carbon dioxide

Synonyms

CO2

Definition

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted in several ways. Naturally through the carbon cycle and through human activities like the burning of fossil fuels. These human activities have increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution and these high concentrations of GHG are now contribution to dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

Wikipedia definition:

Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) is a colorless and odorless gas vital to life on Earth. This naturally occurring chemical compound is composed of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. Carbon dioxide exists in Earth's atmosphere as a trace gas at a concentration of about 0.04 percent (400 ppm) by volume. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwater, rivers and lakes, in ice caps and glaciers and also in seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the primary source of carbon in life on Earth and its concentration in Earth's pre-industrial atmosphere since late in the Precambrian was regulated by photosynthetic organisms and geological phenomena. As part of the carbon cycle, plants, algae, and cyanobacteria use light energy to photosynthesize carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen produced as a waste product. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced by all aerobic organisms when they metabolize carbohydrate and lipids to produce energy by respiration. It is returned to water via the gills of fish and to the air via the lungs of air-breathing land animals, including humans. Carbon dioxide is produced during the processes of decay of organic materials and the fermentation of sugars in bread, beer and winemaking. It is produced by combustion of wood, carbohydrates and fossil fuels such as coal, peat, petroleum and natural gas. It is a versatile industrial material, used, for example, as an inert gas in welding and fire extinguishers, as a pressurizing gas in air guns and oil recovery, as a chemical feedstock and in liquid form as a solvent in decaffeination of coffee and supercritical drying. It is added to drinking water and carbonated beverages including beer and sparkling wine to add effervescence. The frozen solid form of CO2, known as "dry ice" is used as a refrigerant and as an abrasive in dry-ice blasting. Carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas. Since the Industrial Revolution, anthropogenic emissions - including the burning of carbon-based fossil fuels and land use changes (primarily deforestation) - have rapidly increased its concentration in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. It is also a major cause of ocean acidification because it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid.

Source: Wikipedia - Carbon dioxide