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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas, slightly soluble in water, and denser than air.

When carbon dioxide was discovered in the 1630s it was originally called 'wild spirit.'

The Lake Nyos disaster occurred on August 21, 1986, when a limnic eruption at Lake Nyos, in northwestern Cameroon, erupted a massive cloud of carbon dioxide (CO2), which descended onto nearby villages, and killed 1,700 people and 3500 livestock through asphyxiation.

Lake Nyos as it appeared eight days after the eruption

Carbon dioxide is produced by living things during the processes of respiration and the decomposition of organic matter, and it is used up during photosynthesis.

Measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere exceed 400 parts per million, the highest level since the Pliocene epoch.

31 billion tons of carbon dioxide are released into Earth's atmosphere every day.

An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes, increasing ocean acidity.

There is about 50 times as much carbon dioxide in the oceans as there is in the atmosphere.

Each tree can absorb 4.8 pounds of carbon dioxide —in a year, an acre of trees absorbs equal the amount of CO2 produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.

An acre of corn is as beneficial to the environment as an acre of forest trees. Both have large leaf areas that absorb lots of carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the entire summer period.

A Diet Coke and Mentos eruption is a reaction between the carbonated beverage Diet Coke and Mentos mints that causes the liquid to spray out of its container. The mints cause nucleation that releases dissolved carbon dioxide so fast it pushes the liquid up and out of the bottle, in what has been described as an eruption or geyser.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2013.

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