why does carbon dioxide kill trees and wildlife

The main problem is that if you are inhaling carbon dioxide instead of normal air, then you are obviously breathing reduced oxygen or no even no oxygen at all. Any gas can kill by this means, simply because you're breathing it instead of getting oxygen. A second problem is that carbon dioxide becomes an acid when it dissolves in water. Blood is mostly water, so breathing carbon dioxide will make your blood acidic and that can disrupt your body chemistry.   **Edit   I don't know what kind of engine you're talking about, but normal generator emissions are made up of mostly Nitrogenous gas (N2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Water Vapor (H20). Engines are also made to reduce the emissions of: CO, VCOs, and Nitrogen Oxides. Therefore, it depends on your own engine emissions rates but generally, cases of CO2 poisoning is very rare and is often caused in conjunction with other gases. Here's an example: CO2 is usually at 380 part per million (ppm) in the air you and I breath in. But at 1% or 10,000 ppm (26 times the normal concentration) you would feel drowsy and according to British Medical Journals it takes about 10-25% CO2 (100,000-250,000 ppm, roughly 260 - 650 times normal amounts of CO2 concentrations in the air) to kill. Now, Carbon Monoxide (CO) only takes 35 ppm (0. 0035%) to cause headache and dizziness after long periods of exposure (~8 hours). Exposure at 3,200 ppm can cause death within 30 minutes and at ~13,000 ppm causes death in 2-3 breaths and in less than 3 minutes.

So to summarize - Carbon dioxide CAN kill, but you'll most likely get killed due to Carbon monoxide poisioning many times over already, and kills in roughly the same way as CO2.
Check out our page about Mammoth Lakes back in 1996. But as things quieted down, and my growing interests for volcanoes bloomed for full, I just forgot all about Long Valley and Mammoth Lakes, till now when suddenly a lot of people begin visiting my old page about Long Valley again. So why not look into the matter again, to see what has happened since then? Mammoth Mountain, a young volcano in eastern California, rises above the floor of a large volcanic depression known as Long Valley Caldera. The scenic Long Valley area, popular with skiers, hikers, and campers, has been volcanically active for about 4 million years. about 200 years ago, and earthquakes frequently shake the area. Because of this, the U. S. continuing unrest in the Long Valley area. gas have been detected in the soil on Mammoth Mountain. This invisible gas, seeping from beneath the volcano, is killing trees on the sides of the mountain. gas emission at Mammoth Mountain is 1,300 tons per day. to 300 tons per day. - USGS 1996? ) emission have been measured from the craters of and Kilauea (Hawaii) volcanoes during periods of low-level eruptive activity. Past eruptions at Mammoth Mountain, such as the phreatic (steam-blast) eruptions that occurred about 600 years ago on the volcano's north flank, may have been accompanied by CO emissions.

Scientists think that the current episode of emission is the first large-scale release of the gas on the mountain for at least 250 years, because the oldest trees in the active tree-kill areas are about that age. originally derived from magma. Large amounts of these gases probably were trapped beneath the volcano until 1989. In that year the magma rising through a fault may have opened cracks, allowing the gases to leak upward. Although infrequent small earthquakes continue to occur below the mountain, there is no evidence of current magma movement. It is natural to wonder when and where the next volcanic eruption might occur in the Long Valley area. Geologic processes generally proceed at a slow pace, and when viewed on the scale of a human lifetime, volcanic eruptions and destructive earthquakes happen rarely. Nevertheless, the long history of volcanic activity in the Long Valley area indicates that future eruptions will occur. The pattern of volcanic activity over the past 5,000 years suggests that thenext eruption in the Long Valley area will most likely happen somewhere along the Mono-Inyo volcanic chain. However, the probability of such an eruption occurring in any given year is less than 1%. As long as increased volcanic unrest (including earthquake swarms, ground deformation, and CO2 gas emissions) continues in the Long Valley area, the chances of an eruption occurring in the near future will remain somewhat increased.

However, evidence from large volcanic areas and calderas worldwide shows that unrest, such as the current activity in eastern California, can persist for decades or even centuries without leading to an eruption. Nevertheless, recent eruptions at in Papua New Guinea (1994) and the volcanic complex in Japan (1989) following short periods of unrest emphasize the need to closely monitor restless calderas. The three Inyo Craters, stretch northward across the floor of Long Valley Caldera. During the past 1,000 years there have been at least 12 volcanic eruptions along the chain, (seen here just beyond the farthest Crater). Most likely, the next eruption will be small and similar to previous eruptions along the Mono-Inyo volcanic chain during the past 5,000 years. Such eruptions typically begin with a series of steam-blast explosions as rising molten rock (magma) encounters and vaporizes underground water near the Earth's surface. These blasts can throw large blocks of rock and smaller fragments hundreds of feet into the air, leaving deep, circular pits like the Inyo Craters. (See picture above) Although the chance of a volcanic eruption in any given year is small, future eruptions will occur in the Long Valley area. Because volcanic unrest can escalate to an eruption in a few weeks or less, USGS scientists are closely monitoring activity in this region. Above information collected from diffenrent USGS pages.

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