Introduction – Carbon dioxide gas is an important constituent of air. The main sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide such as volcanic activities, respiration, the decay of living organisms, and combustion of fuels. During the eruption of volcanoes, carbon dioxide is released from the interior of the earth which goes into the atmosphere. Animals and plants are living organisms that give out carbon dioxide during the process of respiration and decay which mixes in the air.
The combustion of fossil fuels such as wood, coal, and petroleum are also main sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The main consumers of atmospheric carbon dioxide are the ocean and plants. The green plants use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for preparing food with the process of photosynthesis. Ocean dissolve carbon dioxide in their water and convert it into carbonates.
Effects of an increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing every year due to industrialization and man’s activities. Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air, therefore the concentration of carbon dioxide gas is higher near the surface of the earth. The carbon dioxide absorbs the infra-red radiations, which is reflected from the earth and heats the atmosphere that increases the temperature of the atmosphere increases is known as the Green-House Effect. Due to the green-house effect produced by the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the average temperature of the earth has increased by 1-degree celsius.
Researchers have predicted that when the amount of carbon dioxide is continuously increased in the air and the resulting greenhouse effect, the temperature of the earth rises by 3.6 degrees celsius. If the temperature of the earth increases then glaciers will melt and the huge amount of water rises the sea-level about 100 meters and will cause destruction all-around.
Due to the greenhouse effect produced by atmospheric carbon dioxide, the global temperature increases. There is also a possibility of the recurrence of ice-age due to the amount of dust particles increases in the atmosphere or air. Due to an increase in the amounts of dust particles in the air, less amount of sun-rays come to the surface of the earth that reduces the temperature of the earth.
Effect of carbon dioxide and dust particles increases in the atmosphere – The carbon dioxide is present in the air that absorbs the infra-red rays which are reflected by the earth due to which the temperature of earth increases and it becomes very hot. The dust particles are present in the air that obstacles the path of sun-rays reaching the earth so, the temperature of the earth reduce and it becomes very cold.
In other words, we can say that if an increase the amount of dust particles in the atmosphere the earth becomes very cold whereas the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increases, the earth will become hotter and is also enhance the possibility of the recurrence of ice-age because the amount of dust particles increases in the atmosphere or air so, less amount of sun-rays come to the surface of earth that reduces the temperature of earth. Due to the difference in the nature of dust particles and carbon dioxide, there is a tendency for an equilibrium to set between the cooling and heating of earth.
Nature maintains a balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air – Nature maintains a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the several activities of the living organisms such as animals and plants.
During the process of photosynthesis, the plants take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and return oxygen to the atmosphere. During the process of respiration, the decay of dead bodies of animals and plants or combustion of fuels, oxygen is taken from the atmosphere and carbon dioxide is returned to the atmosphere. Due to these two opposite natural processes, a balance is maintained between the oxygen and the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.