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More Co2 = less brains?

Jaimie Polson jaimiep at cortex.physiol.su.oz.au
Mon Feb 10 05:07:17 EST 1997

In <5dlnvd$96f at gold.interlog.com> brians at interlog.com (Brian Scott) writes:

>I think it would take very large excesses of CO2 in the atmosphere to 
>have significant effects on brain function.  The body has many ways of 
>dealing with increased CO2 and acid in blood, including increased 
>ventillation and various buffering mechanisms.  People with these 
>mechanisms intact would probably be able to stand large changes in 
>atmospheric CO2 levels while those not able to maintain homeostasis due 
>to respiratory and/or acid/base equilibrium problems may have difficulty.


But then if atmospheric CO2 is increased, then mechanisms to increase
respiratin would not be effective because you would be breathing in the
high levels of CO2.  This is different to increased CO2 due to increased
metabolism or whatever.  CO2 of course dissolves in the blood at relatively
high concentrations (which is why we use it to put the bubbles in beer). But
I think it dissociates to form HCO3 + H (?) so therefore would this cause
increased acidity in the blood?  What are the buffering mechanisms?

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