**5.4. The Check from the Budget at z 3**

Stars are subdominant in the budget at low redshift
and likely are even less significant at redshift
*z* 3, so it makes
sense to compare the sum of the high redshift diffuse gas components in
Table 3
to the sum at low redshift and the prediction of light
element nucleosynthesis.

The sum of the central values for diffuse baryons at
*z* 3 is = 0.04. This is consistent with the
maximum sum in our low redshift budget but again contradicts the
standard model for helium abundance. The sum of the
minimum values at *z* 3
is within the error flags in
equation (38) and the standard model for the light
elements. Thus there is no contradiction with
equation (38), but advances in the observations of the
intergalactic medium at high redshift may provide a critical
test.