I was thinking this morning (really!) about a piece of evidence regarding global climate change; that carbon 14 tests of atmospheric carbon dioxide reveal that the "new" carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is composed primarily of carbon 12. It is further inferred that because the proportion of carbon 14 is lower today than, say, a century ago, that the added carbon dioxide--about 20%-25% of the total--is all from burned fossil fuels. Hence, we're making our own greenhouse to cook ourselves, right?
Well, not exactly. Contrast the above with the fact that only 5% of carbon dioxide emissions today are from human sources, and remember that gases mix in the atmosphere. Unless we could prove that plants favor carbon 12 over carbon 14 in photosynthesis (false), a human source for increased carbon should decrease the prevalance of carbon 14 by less than 5%, not 25%.
In other words, there is a large release of stored carbon not related to human activity, possibly from volcanic activity or ocean release. While certainly a large increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is noteworthy and possibly a concern, it doesn't mean we're creating our own greenhouse. Just the opposite, in fact.
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