The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing over the past century as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that plays a significant role in climate. The increase in carbon dioxide is correlated with changes in climate that have climate scientists concerned. The graph shown here illustrates the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from 1860 to the present. Study the graph and answer the questions that follow.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration from 1850 to present.
a. By how much did the level of carbon dioxide (in ppmv) increase between 1880 and the present day?
b. What is the percent increase in the level of carbon dioxide between 1880 and the present day?
c. Assuming that the total volume of air in the atmosphere around Earth is 5.1 * 109 km3 and that the concentration of CO2 is uniform throught this volume, what is the present-day volume of CO2 in the atmosphere?
d. Determine the percentage average yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 from 1960 to the present day.
e. If atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase at the rate you determined in part d, what will its concentration (in ppmv) be in the year 2040?