a reply to: Greven
It doesn't disagree with him.
D8Tee is absolutely correct with his description of photosynthesis and its effect as a negative feedback control on carbon dioxide levels. What you
are posting is an overall measurement on oxygen levels.
That graph needs to be put into perspective. It shows an oxygen loss of 0.0019% atmospheric volume per year, yes. The total oxygen concentration in
the atmosphere is approximately 20% by volume. So it's not as bad as that graph makes it look. If the graph showed the actual decrease on full scale,
no one would be able to see the deviation. The trend may be worthy of notice, but it is far from disastrous.
The oxygen cycle is not the same as the carbon dioxide cycle, although the two are related. Oxygen is created through photosynthesis and consumed by
combustion, whether that combustion is organic (respiration) or chemical (energy). The actual numbers involved do not matter; only the ratio between
them matters. If carbon dioxide levels go up, more oxygen is produced via the greening effect; if oxygen numbers go up, more carbon dioxide is
produced through increased quantities of fauna.
The whole idea behind this thread is sound; if we produce additional carbon dioxide, through energy conversion or population, the ecosphere will
respond by increasing plant growth rates and efficiency in an attempt to maintain balance. However, if we remove the mechanism by which the ecosphere
accomplishes this, then we have created a problem. We do not need to tax people, let people freeze to death in the winter, or live in caves... all we
need do is to not destroy the flora.
It's (luckily) not just trees that are the issue. It's cities. Even grass absorbs carbon dioxide, but asphalt and concrete do not. That's one reason I
tend to get frustrated with slickers (city dwellers) who cry about Global Warming... their lifestyle is the problem!
Fortunately, there are solutions. Make technology available to equatorial third-world countries in exchange for pledges to curb deforestation. That
will reduce their need to log vast areas to survive, and spur their economic development to boot. Seed the oceans with algae. Oceanic algae is more
beneficial to overall photosynthesis levels than the rainforest, and the natural boon to oceanic life would improve exhausted fishing levels to boot.
The result of either will be more oxygen, less carbon dioxide, and more food.
Or, as has been previously mentioned... plant some trees! Fruit and nut trees also produce food.
The only downside is that it does not involve taxing people. All those programs would involve minimal cost.