Atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from a number of Natural Sources, mainly the decay of biomass, animal respiration, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, etc.
It is removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis in plants and by dissolving in the surfaces of oceans and lakes; in time it transfers to deeper regions for long term storage in these bodies of water.
Carbon dioxide taken out of the atmosphere by plants to form biomass balances what is returned by respiration and decay of this biomass.
Deforestation for fuel returns more carbon to the atmosphere while reducing the removal by photosynthesis. Even modest additions of carbon dioxide from human activities show up at once in the atmosphere.
Burning fossil fuels releases the carbon stored long ago in coal, lignite, oil and natural gas deposits. We use these fuels to run vehicles, heat homes and businesses and to power our factories.
More carbon dioxide gets into the air in the northern hemisphere because more fossil fuel burning occurs there; the atmosphere itself mixes rather well so that this addition is distributed rapidly. Since the Industrial Revolution began, the level of the carbon dioxide gas has risen by about 30% as a result of human activities.
This is a matter of concern because this Greenhouse Gas interferes with the natural radiation of Earth's surface energy back into space, trapping some of the solar energy here. There is much debate over how this trapped energy will manifest itself, but there can be no doubt it is here; the science is unequivocal. If it is to show up as a general Global Warming, melting ice and warming seas, it may take some years for these effects to develop all over the earth.
If we control the level of carbon dioxide in the air by removal and segregation to prevent re-entry, we can continue to derive the benefits of heat and energy from fossil fuels. It is possible to remove the gas by growing biomass (sugarcane preferred), harvest the whole crop and digest it anaerobically; this yields a lot of methane and two carbon forms for segregation. Done at the calculated area, we continue to derive the benefits of these fuels while keeping carbon dioxide concentration, and the greenhouse effect associated with it, constant.
The process is called AP, for Anthropogenic Peat; economic studies show that the methane cost is very low, and that methane is a much more valuable product than sugar from a given cane crop. This web site discusses the AP proposal, including statistics, graphs, and ability to handle the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide without constricting our energy needs. It also shows how AP can impact favorably on many other problems facing the world.
This is accomplished by:
- growing biomass (sugarcane) to remove the gas from the air,
- converting the whole biomass by anaerobic digestion to methane and segregatable carbon forms (CO2 and digester residue),
- using methane beneficially and segregating the carbon forms above to achieve CO2 level control.
This web site is a brief discussion of this proposal, including statistics and graphs, to describe and demonstrate this process and its viability to tackle the greenhouse effect. Please contact me with your questions.