Carbon dioxide acts as a simple asphyxiant; in other words, as CO2 levels in a closed room rise, carbon dioxide replaces the oxygen your body needs. When your body can't get oxygen, it slows down and does not function properly. Because carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant, it mostly affects your brain.
At low concentrations, gaseous carbon dioxide appears to have little toxicological effect. At higher concentrations it leads to an increased respiratory rate, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias and impaired consciousness. Concentrations >10% may cause convulsions, coma and death.
Rebreathing CO2 can lead to increased blood pressure, headaches, muscle twitches, rapid heart rate, chest pain, confusion, and fatigue. In extreme cases, if left untreated, hypercapnia can lead to organ damage and even have long standing effects on the brain.
Right now, the methods used to pull carbon dioxide out of the air are slow and expensive. More research is needed to help them work fast enough to make a dent in the rapid rise of greenhouse gases. Additionally, some methods of pulling carbon dioxide out of the air pose risks to the environment.
When we exhale, the composition of the air remains almost the same as the air we inhale, only the percentage of carbon dioxide and oxygen changes. The amount of inhaled air contains 21% of oxygen and 0.04% of carbon dioxide, while the air we breathe out contains 16.4% of oxygen and 4.4% of carbon dioxide.
This could occur when exposed to levels above 5,000 ppm for many hours. At even higher levels of CO2 can cause asphyxiation as it replaces oxygen in the blood-exposure to concentrations around 40,000 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health.
The high concentration of oxygen can help to provide enough oxygen for all of the organs in the body. Unfortunately, breathing 100% oxygen for long periods of time can cause changes in the lungs, which are potentially harmful.
Splitting carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon and oxygen can in fact be accomplished, but there is a catch: doing so requires energy. If hydrocarbon fuels, which produce the greenhouse gas in the first place, supply that energy, thermodynamics tells us that the net result will be more CO2 than you started with.
Carbon dioxide atmosphere absorbs and stores the energy near the earth's surface when incoming solar radiation is reflected back to the space. If there was no carbon dioxide then there would no absorption of solar energy and hence the temperature of earth's surface would be less than the present level.
Carbon dioxide is a different animal, however. Once it's added to the atmosphere, it hangs around, for a long time: between 300 to 1,000 years. Thus, as humans change the atmosphere by emitting carbon dioxide, those changes will endure on the timescale of many human lives.
= 0.0005 kilograms of air per breath. 3.8 carbon dioxide molecules per 10000 air molecules.
The typical volume of an adult is 0.1 m3. So the people are likely to have suffocated after 7.8 104 s or 21 hours and 47 min. In reality this period may be shorter, because people exert more energy and (demand more oxygen) when the CO2 content of the air increases, because they need to breathe more heavily.
The average human exhales about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide on an average day. (The exact quantity depends on your activity level—a person engaged in vigorous exercise produces up to eight times as much CO2 as his sedentary brethren.)
There is evidence from human studies that inhalation of CO2 at various concentrations can cause pain and/or distress.
Carbon dioxide and health
Carbon dioxide is essential for internal respiration in a human body. Internal respiration is a process, by which oxygen is transported to body tissues and carbon dioxide is carried away from them. Carbon dioxide is a guardian of the pH of the blood, which is essential for survival.
Outlook (Prognosis) Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause death. For those who survive, recovery is slow. How well a person does depends on the amount and length of exposure to the carbon monoxide.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warms the planet, causing climate change. Human activities have raised the atmosphere's carbon dioxide content by 50% in less than 200 years.
Without carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere to capture a significant portion of the sun's heat, the planet would have plunged into subfreezing temperatures long ago--and perhaps never warmed enough to allow complex, heat-dependent creatures such as humans to flourish.
Global temperatures could continue to rise for a few years, or a few decades, after all emissions stop, and then they may fall back down again as the climate system stabilizes. That means past a certain point, the world may not be able to avoid temporarily overshooting the Paris Agreement's temperature targets.
Pumping stuff to just above the atmosphere isn't an effective way to get rid of it, although it might be pretty if it's visible from the ground. If you build your pipe straight up from one of the poles, then it'll be fountain-like even when it's millions of miles tall.
The best existing technique to electrochemically break carbon dioxide into pieces that will chemically react uses a catalyst made of platinum.
CO2 is heavier than oxygen, so we might expect every CO2 molecule to sink below a layer of oxygen molecules. Generalizing this idea to the other gases in the air, we might deduce that this would result in a perfectly stratified atmosphere with separate layers of each type of gas.
Today's fighter pilots therefore operate in cabins pressurized according to a pressurization schedule,15 they breathe up to 100% oxygen,15 and they wear and use pressure breathing equipment.
A fluorocarbon called perfluorohexane has both enough oxygen and carbon dioxide with enough space between the molecules that animals submerged in the liquid can still breath normally. This unique property may be applied to medical applications like liquid ventilation, drug delivery or blood substitutes.