CO2 is bad for you
August 15, 2016 8:04 AM   Subscribe

At levels as low as 600 parts per million, carbon dioxide has measurable effects on human cognition.

In 2013, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that carbon dioxide had measurable negative effects on human cognition at levels as low as 600 parts per million. That was confirmed by a Harvard study this summer.

There hasn't been much research done on the long-term effects of exposure to high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on human beings; even NASA has called for more. There's some speculation (alternate link) that the projected increase in CO2 will result in serious health consequences for human beings by the end of the century.
posted by MrVisible (11 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is a little odd to have following up on your own recent Ask on basically the same subject; one or the other would be basically fine but both feels like it's getting into kind of odd hobbyhorsing territory that'd be better to avoid on the site. -- cortex

Well, we had a good run.
posted by Etrigan at 8:10 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Recently on Ask-MeFi: How bad for you is CO2?
posted by splitpeasoup at 8:12 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Need more trees, many many many more trees.
posted by sammyo at 8:20 AM on August 15, 2016

well this explains the 2016 election
posted by entropicamericana at 8:24 AM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

No, the IP rights on trees are hopelessly snarled. Nobody's going to put money into trees as long as they remain (at least arguably) public domain. We need something patentable instead.
posted by Naberius at 8:24 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:53 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is a deeply problematic feedback loop.
posted by Freen at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

How badly cognition is impaired by CO2 at 350ppm is still unknown to science.
posted by sfenders at 8:58 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I don't suppose any pediatric pulmonologists want to weigh in on how well babies are going to do at 600 parts per million or above?
posted by MrVisible at 9:06 AM on August 15, 2016

Wait-- I'm confused. Those studies do not say what the ThinkProgress piece says. The studies say that there's a measurable impact at as low as >900 ppm, and suggest that there may be smaller effects further down. 600 ppm of CO2 was used as the "low" carbon dioxide level in the Berkeley study, and 550 ppm was used as the "Green" condition in the Harvard study.

ThinkProgress then picks up on that to point out that there are quality of life studies done which indicate that humans report lowered satisfaction with the air at 600 ppm. One of the studies cited in their linked research note (by the World Green Building Council) says that increased tiredness may begin "in the range of 500ppm to 1500ppm".

I can't find anything else showing cognitive problems with exposure at 600 ppm. Am I missing something?
posted by peppercorn at 9:09 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

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