Thursday, June 15, 2006

Carbon Numbers

I like numbers at least as well as words--probably better--so here are a few interesting ones on the scale of things. This is from a paper by Zimov et. al. published in tomorrow's issue of Science:
  • amount of carbon in the Earth's atmosphere at the last glacial maximum: 360 Gt (Gigatons)
  • during pre-industrial times: 560 Gt
  • today: 730 Gt
  • carbon in the ocean: 40,000 Gt, of which 2,500 Gt is organic carbon
  • in soils: 1,500 Gt
  • in vegetation: 650 Gt
  • amount of carbon transferred from geological reservoirs (fossil fuels) to the atmosphere: 6.5 Gt/yr.

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