This item is restricted to only allow viewing of the metadata.
Half of the CO2 from fossil fuels burned by humans in the last two centuries is missing! Where has it gone, and why? The earth is already heating up. What would happen if the missing CO2 comes back to haunt us? - By burning mountains of coal and oceans of oil, humans are conducting a massive real-time experiment with the climate of our planet. Old, slow carbon that has been locked up deep in the earth for millions of years is being dug up, burned, and enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The young, fast carbon cycle is taking half of this carbon and hiding it, for now, in the world's forests and oceans. This is a good thing! Without this environmental service there would be even more CO2 in the atmosphere than there is now, which would result in even more warming of the land, oceans, and atmosphere. We know for sure that the earth is warming and that it's due to human activity. There is greater uncertainty in how much warmer, and how quickly, it's going to get. This is reality programming at the largest scale. Stay tuned!
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.