The Azimuth Project
Carbon is forever

Carbon is forever is the title of this article on our recommended reading list:

This phrase is also a shorthand for an important fact: a substantial fraction of the carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere will stay there for hundreds or thousands of years! Once carbon dioxide is put into the atmosphere, about 50% of it will stay there for decades. About 30% of it will stay there for centuries. And about 20% will stay there for thousands of years, as shown in this graph from Global Warming Art

The above graph was based on:

The “Carbon is forever” paper is based largely on these more recent calculations:

For climate implications, see:

For the very long term perspective (how CO2 may affect the glacial-interglacial cycle over geologic time), see:

For how processes at very different time scales affect the uptake of carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere, see:

category: carbon