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Thread: Proportion of O2 to CO2

  1. #1 Proportion of O2 to CO2 
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    It seems strange to me that the proportions of oxygen (20.95% ) and carbon dioxide ( 0.04% ) in the atmosphere are so unequal. Since plants and animals have been coexisting for perhaps 650 million years, I would have thought these proportions would have evened out more by now. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?


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    There is more plant biomass then there is animal biomass, and fungi and bacteria often use co2 as well


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedothek View Post
    It seems strange to me that the proportions of oxygen (20.95% ) and carbon dioxide ( 0.04% ) in the atmosphere are so unequal. Since plants and animals have been coexisting for perhaps 650 million years, I would have thought these proportions would have evened out more by now. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
    There is no reason for the amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide to be the same or even similar. I suspect that your question is based on the stoichiometry of photosynthesis, but because the production of oxygen consumes carbon dioxide, the idea that the quantities of these two substances would be similar is incorrect. By contrast, the quantity of elemental oxygen ought to be directly related to the quantity of biomass. This is due to the concomitant production of oxygen and glucose during photosynthesis.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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