Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Photizo, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    hee hee.. do you think minimum standards are funny...? ( I am assuming the 19.5 % O2 for enclosed spaces is set by occupational health scientists)
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    you are suggesting an O2:CO2 exchange ratio of -1:+1 which I believe to be erroneous.

    JFJ research station 3580 meters:
    Over time, the O2:CO2exchange ratio for JFJ, which is much less exposed to local or regional anthropogenic influence because of its elevation and location, was -2.1+0.1 for the years 2001-2002 and -4.1+0.1 for the years 2003-2006.
    Puy research station 1480 meters:
    At Puy, the ratio was -4.2+0.1 for the period 2001-2003, and -7.3+0.1 for 2003-2006.
    These ratios (found) are completely out of line with what could be expected from fossil fuels, and other data indicate that there has been no significant change in fossil fuel emission rates during the period 2003-2006.

    So perhaps we take a more extreme look and work with the -7.3 for 2006

    ( I think that is what the data is tired sorry!)
    Note also this is for years 2003-2006

    NO other data is available to the public as far as I know, from both testing stations.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I do not think Prof. Wallace Broecker has taken into consideration what percentage is required to maintain human beings.
    He may be saying that depletion is ridiculous as in large scale depletion and true this may be the case.

    But does he allow for the sensitivities of the human race to oxygen pressure and how even relatively minor changes to that pressure can have debilitating effects especially flowing on to areas and regions that already have significant O2 depletion due to air pollution and CO2 generally?
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No I don't think that O2 and CO2 "exchange." I think that when an atom of carbon, C, is burned (by oxygen) one molecule of oxygen (O2) is chemical bound to the C to form on molecule of CO2. Thus if you burn 500 carbon atoms you reduce the free oxygen by 500 of the O2 molecules and produce 500 of the CO2 molecules. I was 100% correct when I said:

    "An increase in the CO2 by 4600ppm will bring the total to the long term dangerous level: 5,000ppm. If done by more burning of fossil fuels, the O2 concentration would fall from 200,000 to 195,400ppm. A drop of 4600 / 200,000 or in percent, of 46 /20 = 2.3% "

    I will note that O2 is able to oxidize many thing, so there are other factors at work than fossil fuel buring that can reduce the O2 concentration. Thus it is falling more than CO2 production. Also The increasing CO2 concentration is make oceans more acidic and oceans (the photoplanton and even larger plants in shallow waters like kelp in them) were the source of half the newly released O2 but the acid is killing a significate part of the prior continuous suppy of O2. That may be, not sure, the main reason O2 concentration is falling. - Certainly your focus on jet plane fuel burning as main cause is pure typical QQ nonsense.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    not really I was just staggered to think that over 23 billion US tons of O2 are possibly being burned on an annual basis by over 8500 aircraft in the air at any given time... just amazed I guess... and worth having a more serious look at IMO
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No to your now bold text. Anyone intelligent looks first at the bigger terms, not those that have negligible effect on the oxygen concentrations.

    For example, atmospheric O2 concentration is falling as the now more acid ocean are releasing many times less O2 than air planes are destroying - As oceans make (or at least until recently did) slightly more than half all the new O2 (land plants slight less than 50%) ocean acidification is at least 100 times more important (quick guess) in lowering the O2 concentration than airplanes are. My "quick guess" is based on belief that 99% of fossil fuel oxidation is done at ground level.

    Also note that people living in Denver have air pressure of 620mm of Hg, not the 760mm of sea level ("standard atmosphere" model assumed as of course the air pressure varies every where. Even at one location, the air pressure varies by more than 4%! If a 2.3% drop were bad for health, all would be quite sick when a "low-pressure" front came by.

    People in Denver have average air pressure of {760- 620)/760 = 82% * of sea level or an 18% reduction, which is 7.8 times more that the 2.3% reduction in O2 if so much fossil fuel were burnt than CO2 poisoning would be a very serious problem for all and leathal for all dwelling in modern cities as the 5000ppm is a global average for the CO2 produced.

    You really need to cease with these nonsense posts (or at least make claims more difficult for me to shoot down with simple calculations of the facts.)

    * it takes 4 minutes in boiling water to make "3 minute" soft boiled egg in Denver.
    Standard atmosphere model is here:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2015
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    well according to your 1:1 ratio that 23 billion Tons of O2 converting to CO2 would mean a hell of a lot more CO2 tonnage... ( CO2 is heavier than O2 I believe)
    so we have a net result of :
    -23 billion tons of Oxygen a year with >+23 billion tons of CO2


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    O2 32 gpm
    CO2 44 gpm
    CO2 is 1.375 times heavier than O2
    so 23 billion tons of O2 = 31 billion tons of CO2 when converted.

    Just having a go at my calculator... been years...
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No even more as molecular weight of O2 is 32 and carbon atom is 12. So weight of CO2 produced by using 23E9 tons of O2 is: (44/32)23E9 tons.

    To see how unimportant 23E9 tons is, find the total tonnage of oil produced globally each year. Call it carbon (as we are neglecting the huge tonnage of coal burnt).
    I.e. increase that oil tonnage by factor of (44/12) to get the very low still estimate of the CO2 annual release.

    PS Exposing your nonsense takes too much of my time - I'll let Billvon, Iceaure, etc. take over for a while.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2015
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Of course he knows. I know. Billy T knows. People who live in Denver and Leadville know. Pilots know. Climbers know. Doctors know. The ppO2 required for human health is very, very well understood, and is also understood by people throughout the world who live from sea level to 10,000 feet. Over 140 million people live above 8000 feet, which is a ppO2 of 118mm hg.
    Good, we agree there.
    Again, that is nonsense. You are claiming that human beings are "debilitated" by changes of a few percent but are fine with changes of ten percent or more. That is, simply put, absurd. Do the math; it will tell you a lot more than reading pseudoscience in the Guardian.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yes I do think it is funny that "occupational health scientists" would claim that everyone in Denver are all either fainting or dead!

    Have you ever been to Denver? If so, did you observe that all the people there are fainting or dead?
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    They say that regardless of altitude the % of individual gases stays the same? (excepting ultra high extremes perhaps)


    At sea level O2 is 23 % then at 6000 meters it is still 23%
    true / false?
    In Denver (1609 meters) the O2 in the atmosphere would still be 23%
    true /false?
    If true then :
    If that percentage of O2 was only 21% at sea level then Denver would record 21% as well...
    so reduction of % at sea level will display at any altitude ( exception to ultra high perhaps )
    A reduction recorded of O2% at JUP or FJF research stations would reflect at all altitudes ( assuming minor corruption of data due to local conditions)

    So whilst O2 "quantity" may reduce at high altitudes ( Denver ) and is tolerable due to acclimatization of the population the percentage O2 in the ambient air available is the same as at sea level.

    Do you see the difference (context) in what we are referring to or do I need to go on....

    Have I got it correct so far?
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    according to wiki we have
    N2 78%
    O2 21%
    Ar 1%
    CO2 .04%
    and so on

    if say we had a situation where
    O2 stayed the same but CO2 increased by 5% and Nitrogen decreased by that 5 %

    N2 73%
    O2 21%
    CO2 5.04%
    what would happen to Human breathing? My guess it would struggle but survive.

    However if we reduce oxygen and trade off with Nitrogen, and keep CO2 steady.
    N2 82%
    O2 16%
    CO2 .04%

    what would happen to human breathing? My guess we would be all deceased.

    The research of FJF and JUP stations 2006 indicates a significant (to human health) drop in O2 percentage (of a mix that amounts to 100%)
    and it is the percentage or ratio of oxygen to other gas that makes the difference. IMO
    The percentage of O2 in the air we breath is critical to our respiratory health not just the quantity of O2
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes, essentially; however, my guess is we would not die with O2 only 16% - just could not do much effort. Of course there is more CO2 near major release point (coal fired power plant or car clogged LA on day with little breeze, etc.), but in general any volume with more X will be losing it to surrounding air faster than X is entering that volume from the surrounding air. This is also why a cubic meter at sea level has the same percent of X at sea level as one a mile higher.

    As I discussed in prior post all molecules in any small volume have the same temperature (average KE) until the mean free path between collisons lets the lighter, and thus faster, ones lose more KE as they climb against gravity in segments of parabolic arcs between collisions. I.e. the molecules they due collide with have a lesser (or greater if going down) average KE as temperature decreases with altitude.

    Also "adaptation" is not of much importance in Denver or lower cities. My 2nd daughter's first job was in Denver - I visited her for less than a week; as I recall, main thing I noticed was the city air was more polluted than I expected. For some reason, I expected (falsely) clean "mountain air." While there, in Colorado, I climbed to top of "Pike's Peak" and definitely noticed the lower O2 concentration, but did not get "air sick."

    Mt Everst's "Serpas" tolerate lower O2 pressure, but how much that is "adaptation" by the individual and how much is selection over generations, I don't know. Part of this lack of sensitivity is due to fact we breath to get ride of CO2, not to get O2. The concentration of O2 in the air you exhale is only slightly less than that you inhaled. The concentration of the CO2 in exhaled air is much greater than in the air you inhale. If your blood flow were connected up to some machine that removed the CO2, I bet you could hold your breath for at least 15 minutes as even at the end of that time, there would still be all the O2 in your lungs you need.

    AT APL/JHU we had two huge steel "bell jars" that were mainly use to do thermal tests of space crafts, when closed and evacuated. They were hand cranked up - lot of work as very heavy, so men working inside only cranked them up a foot or so and squeezed thru the gap to enter or leave. One day two men were working inside for several hours and unfortunately had left the dry N2 gas flow on. Both died. They could have left at any time but felt no need to have O2 - they were getting rid of their CO2, just fine. They were found when one failed to show at his car pool at ~5:15 PM for trip home.

    The N2 was slowly leaked in to return the internal pressure to atmospheric - did not want any room dust or H2O vapor contaminating the interior of the satellite. They forgot to turn the N2 off when interior pressure was atmospheric - just cranked bell jar up and crawled under to do the work needed. It must be a wonderful way to commit suicides. In Oregon that is legal now. - Could make nice killing service business there, I think.

    I can imagine getting into condition that I wanted to end my life. A small N2 tank, a plastic bag sealed around my neck, except not completely tight so N2 flow can carry all the O2 out of the bag SLOWLY is the best way to do that I know of.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
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  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I am not sure that CO2 is unnecessary to human metabolism. I haven't done the research but from a holistic perspective all CO2 would be a necessary aspect of human wellness as is NItrogen and obviously oxygen. We are complex organisms and for example emotional health may be directly related to O2/CO2 body balance. The condition of Hypercapnia (excessive body/blood C02 suggest that blood CO2 is actually necessary but when it exceeds an appropriate balance severe issues with health can ensue.
    The fact that Oxygen in itself can be quite poisonous at pressure ( deep sea diving) gives an indication of why the balance in gases is so important to health.

    Another example comes to mind : Maintaining a steady pulse (at rest- sleep) may requires steady states of CO2. When this balance in the body is disturbed due to various reasons ill health can ensue

    I do agree with the thrust of what you are writing though...
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    So to sum up my position:
    It is not just the level of CO2 that is the concern but what is most important is the balance of O2 and CO2 in our atmosphere.
    When that balance is disturbed like we are starting to see then ultimately it is not just global warming and climate change that is at stake.

    The leading medics of the world must know of this possibility IMO hence the urgency behind the Quit (smoking) campaign started in the 80's which forced many closed environment venues such as night clubs and bars to not allow smoking. My contention is that they are not so much worried about passive smoking and medical conditions related but more about maximizing oxygen levels in those venues.( Ambient CO - Carbon Monoxide inhibits O2 uptake)
    ( as the long term predicted worsening of ambient ratios of global atmospheric gases will inevitably generates high blood CO2 - hypercapnia - the Quit smoking campaign is only a way of mitigating and not neutralizing the threat IMO)
    Call it nonsense if you wish.. I don't really care...I have too many friends who are suffering undiagnosable breathing problems to ignore the above possibility/hypothesis
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    All true.
    Yes. But from a human perspective that's meaningless. At 45,000 feet there is 21% oxygen in the air, but you would quickly pass out and eventually die. Why? Because our bodies don't care what the percentage is; they care about what the partial pressure of oxygen is. That is a meaningful number to organisms. Percentage is not.
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Sorry but I can't agree.
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It is not needed; it is a waste product. We have, of course, learned to live with a certain amount in our blood and in the air.
    You can live quite well in an atmosphere with no CO2 in it.
    Nitrogen is not needed. In special cases (space missions) people breathe 100% O2 with no ill effects. It is rarely done because of the fire risk.
    Again, no. You get used to a certain amount of CO2 in your _blood_ and if that changes suddenly (due to necessary heavier breathing at altitude) it can mess up your respiratory drive - but people adapt to that fairly quickly.
    That is complete nonsense. Compare the amount of oxygen required for a cigarette to the amount of oxygen required for a human. No venues claimed that as a reason, nor did any medical experts cite that as a reason. (Unless you think there is a shadowy conspiracy . . .)
    That is true, and in fact limits O2 uptake no matter how much O2 you are breathing. With enough exposure to carbon monoxide you can die even if you are quickly put on 100% oxygen, since it replaces oxygen in your blood.
    Then do the math and disprove it for yourself. It is unethical to give your friends known-false information about their medical conditions.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    What don't you agree with? That partial pressure is important? That you would eventually die at 45,000 feet even with a 21% oxygen atmosphere?
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    The extinction coming from continuation of present "business as usual" is not going to be directly due to CO2 too high - it could be more than five times the current level with essentially no problems about breathing it. Even if 5 times higher, say 2,000ppm, the direct increase in blocking IR escape more would not make any lethal heating of the air, IMO, as those absorption bands are already blocking about 2/3 of all the IR then can. - A five fold increase would boost the CO2 radiative forcing by 50%, at most, I think.

    The danger is that there are about 25 positive feed back systems now known. Acting together, mutually amplifying their thermal effects is what will drive all but the tiny mammals extinct. Tiny mice avoid the heat of the day under ground where the temperature is only the diurnal average, and with high surface to volume ratio can dump their metabolic heat to the environment. Man needs to dump ~100W so stay trim (higher surface to volume ratio) and you will get to help burry the fat people.

    CH4 is the main threat - far from IR saturation now an already more a GHG per pound than CO2 by factor of >100 during the first 10 years after release. That 100+ is rapidly increasing as CO2 and the OH- mutually destroy each other. For more than 800,000 years the rate of OH- produced by harsh UV high up was greater than the rate of CH4 release. Thus, CH4 concentration was held low by the super abundance of OH- radical. That changed about two decades ago.

    Now the rate of CH4 release is greater than the sun can produce OH- so CH4 concentration has more than tripped (compared to peak in last million or so years), and each molecule of CH4 "lives" longer before it finds a OH- to die with. In 2003 the CH4 half life in air was 9.6 years. In 2013 it was 12.6 years. Thus now every year the average time a molecule of CH4 stay in air as a powerful GHG is increasing by 0.3 years, with no clear limit to how long the CH4 half life will become. I.e. not too long before A Kilogram puff of CH4 released at t = 0 will do same GHG heating as a 100Kg puff of CO2 for first 20 years. etc.*

    * I started a thread, asking for help with math needed to quantatively evaluate how the CH4 heating will increase as the life-time increase with time is considered at:
    It has had 74 "views" but no one has taken the challenge. I have described what must be integrated and noted that there are sites that do numerical integration for free. I have never used one and prefer the integration be done by someone who has. Repenner did analytically integrate with constant CH4 half life of 12.4 years - quite an impressive effort as to compare to CO2, he knew there are three different half-lifes, with three differnent removal mechanisms.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015

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