Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Atmospheric carbon dioxide and base-load electricity

By Charles Hemmings - posted Tuesday, 23 August 2022


It is widely believed that the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the last 250 years (about 200 ppm) is mainly attributable to the burning of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution and the evidence is very convincing, especially with carbon isotope data. Whether this increase (0.02% absolute) is causing "global warming" of an amount leading to a catastrophe for humanity in the near future is far more questionable.

"Global warming" (the planet's core is very hot) is probably a politicized term for "surface warming", the latter being a more accurate description. Based solely on this unproven hypothesis that a catastrophe is nigh, the rich developed world, say 10% of the world's population, has decided to abandon the use of fossil fuels without having a proven substitute available with similar cost and reliability characteristics, except for nuclear.


This is risky if nuclear is not considered, it could be costly for these countries, because many other, especially poorer countries, will continue as at present and be more competitive economically, not to mention China.

One the one hand we do not want a global catastrophe nor disrupt natural processes and equilibria, on the other, abandoning cost-effective and reliable sources of energy without it being imminently necessary when there is no equivalent substitute available would be somewhat suicidal behaviour. Determining whether or not CO2 contributes to significantly and rapidly raising the temperature of the atmosphere is a vital consideration in this context.


The scope of this paper is to use publically available data and classical physics to review how much anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are being contained in, and affecting the atmosphere of the Earth and some of its implications related to the realities of energy generation and consumption issues, divorced from politics, in the real world. The author has no affiliation with the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, the green movement nor any political party and is funded by superannuation.

Distribution of Anthropogenic CO2

Calculated annual increase in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 is 36x109/5.2x1015 = 6.9 ppm which is not accord with the measured increase which presently is approximately 2.5 ppm per year. This would suggest that either the estimate for mass of CO2 in the atmosphere is too low, the estimate of annual anthropogenic emissions is too high or, more likely, the CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere by processes such as photosynthesis, increasing atmospheric O2 content, and dissolution in the oceans, reducing pH and creating carbonaceous sediments or some combinations of these. Approximately 40% (2.5/6.9) of annual anthropogenic emissions are being retained in the atmosphere at present.


Annual Production of Heat by Anthropogenic CO2 Combustion

Annual anthropogenic heat produced = 36x1015 x393.5 kJ/44=322x1015 kJ

Annual equivalent atmospheric temperature rise = 322x1015/0.70x5.2x1018 = 88x10-3 = 0.088 or approximately 0.1 Celsius or Kelvin degrees.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

15 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Charles Hemmings has a background in metallurgy, earth sciences and business. He is retired.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Charles Hemmings

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Charles Hemmings
Article Tools
Comment 15 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy