The Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, and Chemistry; And Guardian of Experimental Science Volume 8

The Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, and Chemistry; And Guardian of Experimental Science Volume 8

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1842 edition. Excerpt: ... and their roots being but imperfectly developed would not furnish much excrementitious matter to the soil. Once admit that an excess of carbonic acid was in the air during this period, and an immense vegetation would be the result. The carbonic acid being once extracted could only be returned to the atmosphere by a complete decay of the plants which had used it as food. But we find that the plants constituting coal have been subjected only to partial decay. They have yielded up most of their oxygen, but their carbon has been for the most part retained: their hydrogen has also in a great measure disappeared. From the composition of coal compared with that of woody fibre, it is obvious that during the formation of 353 cubic feet of Newcastle splint coal, the atmosphere must have received 800 cubic feet of oxygen gas, and lost a corresponding quantity of carbonic acid. Now, suppose we were to calculate the quantity of carbon in all the carboniferous deposits at two thousand billion pounds (a quantity which must be much under the truth); then during its formation no less than 64,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet of carbonic acid must have been extracted from the atmosphere, and a like quantity of oxygen gas returned to it. This is equal to-of the quantity of carbonic acid present in the whole extent of the atmosphere. And when we consider that this is but a portion of the carbonic acid removed, we may reasonably conclude that the atmosphere contained, at the commencement of the great carboniferous epoch, more than double the quantity of carbonic acid which it does now. We have no grounds for affirming that there is a less vegetation now than in early times. On the contrary, it is highly probable that the vegetation now is much greater than that of...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 12mm | 408g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236520866
  • 9781236520869