Importance of CO2

…Importance of CO2…

The media has created a distorted impression of CO2, painting it as a dangerous villain, and the cause of global warming and climate change.

Rather than being a villain, CO2 is, in fact, a vitally important component of the atmosphere.

Atmospheric CO2 is also not a threat to human or animal life in concentrations far greater than we are likely to be exposed to.

But, CO2 is vital to plant growth. If atmospheric CO2 is below 150 ppm, plants die.

Rather than being a villain, CO2 is a hero: It is vital to human existence.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 results in increased plant growth, meaning there will be more food and plant resources available to mankind.

This graph, from a presentation by the Right Climate Stuff Research Team of former Apollo scientists, summarizes the facts about CO2.

Here is a summary of the graph’s salient points:

  • The CO2 safe limit for US Navy submarines is 8,000 ppm (Dotted red line)
  • The CO2 safe limit for the space station is 5,000 ppm (Dotted blue line)
  • A line depicting the gradual doubling of CO2 is near the bottom of the graph
  • The minimum atmospheric CO2 requirements to sustain plant growth is 150 ppm (Dotted green line)

In addition, atmospheric CO2 has been as high as 7,000 ppm approximately 550 million years ago, and as high as 2,000 ppm as recently as 150 million years ago.

What the graph clearly shows is how close mankind came to extinction when atmospheric CO2 levels dropped to 183 ppm during the last ice age.

Mankind has been living on the ragged edge of extinction at these low levels of CO2.

And, it’s clear that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels would only increase temperatures by a slight amount, perhaps no more than 0.8 degrees C.

A doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels would be a boon to mankind: More food and a lower threat of extinction.


This is the fourth article in the series: Let Science Do the Talking.

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