2012-03-03 09:23:00Bunch of questions
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.175.176

Got this email, immediate gut instinct is to reply "dude, do your own research!" but if anyone has any immediate answers to any of these questions, please post them here and I'll throw them into a reply:

Hi, I'm finding that a lot of my friends don't believe that we are a major contributor to climate warming or even in climate warming.  So I'm putting together a video to upload to YouTube.  I have a few questions that I can't find answers for on the web so I though I would ask you guys.  Here goes:
What percent of vehicle exhaust on average is CO2 and greenhouse gases?
At sea level, what is the cubic area a ton of CO2 takes up (like, the size of a basketball court 10 feet tall)?
Correlation question: I heard that the last time we were at 393 PPM was 20 million years ago...if so, and the last time lake Vostok saw daylight was 20 million years ago, is it safe to say the 2.5 miles of ice the Russians drilled through was in the oceans?  
With regard to PPM, If translated to % (1 out of 100 instead of 1 out of a million) is it safe to say 393 PPM=.0393%.
Also, in "PPM" what does "Parts" refer to - molecules?  
Last question: with regard to Hydrocarbons, can I equate that to "gas vapor" since it is unburned or unspent fuel?  
I greatly appreciate any help you can provide.

2012-03-03 09:36:20
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Answer to the first question can be found here (globally 10-13.5%, depending on what types of transport you account; 21-27% in the USA.  Interesting the USA is almost exactly twice the global fraction.  We like our cars!):

GHG flowchart

2012-03-03 09:38:27
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

"With regard to PPM, If translated to % (1 out of 100 instead of 1 out of a million) is it safe to say 393 PPM=.0393%."

Yup

2012-03-03 10:03:37
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Smells like a setup.  The answers will be duly taken out of context.  And validated as "Skeptical Science said so!"

2012-03-03 15:32:13
Sarah
Sarah Green
sarah@inlandsea...
67.142.177.26

At sea level, what is the cubic area a ton of CO2 takes up (like, the size of a basketball court 10 feet tall)?

Tons to moles:

1 ton CO2 * 1x10^6 g/ton * 1 mol CO2/44 g CO2 = 22,727 moles CO2

Moles to volume:

V=nRT/P --> volume = moles*R*T/pressure

n= 22,727 moles CO2

R= 8.2057 x 10^-5 m^3 atm /K mol

T= 273+25= 298K

P= 1 atmo

--->

V= 555.7 m^3.

That's a cube 8.2 meters on a side.

It gets bigger when T increases (gas expands); smaller when P increases (gas compresses).

2012-03-03 16:03:55
Sarah
Sarah Green
sarah@inlandsea...
67.142.177.26

Also, in "PPM" what does "Parts" refer to - molecules?

Yes.

A sample of 1,000,000 molecules of atmosphere has about:

390 molecules of CO2, and increasing 

780,840 molecules of N2

209,460 molecules of O2

9,340 molecules of argon

and some other trace components.

For gases, ppm is equivalent to ppmv, parts per million by volume.

2012-03-03 16:09:07
Sarah
Sarah Green
sarah@inlandsea...
67.142.177.26

with regard to Hydrocarbons, can I equate that to "gas vapor" since it is unburned or unspent fuel?  

Hydrocarbons can be liquid (gasoline) or solid (parafin). A hydrocarbon is any molecule made of C and H only: methane (CH4), propane (C3H6), benzene (C6H6), really big ones (C43H88), etc. are all hydrocarbons.

Unburnt fuel can be emitted as hdrocarbon vapor.

2012-03-05 19:01:46
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
58.165.89.133

ppm is always ppmv - Parts Per Million Volumetric. So yes, this is molecule count, not mass.