Now let’s figure out how much of this weight is CO2?

Percentages do not add up to 100 due to rounding, approximation, and ignoring water vapor and all minor and trace gases.
*Weight % is found by multiplying the volume (%) by the molecular weight of that gas and dividing by the average molecular weight of the atmosphere.

Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Previously you calculated the weight of the entire atmosphere. Now let’s figure out how much of this weight is CO2?

Question 5: CO2 comprises 0.05 percent (1/20 of 1 %) by weight of the atmosphere (see table 1). What is the weight of CO2 in tonnes in the atmosphere?


Question 6: World CO2 emission from deforestation and burning of fossil fuel exceeds 7.7 billion tonnes per year and is increasing. What percentage of the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (calculated in Question 5) is 7.7 billion (7.7 X 109) tonnes.


Question 7: Thus according to these calculations, we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere at the rate of approximately Answer: __________ percent per year. At this rate, can we account for the observed increase in CO2 in the atmosphere since 1950s? CO2 content in 1959 was measured at 316 ppm (parts per million) and was 380 ppm in 2005. What is the percentage increase in CO2 over this forty-six-year interval .


Question 8: Do you think the CO2produced by human activities stays in the atmosphere? Identify a major “sink”or storehouse, for this anthropogenic (human-generated) CO2.

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