The Resource The carbon cycle : implications for climate change and Congress, Peter Folger

The carbon cycle : implications for climate change and Congress, Peter Folger

Label
The carbon cycle : implications for climate change and Congress
Title
The carbon cycle
Title remainder
implications for climate change and Congress
Statement of responsibility
Peter Folger
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
Carbon is stored in the atmosphere, in the oceans, in vegetation, and in soils on the land surface. Huge quantities of carbon are actively exchanged between the atmosphere and the other storage pools of carbon. The exchange, or flux, of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface is called the carbon cycle. In sheer magnitude, human activities contribute a relatively small amount of carbon, primarily as carbon dioxide (CO2), to the global carbon cycle. Burning fossil fuels, for example, adds less than 5% to the total amount of CO2 released from the oceans and land surface to the atmosphere each year. If humans add only a small amount of CO2 to the atmosphere each year, why is that contribution important to global climate change? In short, the oceans, vegetation, and soils cannot consume carbon released from human activities quickly enough to stop CO2 from accumulating in the atmosphere. Humans tap the huge pool of fossil carbon for energy, and affect the global carbon cycle by transferring fossil carbon -- which took millions of years to accumulate -- into the atmosphere over a relatively short time span. As a result, the atmosphere contains 100 parts per million more today (380 ppm vs 280 ppm) than prior to the beginning of the industrial revolution. As the CO2 concentration grows it increases the radiative forcing (more incoming radiation energy than outgoing) of the atmosphere, warming the planet. In response, Congress is considering legislative strategies that would reduce U.S. emissions of CO2, or increase the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere, or both. Less than half of the total amount of CO2 released from burning fossil fuels during the past 250 years has remained in the atmosphere because two huge reservoirs for carbon -- the global oceans and the land surface -- take up more carbon than they release. They are net sinks for carbon. If the oceans, vegetation, and soils did not accumulate as much carbon as they do today, then the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase even more rapidly. A key issue to consider is whether these two sinks will continue to store carbon at the same rate over the next few decades. Will the sinks remove more, less, or the same amount of CO2 released from fossil fuel combustion each year? Currently, most of the total global carbon sink is referred to as the unmanaged, or background, carbon cycle. Very little carbon is removed from the atmosphere and stored, or sequestered, by deliberate action. Congress may opt to consider how land management practices, such as afforestation, conservation tillage, and other techniques, might increase the net flux of carbon from the atmosphere to the land surface. How the ocean sink could be managed to store more carbon is unclear. Iron fertilization and deep ocean injection of CO2 are in an experimental stage, and their promise for long-term enhancement of carbon uptake by the oceans is not well understood. Congress may consider incorporating what is known about the carbon cycle into its legislative strategies, and may also evaluate whether the global carbon cycle is sufficiently well understood so that the consequences of long-term policies aimed at mitigating global climate change are fully appreciated
Member of
Cataloging source
EJB
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Folger, Peter
Government publication
federal national government publication
Index
no index present
LC call number
K3593
LC item number
.M45
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • dictionaries
  • bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Library of Congress
Series statement
CRS report for Congress
Series volume
RL34059
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)
  • Global warming
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Climatic changes
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Climatic changes
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse gases
Label
The carbon cycle : implications for climate change and Congress, Peter Folger
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • "RL34059."
  • June 25, 2007
  • Updated periodically
  • Title from PDF title page (viewed Sept. 5, 2007)
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
  • cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Color
mixed
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource (iii, 11 pages).
File format
one file format
Form of item
online
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • c
Note
Hein Online
Specific material designation
remote
System control number
  • (OCoLC)166902806
  • (OCoLC)ocn166902806
Label
The carbon cycle : implications for climate change and Congress, Peter Folger
Publication
Note
  • "RL34059."
  • June 25, 2007
  • Updated periodically
  • Title from PDF title page (viewed Sept. 5, 2007)
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
  • cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Color
mixed
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource (iii, 11 pages).
File format
one file format
Form of item
online
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • c
Note
Hein Online
Specific material designation
remote
System control number
  • (OCoLC)166902806
  • (OCoLC)ocn166902806

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