View Full Version : CO2 Production?

30th Mar 2008, 16:02
As someone who is getting a little fed up of seeing pictures of women with 3+ kids slapping stickers on 4WD's can anyone tell me what is the average lifetime output of CO2 of a Human being?:confused:

30th Mar 2008, 16:32
Probably very little, since we are only filtering Oxygen out of the air....which is why what we breathe out has a higher CO2 content.

The gas that comes out of the other end though contains Methane CH4 which one is told is also a greenhouse gas.

I suppose if our bodies were left to decompose on our deaths there would be some gaseous products, including CO2?

30th Mar 2008, 17:43
Hi BusyB

We burn food fuel in oxygen to give us our energy - and we make Carbon Dioxide in the process.

How much energy do we expend in a lifetime? I would estimate about enough to push an average 4x4 through one year's mileage.

So by my rough estimate, giving birth at nature's maximum rate would be about as damaging as running a 4x4.

30th Mar 2008, 20:12
Oh dear. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a natural constituent of the atmosphere and the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere has varied over the eons. There has been much more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past than in the present without there being any runaway warming. It's stuff and nonsense.

30th Mar 2008, 21:51
Human exhalation of carbon is part of a system that is essentially "closed" over the short-term - i.e. we only exhale carbon that was taken from the atmosphere quite recently by plants (which may have then been eaten by animals which we eat). So it does not really have a net effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

And if a person is putting on weight then they are essentially sequestering carbon in their fat stores!!!

It’s all very different from digging up carbon that was sequestered in coal or oil millions of years ago and pumping that into the atmosphere. This can have a net effect on atmospheric CO2 levels in the short term.

But - how much carbon do human exhale? Well it's got to come from your food, so if your weight is stable it's got to weight less than what you eat each day. So as a guestimate I'd say a couple of pounds a day.

31st Mar 2008, 00:32
Wingswinger - mother nature is in deed very good at dealing with change, given time.

The extinction of the dinosaurs was an abrupt change between two stable scenarios. There was a lot of collateral damage whilst mother nature established the new equilibrium following the event that triggered a big environmental change.

The couple of hundred years over which climate and environmental change is now happening is not enough for animal and plant species to evolve and/or relocate whilst retaining a viable equilibrium. So there will be collateral damage again.

Hopefully, we know enough to be able to manage this transition and limit this damage. Otherwise mother earth could become like the other planets - sterile rock and gas.

Solid Rust Twotter
31st Mar 2008, 06:37
...The extinction of the dinosaurs was an abrupt change between two stable scenarios....

Eh? How abrupt?

31st Mar 2008, 07:59
Well, this one time, there was dinosaurs, and then the next thing, there wasn't. Still aren't. Shoot, must have been one big abruptness, is all what I can say, huh.

Tuatara made it through, and so did the sharks. Maybe it was only a partial abruptness.

Still think we should be clubbing Pandas, if only to save them from starving to death when all the bamboo runs out as the coming ice age kicks in.

Thinks: when will Peak Bamboo begin to be undeniable, even to the sceptics? And why do some people spell skeptics with a k?

We should be told.


31st Mar 2008, 12:44
Thanks guys,

However thinking about it a human's consumption must also include an amount due to all the power and products used by an average westerner in their lifetime. To produce 4 heavy users in the west as opposed to in a 3rd world country must make a large impact.

31st Mar 2008, 14:26
I don't know about CO2, but I can nominate some oxygen thieves!;)

galaxy flyer
31st Mar 2008, 20:44
Sort of related, China is adding an additional "France" in terms of electrical output every year--90% of it using coal. And I'll bet India is, or soon will be, doing the same thing. You could try holding your breath to compensate.

Any wonder why President Clinton refused to submit Kyoto to the US Senate for ratification and the Senate voted 95-0 to reject any carbon agreement that didn't include China and India? And Bush gets all the heat for rejecting it.

BTW, such environmentalists as Democrats Kerrey, Kennedy and Feinstein and Republican McCain voted against it.


2nd Apr 2008, 03:27
Good idea to focus on the Mothers choosing to have 3 kids, and not on the 4x4.

Lets bring in a popullution (sic) tax.
Anything more than two children (per couple) is mathematically greedy.....:):):)

In my view, we will run out of resource (and maybe space in some parts) due to over population a LONG time before man-made CO2 has any lasting effect on the planet.

2nd Apr 2008, 07:35
Facts: Carbon dioxide is not the major greenhouse gas (water vapour is).

Carbon dioxide accounts for less than ten percent of the greenhouse effect, as carbon dioxide's ability to absorb heat is quite limited.

Only about 0.03 percent of the Earth's atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide (nitrogen, oxygen, and argon constitute about 78 percent, 20 percent, and 0.93 percent of the atmosphere, respectively).

The sun, not a gas, is primarily to "blame" for global warming -- and plays a very key role in global temperature variations as well.

From http://www.nationalcenter.org/TSR032204.html

2nd Apr 2008, 07:53
Hello everyone. This is only my 2nd post.

I don’t know what kind of professional pilots you are, but my heavens didn’t any of your instructors ever teach you to trust your instruments when flying blind into the dark night with mountainous terrain in the area?

In this case the instruments (i.e. the scientists whom are paid by a wide variety of sources to study the problem) have stated that:

1) CO2 is indeed a greenhouse gas that poses special problems because of its persistence in the stratosphere, unlike water vapor or the relatively small SO2emissions from volcanoes. You might go back to physics 101 and do the math, or do it in your backyard greenhouse with tomatoes. I did this experiment using my enclosed aquarium as a class experiment to teach my students. Yes, Arrhenius was correct about the basic physics of the problem. The idea that raising CO2 concentrations would not raise temperature is just silly. For you pilot-minded people, this is kind of like ignoring your turn-and-bank indicator.

2) The anthropogenic source of said additional atmospheric CO2 can be verified by the mapping the concentration of C14/C13 isotopes together with the published estimates of CO2 production over time. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to my own globe-trotting Lockheed SR-71 and associated mass spectrometer over 50 years. But I do tend to trust results presented by NASA, who presented them long before any of these data were presented as being “controversial” in the global-warming blogosphere. This is kind of like paying attention to your rate of knots as indicated…you deal with what you have to work with.

3) Now, watching the altimeter. As someone who works as a professional conservation biologist (never government or industry-employed) and has done so for over 25 years, I see evidence for global warming every day. I’m not talking about the migration patterns of American robins here. I’m talking about the potential extinction of species. So as a practicing and published scientist, the whole global warming issue is important to me. Having downloaded the freely-available data and models, running them, and making some slight modifications, I will say that I am completely convinced. This is due to the robust nature of the data, by the weight of evidence, and by the longevity of the original hypothesis.

The often-posted corollary “global warming is a crock of s__t” seems not to have a shred of evidence behind it. So for all those who subscribe to the latter perspective…

Well I hope I never fly with you…

3rd Apr 2008, 11:25
Where is the actual Scientific Proof?

Lots of Computer Modeling, little actual Science.

Look back in History [ ie Recorded REALITY] and see no ice to impede Chinese Junks crossing the Arctic, no ice for Vikings, North West Passage open in the early 1900's etc. Where were the CO2 levels then?

And way back, when there was 20 times the atmospheric CO2, was the Earth frozen solid???

Apparently so.

" Five hundred million years ago carbon dioxide was 20 times more prevalent than today, decreasing to 4-5 times during the Jurassic period and then maintained a slow decline until the industrial revolution, with a particularly swift reduction occurring 49 million years ago"

That must have been when all the Dinosaurs turned their headlamps and heating off and switched to low energy lighting!

I hope we never meet, anywhere. :rolleyes:

Captain Smithy
3rd Apr 2008, 11:52
But hasn't the very dubious link between CO2 and Temperature, as lauded in Al Bore's A Convenient Lie, already been proven scientifically to be completely false?

And where is Global Warming's missing heat? And what about the shrinking ice caps, which seem to be expanding? :confused:

3rd Apr 2008, 12:37
stagger: And if a person is putting on weight then they are essentially sequestering carbon in their fat stores!!!

I'm doing my bit for the environment by drinking my beer quicker, before all those CO2 bubbles have a chance to escape.

3rd Apr 2008, 13:44
Doesnt that just make you burp lots then and you are back to square one in terms of oral CO2 exhaust or something scientific?