This site explains the affect that Henry’s Law in association with Le Chatelier’s principle, Fick’s Law, and Grahams Law have on the dynamic equilibrium of the net gaseous carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and dissolved carbon dioxide in the Earth’s extensive biosphere, to wit: the ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface. This is a temperature dependent function.
Temperature increases always precede releases of CO2 from water into the air. into the air. Decreases in temperature always result in greater concentration of dissolved CO2 at the air/water surface boundary.
ClimateCite, a US 501(c)(3)compliant nonprofit educational and research institute has written and published this scientifically authoritative website which explains the physical chemistry of Henry’s Law and its operation controlling and regulating the Earth’s net CO2 atmospheric content. It is structured for both advanced Ph.D. level scientists and scientifically lay people.
Mankind and its introduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere through his use of hydro- carbon based fuels (sometimes referred to as fossil fuels) does not and cannot increase the total net atmospheric CO2 concentration. The term net atmospheric concentration means all remaining CO2 in the atmosphere after introduction of all CO2 from all sources, natural and anthropogenic, and absorption in the Earth’s biosphere “sinks”. Concepts such as the half-life of man’s CO2 are without scientific merit. Total net CO2 atmospheric concentration is controlled and regulated solely by Henry’s Law and subject to its variables including temperature which is the primary driver of CO2 increases and decreases per period time. Just as Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation defines the mechanics of gravity, Henry’s Law defines the dynamic equilibrium of gases in continuous contact with liquids, including for example CO2 gas in the atmosphere in contact with Earth’s ocean and other water bodies.
Henry’s law states that at a constant temperature, the amount or concentration of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas. Consumers experience Henry’s law at work every day when a carbonated beverage is taken out of the refrigerators and slowly loses its carbonization fizz as it reaches room temperature. Henry’s law 100% controls or regulates the Earth’s atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2). As the surface temperature of a body of water increases it liberates CO2. Conversely when that body of water decreases in temperature it absorbs CO2. The Earth’s surface is over 70% water. Like Newton’s laws of motion, acceleration, and gravity, Henry’s law is just that; a constant law of physics.
Why is it that so many well qualified scientists including those with Ph.D. degrees in physics, chemistry, and geology do not discuss Henry’s law and the fact that it is nature’s CO2 control mechanism and regulator? Unlike Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity which is taught in grade school, Henry’s Law is not taught in high school physics or chemistry and the vast majority of university undergraduate and graduate physics books do not discuss Henry’s Law. Thus there is a critical hole in the scientific knowledge that leads to the confusion and misunderstanding of man’s contribution of net atmospheric CO2 and the related fictitious concept of AGW commonly called climate change. CO2 is a fundamental building block of life.