The Biggest Twitch - and Carbon

Subject: The Biggest Twitch - and Carbon
From: (Andrew Taylor)
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 19:27:02 +1100
On Wed, Jan 02, 2008 at 10:40:03AM +1100, Carl Clifford wrote:
> Probably the best thing that Carbon Nazis could do to assist in
> reducing CO2 emissions is to stop breathing, but then there is the
> problem with the CO2 emissions generated by bodily decomposition. Any
> suggestions on solving this problem?

A common misconception.  If your weight is stable your body is carbon
neutral. There is no net flux of carbon from your body to the environment.
Your intake of carbon in food & drink balances outgoing carbon in your
breath and other emissions.

Biological fluxes like breathing or decomposition are not the primary
concern - although land use changes do contribute.  The issue is the
rapid transfer of large amounts of fossil carbon (coal, oil, ,..)
from geological reservoirs into the atmosphere changing its radiative
properties, with more concerns that as this carbon dissolves from
the atmosphere into the world's oceans it will change their chemical
properties with for example, drastic impacts on the world's coral reefs.


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