Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of 2 oxygen atoms each covalently double bonded to a single carbon atom. It is a gas at standard temperature and pressure and exists in Earth's atmosphere in this state, as a trace gas at a concentration of 0.04 per cent (400 ppm) by volume, as of 2014.
As part of the carbon cycle, plants, algae, and cyanobacteria use light energy to photosynthesize carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen produced as a waste product. However, photosynthesis cannot occur in darkness and at night some carbon dioxide is produced by plants during respiration. Carbon dioxide is produced by combustion of coal or hydrocarbons, the fermentation of sugars in beer and winemaking and by respiration of all living organisms. It is exhaled in the breath of humans and other land animals. It is emitted from volcanoes, hot springs, geysers and other places where the earth's crust is thin and is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution. CO2 is also found in lakes, at depth under the sea and commingled with oil and gas deposits.
The environmental effects of carbon dioxide are of significant interest. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the primary source of carbon in life on Earth and its concentration in Earth's pre-industrial atmosphere since late in the Precambrian eon was regulated by photosynthetic organisms. Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas; burning of carbon-based fuels since the industrial revolution has rapidly increased the concentration, leading to global warming. It is also a major source of ocean acidification since it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, which is a weak acid as its ionization in water is incomplete.