one substance that plants need, you automatically increase their requirements for other substances. Also warmer Earth will have an increase in deserts and other arid lands which would reduce the area available for crops.

CO2 enhanced plants will need extra water both to maintain their larger growth, and to compensate for greater moisture evaporation as the heat increases. Rainwater is not sufficient, and landwater will dry out.
Higher concentration of CO2 might cause a reduction of photosynthesis, and nutritional quality in certain of plants.
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:12 PM
 
432 posts, read 237,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
In other words: if plants need CO2 for their growth, then more of it should be better, no?
Not really, and not long term - it might work under controlled conditions, inside of greenhouses, but plants cannot live on CO2 alone.
Once you increase one substance that plants need, you automatically increase their requirements for other substances. Also warmer Earth will have an increase in deserts and other arid lands which would reduce the area available for crops.

CO2 enhanced plants will need extra water both to maintain their larger growth, and to compensate for greater moisture evaporation as the heat increases. Rainwater is not sufficient, and landwater will dry out.
Higher concentration of CO2 might cause a reduction of photosynthesis, and nutritional quality in certain of plants.
My point is this can lead to reduced oxygen in the atmosphere that animals need to live on.

EdX
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Old 12-07-2016, 06:19 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Depends how much you will reduce.
Right now, there is so much CO2, lots of plants can't absorb anymore. Some reduction would bring better balance. A drastic reduction would impact plants life.
Photosynthesis uses the energy from the sun's rays to split CO2 (taken from the atmosphere) into C and O2, releasing oxygen (O2) back to the atmosphere. Carbon that was released from plant matter has recombined with oxygen creating carbon dioxide which then becomes available in the atmosphere for new plant growth—completing the cycle of life.

Right now about 25% of CO2 produced by human activity is absorbed by plants, and about another 25% is absorbed by oceans. The rest continues to accumulate in the atmosphere.
The uptake of CO2 by the oceans and by ecosystems is expected to slow down gradually (oversaturation). Oceans, are already becoming more acidic. And as the oceans acidify, we know it becomes harder to stuff even more CO2 into the oceans...
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Last edited by elnina; 12-07-2016 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:09 AM
 
16,568 posts, read 14,016,237 times
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Originally Posted by education explorer View Post
If the level of carbon dioxide is reduced through carbon capture and other means, wouldn't this kill off plants and trees thereby reducing the level of oxygen in our atmosphere?

EdX
No one is talking about removing ALL of the CO2 in the atmosphere, just a portion of that added due to human activity. There is currently far more CO2 in the atmosphere than can be absorbed by the carbon cycle through short term sinks like plants.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:10 AM
 
16,568 posts, read 14,016,237 times
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Originally Posted by education explorer View Post
My point is this can lead to reduced oxygen in the atmosphere that animals need to live on.

EdX
The bigger threat to atmospheric o2 levels is the loss of phytoplankton through ocean acidification. Phytoplankton account for nearly half of atmospheric o2.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:18 AM
 
Location: New England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by education explorer View Post
If the level of carbon dioxide is reduced through carbon capture and other means, wouldn't this kill off plants and trees thereby reducing the level of oxygen in our atmosphere?

EdX
CO2 indicates life. Things are breathing, and produce (or consume depending on type of plant) CO2. CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas. So weak the earth has endured ice ages with much higher CO2 levels than we have today. 1100-1200 PPM of CO2 is preferred by plants. At 350 plants are starved for CO2, crop yields are down as a result.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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There was a study a few years back (in Colorado?) where CO2 levels were adjusted within a controlled environment greenhouse. IIRC, the changes up or down were detrimental in general, with certain plants faring better than others in each case. You would have to go back 15 or 20 years to dig out the study. It MAY have been in Scientific American.

You can get some sense of the potential when looking at the tree lines on tall mountains. At one level conifers begin to dominate, and those die off as the atmosphere gets less dense, leaving lichens and other simple and robust survivors.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:54 AM
 
16,568 posts, read 14,016,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
There was a study a few years back (in Colorado?) where CO2 levels were adjusted within a controlled environment greenhouse. IIRC, the changes up or down were detrimental in general, with certain plants faring better than others in each case. You would have to go back 15 or 20 years to dig out the study. It MAY have been in Scientific American.

You can get some sense of the potential when looking at the tree lines on tall mountains. At one level conifers begin to dominate, and those die off as the atmosphere gets less dense, leaving lichens and other simple and robust survivors.
The reason trees are not on the tops of mountains, and lichens are, is not due to atmospheric density, but rather the lack of soil, the exposure to the elements, and typically temperature variation.
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