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Oxygen Cycle

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Keevyn Baden-Winterwood

on 12 January 2013

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Transcript of Oxygen Cycle

Oxygen Cycle What is The Oxygen Cycle? Respiration Photosynthesis Weathering Photolysis Combustion Atmosphere Oceans The oxygen cycle, is a bio geochemical loop that shows carbon's movements. Oxygen is found almost everywhere in the world, and has many affects on the earth.

Here is a diagram of how the oxygen cycle works...
Respiration is the process that is simply defined as breathing. With every breath we take, we become more attached with our biosphere. We (and several other organisms) breath in oxygen, and breath out carbon dioxide. Because the plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, this makes it a cycle.
Here is how that cycle works... Photosynthesis, is the process which mostly green plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. The plants take in water, energy from the sun, and carbon dioxide to make a five carbon sugar called glucose. During this process, they also create oxygen for us to breath. If they did not go through this complex process, there would be no cycle for us to get air, and in turn for them to obtain carbon dioxide. Here is an image of how photosynthesis works. Oxygen has a very strong affect when it comes to weathering rocks. The oxygen breaks down the rocks on an atomic level. Chemical weathering comes from a chemical reaction in between minerals in the rock and oxidizers. Water (will be spoken about later) also erodes at rock. Here is a visual aid of how oxygen affects rocks. Photolysis is the decomposition (separation of molecules) that is caused by oxygen and light. For example, when we bury trash in a land fill we are cutting it off from light and oxygen. This means, the trash that we bury must wait for the garbage above it to decompose. Because of this highly inefficient system, some trash will take very long or even never decompose. However, garbage that is exposed to light and oxygen decomposes much quicker. Combustion occurs when burning a substance. When burning a substance, such as fossil flues, carbon dioxide levels rise. As we know, the atmosphere attempts to balance so when carbon dioxide levels rise oxygen levels fall. Because of the estimated 21.3 billion tonnes of fossil flues in the past year, there has been a drastic drop in oxygen levels. An atmosphere is the term to describe the gasses that surround the planet. The atmosphere has lots of oxygen. Because of the combustion of fossil flues, the amount of "green house gasses" is rising. Green house gasses, are gasses that prevent light energy that has already bounced off the earths surface from leaving. The energy instead bounces back to earth heating the planet. In the atmosphere, the oxygen levels are depleting. Humans have had a large impact of the depletion of oxygen in the atmosphere. Because of us, it is possible that the oxygen levels of the atmosphere could vanish completely. Here is a visual aid to further understanding... Oceans are extremely large bodies of water that contain more oxygen than you might think. Sadly, those oxygen levels fluctuate causing dead zones. Runoff from fertilizers, soil erosion, animal waster, and sewage cause these dead zones. Because of the nitrogen and phosphors, the oxygen is depleting. Also, this makes growing conditions for algae better. The season is the independent factor, because this is what influences the amount of waste put into the river. The size of the dead zones change depending on the season. The dead zones are the responsibility of humans, because we are the ones putting chemicals in the water. If we were more responsible and used less fertilizers, the amount of fish and marine life that die for no reason would be brought down significantly. Here is a picture of what a dead zone in the gulf of Mexico looks like Work Cited
Humans affect this cycle with every breath they take. Also by industrializing, we have put many more pollutants into the air. Humans directly impact this cycle, because we are constantly breathing and inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. The human impact on photosynthesis is fairly straight forward. Humans breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide. Plants take in the carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen. This cycle is vital to our survival. Without enough plants, human kind would not be able to survive. Human impact is very important to this topic. Instead of recycling and composting, most people put objects in the trash that do not belong. Some items would be reused before decomposing in a landfill. Landfills are a waste of time, money, and space. When trash is sealed off from sunlight and oxygen, it has no hope of decomposing. If we want our trash to become part of the soil, we need to recycle and compost anything and everything that we can. The human affect on the drop in oxygen levels in the atmosphere is a very bad reflection on man kind. To preserve the earth, we must have oxygen. At the rate that we are making oxygen burn away, and cutting down trees and plants that would replenish it we are going to run out of air. If we were to run out of air, it would not only kill every human on the planet but every living organism. Even the few that do not rely on oxygen to live, their source of food would die out because it is likely that they required food to survive. Here is a diagram describing what the affect is.
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