# A small note on a small thing of .035%

by coberly

that the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere was
0.035%. One reader commented with what seemed like a sneer that such
a “trace amount” did not need to be taken seriously.

Here are three small points about that:

In a cubic millimeter of air, that’s a box about half the size of one
of these letters, there are nine trillion (9,000,000,000,000)
molecules of Carbon Dioxide.

If you were to take a thousand of those boxes and stack them one on
top of each other, you’d have a very skinny stack one meter high.
If you did that ten times, you’d have a very skinny stack about ten
meters, or 33 feet high. That’s ten thousand millimeters.

If only three of those boxes were filled with Carbon Dioxide, the
concentration of Carbon Dioxide in your stack of tiny boxes would be
0.03%. Not very much, but if you put those three boxes at the top of
the stack you’d have a layer of Carbon Dioxide about an eighth of an
inch thick. If you put lots and lots of such stacks right next to
each other you’d have a space about 30 feet high with an eighth of
and inch thick “roof.” I have a barn about 30 feet high with a tin
roof about an eighth of an inch thick. It is very effective at
blocking the sun’s rays.

Now, if you step outside the barn into the sunshine and look around
you, every green thing, every tree, every blade of grass, everything
that eats anything green, and everything that eats anything that eats
anything green is made out sunshine, water, and that “trace” of
Carbon Dioxide.
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This written by coberly