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How to Reduce Co2 in atmosphere Significantly

Posted in Scholar Ideas by paibiopai on January 6, 2011

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 390 ppm (parts per million) by volume as of 2010. This data shows it rises relatively quickly, and even the rise grows quickly. The average growth for the period 2000-2009 was 2.0 ppm per year. Interpreting this data as a simple exponential, the current rise-rate can be estimated to be 2.20±0.01 ppm/yr as of the beginning of 2011, a doubling from 41.7±0.5 years ago. In 2009, the rise-rate was 1.6 ppm/yr. Carbon dioxide is essential to photosynthesis in plants and other photoautotrophs, and is also a prominent greenhouse gas. Despite its relatively small overall concentration in the atmosphere, CO2 is an important component of Earth’s atmosphere because it absorbs and emits infrared radiation, thereby playing a role in the greenhouse effect.

Planting trees, forestation, and many actions have been taken to overcome these problems. BUT, everyone here should involve science regarding this matter. Plantation like palms, which are C4 plant, seems to be useful, due to its photosynthesis characteristic, to reduce CO2 in greater number.

So what is C4 mechanism ?

C4 and CAM overcome the tendency of the enzyme RuBisCO to wastefully fix oxygen rather than carbon dioxide in what is called photorespiration. This is achieved by using a more efficient enzyme to fix CO2 in mesophyll cells and shuttling this fixed carbon via malate or oxaloacetate to bundle-sheath cells. In these bundle-sheath cells, RuBisCO is isolated from atmospheric oxygen and saturated with the CO2 released by decarboxylation of the malate or oxaloacetate. These additional steps, however, require more energy in the form of ATP. Because of this extra energy requirement, C4 plants are able to more efficiently fix carbon in only certain conditions, with the more common C3 pathway being more efficient in other conditions.

It seems plausible that the proliferation of C4 plants would have eventually affected the earth’s climate in such a way that they would have reduced CO2 in the atmosphere to a level where global cooling occurred.  This cooler climate would have favored the C3 plants again, as C4 plants require higher temperatures to grow efficiently.

It’s seems likely that an equilibrium between C4 and C3 plants became established, whereby CO2 was the dynamic factor.  When CO2 is high, during periods of global warming, C4 plants are favored, and proliferate.  Then as C4 plants begin to scrub the atmosphere, they hold an advantage over C3 plants as CO2 levels decline, being able to extract it to a much lower atmospheric level than C3 plants.  Eventually, as the planet cools again, C3 plants are favored again, as they can metabolize CO2 in lower temperatures.

Over 8000 species of angiosperms have developed adaptations which minimize the losses to photorespiration. They all use a supplementary method of CO2 uptake which forms a 4-carbon molecule instead of the two 3-carbon molecules of the Calvin cycle. The amount of CO2 uptake by C4 plants are greater than other carbon fixation mechanism plants. These include the food crops maize, sugar cane, millet, and sorghum, and Palms also coconut tree.

So, be wise to take act planting C4 plants in our yards, along the sidewalks in main roads, and in any other places.

Plant trees for better world !!


3 Responses

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  1. tejo said, on January 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Planting trees and changing the landscape with forestation won’t suffice, because the people life style also need to be changed. Human activities is proven as the most dominant factor that has risen carbon dioxide in atmosphere since Industrial Revolution Age.

  2. pai said, on January 10, 2011 at 8:09 am


    (fire in the hole, -red.)

  3. Nanta said, on January 10, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I always plant a C4 on a bomb site B…

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