“I wasn’t actually sure about climate change until I did the math myself.” – David Vogel, Trustee and Co-Founder of VoLo Foundation

How do we prove that humans account for 100% of the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere?

If you remember high school chemistry, then you have the tools to calculate how many molecules are in the atmosphere…

14.7 lbs/sq inch (barometer measurement)

=2.278504557 lbs/sq cm 1.03568389 kgs/sq cm 6370 radius of the earth in km 637000000 radius of the earth in cm x 5.09904E+18 square cm in the earth

=5.28099E+18 kgs of the atmosphere

=5.28099E+21 mass of atmosphere in grams 29 grams per mol of air 1.82103E+20 mols of air in the atmosphere

=1.09626E+44 molecules of air in the atmosphere

Next let’s calculate how many molecules of CO2 humans produce each year…

Coal

5.50E+09 # tons of coal consumption

=1.54E+10 Tons of CO2 when burned

=1.54E+16 grams of CO2 44 grams per mol of CO2 (12 + 16 + 16) 3.50E+14 mols of CO2 released annually

=2.11E+38 molecules of CO2 released annually

Oil

35,000,000,000 2016 barrels of oil consumption worldwide

=86 kgs of carbon in a barrel getting released to atmosphere (whole barrel weighs 125 kg, 85% Carbon) (actual number is possibly over 100, but this is conservative based on fuels and heating oil produced in refinery)

=3.01E+12 kgs of carbon from oil to atmosphere

=1.10367E+13 kgs of CO2 to atmosphere

=1.10367E+16 grams of CO2 to atmosphere 44 grams per mol of CO2 (12 + 16 + 16) 2.51E+14 mols of CO2 released annually

=1.51E+38 molecules of CO2 released annually

3.62E+38 total CO2 molecules from oil and coal

=3.3 ppm of CO2 per year conclusively man-made from just coal and oil

Sources: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 and International Energy Agency.

These charts were originally released by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 as part of the Mission 2013 Carbon Sequestration.

Chart 1 shows the historical increase of Global Atmospheric CO2 concentration from 1750 to 2010. The greatest increase occurs from 1950 to today. This increase parallels the growth of the coal and oil industries.

Chart 2 shows the expected increase of Global Atmospheric CO2 concentration from 2010 to 2110, should no changes in emission output be made (i.e. Business As Usual).