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SOURCES 1The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has been increasing rapidly over the last few decades and continues to do so 2Historically the trends in increase of carbon dioxide started in the late 1700s This was the approximate time of the Industrial Revolution At this time the carbon dioxide concentration was around 270 ppm pounds per million Concentrations grew very slowly from this time until the twentieth century But in the last century especially in the last fifty years carbon dioxide levels have grown rapidly It is presently around 350 ppm 3Next page 4The Antarctic ice sheet provides a long record of carbon dioxide concentrations This is done by examining tiny bubbles of air in the ice core at different levels below the present ice surface The deeper layers in the ice core correspond to times in the more distant past The air bubbles can be analysed for the relative abundance of carbon dioxide to estimate atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at times extending back 160 000 years Through the ice sheet we know that 160 000 years ago carbon dioxide concentrations were about 180 ppm and have presently exceeded 350 ppm 5There are mainly 3 major sources of carbon dioxide presently and historically They are industrial activity land use change and cement plants The carbon dioxide from industrial activity mainly comes from fossil fuel burning and is by far the most abundant of sources The carbon dioxide from land use change comes mostly from deforestation which occurs mostly in Brazil Indonesia and Columbia The last major source of carbon dioxide in the earths atmosphere is the emission from cement plants Carbonaceous material used for making cement releases significant amounts of carbon dioxide This source is fairly large since cement is used for roads bridges buildings and powering and manufacturing plants SINKS 1A carbon dioxide sink is a storage reservoir that increases in size and the
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