INCREASE OF EXCHANGEABLE CARBON IN THE EARTH'S RESERVOIRS FROM COMBUSTION OF FOSSIL FUELS
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The distribution of excess carbon dioxide produced during and after the consumption of all fossil fuel is determined with the aid of a four- reservoir model of carbon exchange as developed previously for carbon-14. From estimates of the total hydrocarbon fuel resources originally on earth, it is calculated that about 3000 billion tons of carbon ultimately may be released to the atmosphere from this source. Carbon excess in the surface layers of the ocean reaches a peak a few years later than the atmosphere and retains somewhat less of the excess carbon at equilibrium, while the deep sea eventually absorbs over 90 percent of the excess carbon released by fossil fuel consumption. It was found that the results are highly sensitive to the assumptions as to future fossil fuel consumption rates, but that the atmospheric carbon concentration is not critically affected by the amount of direct exchange between the atmosphere and deep sea.
- Air Pollution and Control