CO2 forest debate continues

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Wed Dec 23 08:00:52 EST 1998

dwheeler at wrote:

> What I find interesting in the discussion of CO2 increase/tree growth is that
> at a certain point (sorry, I can't cite what percentage) the CO2 increase
> effectively decreases the available atmospheric 02 as a percentage of the
> atmosphere. Eventually, open fires cease to be capable of burning without
> some source of oxygen. As I recall, the scientific discussion began in the
> 70's, and between 1980-1990, the percentage increased a full percent. If I
> recall correctly (can someone help me here with facts?) if the atmospheric
> CO2 concentration increases just 1 more percent, forest fires will cease to
> burn. Along with barbeques, campfires, and cooking fires. A rather alarming
> aspect considering that most of the world's population cooks its food over
> open fires.

The increase in CO2 certainly may decrease the percent of the atmosphere
that consists of O2, but why should that have anything to do with fires
burning? Unless CO2 itself is a fire depressant. And if the rate of
growth of plants increases with more CO2, then the production of O2 will
go up; so perhaps the actual percentage of the atmosphere that is O2 may
go up. Not sure though; but it's an interesting topic. We ought to be
careful with how we fool around with our air. After all - we inhale the

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