Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently 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 0.039 per cent by volume.
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 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.