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The Impact of Biogeochemical Cycles on the Earth System

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Jordan Barany

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of The Impact of Biogeochemical Cycles on the Earth System

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli By Jordan Barany The Impact of Biogeochemical Cycles on the Earth System Earth as a System A system is a collection of interdependent parts enclosed within a defined boundary. Definitions Biogeochemical Cycle: any of the natural circulation pathways of the essential elements of living matter. These elements in various forms flow from the nonliving (abiotic) to the living (biotic) components of the biosphere and back to the nonliving again. In order for the living components of a major ecosystem to survive, all the chemical elements that make up living cells must be recycled continuously Types of Cycles Hydrologic Consequences of Harvesting
Natural Resources The term used to identify this situation is overexploitation. If too many natural resources are harvested, it could could have a direct affect on all of the spheres. For example, if trees are over harvested, the carbon dioxide/oxygen cycles wouldn't occur which would affect the biosphere and atmosphere. Once plants start to die it will start effecting the lithosphere by not allowing nutrients to be retained in the soil. It will then affect the hydrosphere because the water cycle would not be in affect anymore and with all the fish dead, it would mess up the life in the streams and oceans. Basically, and overexploitation could lead to life not being sustained. Impact of Human Activity Humans have been and still are affected ecosystems in a negative way. Assessments How humans have and will change the environment over time Carbon Nitrogen Phosphorus Sulfur Oxygen The Gulf of Mexico Works Cited Major Sources Major Sinks Major Fluxes Residence Time Source: a type of reservois where matter is stored for a short period of time. Has biotic factors like plants and animals (and oceans in some cases). Inputs matter Sink: a type of reservois where matter is stored for a long period of time. Has abiotic factors such as coal deposits. Pulls matter out. Flux: rate at which elements move between sinks and sources. Residence time: how long matter is held in a source or sink. "Biogeochemical Cycle (science)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/65875/biogeochemical-cycle>. Schoepp, Hollyce. May 21, 2013 The lithosphere contains all of the solid rock of the planet's crust and the uppermost part of the upper mantle The hydrosphere contains all of the planet's solid, liquid, and gaseous water The biosphere contains all of the planet's living organisms The atmosphere contains all of the planet's air. Interactions also occur among the spheres; for example, a change in the atmosphere can cause a change in the hydrosphere, and vice versa. Events Spheres are closely connected. For example, birds (biosphere) fly through the air (atmosphere), while water (hydrosphere) flows through the soil (lithosphere). A change in one sphere often results in a change in one or more of the other spheres. These changes that take place within an ecosystem are referred to as events. Within the boundary of the earth is a collection of four interdependent parts called spheres. The four spheres are called the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the atmosphere. Interactions Two-way cause and effect relationship between an event and a sphere is called an interaction Parts of the Earth System Earth's Spheres and Interactions Event Atmosphere Lithosphere Biosphere Hydrosphere How the spheres interact Event/Hydrosphere: A lack of moisture in the soil and in vegetation may have provided a dry environment in which the fires, once burning, could continue to burn. Event/Atmosphere: A lightning strike from the air may have started the fires by igniting dry vegetation. Event/Lithosphere: The intense heat from the fires may have caused some rocks to break apart. Event/Biosphere: Dead branches and pine needles on the ground may have provided fuel for the fires. Lithosphere/Hydrosphere: Increased erosion of loose soil may have led to increased sediments in stream water, making the water muddier. Lithosphere/Biosphere: A decrease in vegetation may have resulted in increased soil erosion because there were fewer roots to hold the soil in place. Lithosphere/Atmosphere: Ash particles in the air may have been carried by the wind and dropped on the ground miles away from the forest fires; the ash particles, which have a high pH, may have changed the pH of the soil. Hydrosphere/Biosphere: Ash particles in the water may have clogged the gills of fish and other aquatic organisms and caused them to choke. Hydrosphere/Atmosphere: Very dry, windy air may have drawn moisture out of the living grasses and trees through evaporation. Biosphere/Atmosphere: Smoke in the air may have coated the lungs of animals, including people, and affected their ability to breathe. Kreger, Chris. "Earth System Science." Earth System Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://www.cotf.edu/ete/ess/essmain.html>. Past Events of Human Activity The Use of DDT Used as a insecticide on crops Not soluble in water Animals ate the plants and passed it along the food chain Traveled into streams and contaminated fish Caused some bird species to become endangered Depending on how much consumed, could kill a human Future Affects of Human Activity The Effects of deforestation and desertification When trees are cleared, the area becomes dry and warm, and annual rainfall decreases Soil starts to erode Flooding occurs The habitat of animals are lost The climate of the surrounding area changes Oxygen and carbon dioxide levels change Changing the Natural Environment "Effects of DDT." Effects of DDT. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://www.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/pest/effects.html>. "Effects of Human Activity on the Ecosystem - ------ GCE Study Buddy ------ The Best O Level Revision Resource." Effects of Human Activity on the Ecosystem - ------ GCE Study Buddy ------ The Best O Level Revision Resource. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2013. <https://sites.google.com/site/urbangeekclassroomsg/5-google-conversation-element/effects-of-human-activity-on-the-ecosystem>. This picture shows how humans have increased Canada's agriculture and activity throughout the land The increase in these things both improved and destroyed Canada's environment. The effect of humans increased agriculture but also destroyed the land by mining and urbanization This picture shows Saudi Arabia and how agriculture and irrigation has improved the land. The picture on the left shows the barren land of Saudi Arabia in 1986 and the picture on the right shows the more fertile land in 2004 How Technology will Impact the Environment Wind Farming Harnessing Geothermal Energy Harvesting wind as energy Pros: •Clean energy, no fuel to drill, frack, mine, transport or burn
•Renewable and sustainable Cons: •Causes fatalities to birds and bats
•Localized impact on night-time temperatures and weather Siegel, R. P. "Wind Power: Pros and Cons." Triple Pundit RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/06/wind-power-pros-cons/>. Harnessing energy (heat) from the core of the Earth Pros: •Almost entirely emission free
•Zero carbon
•The process can scrub out sulfur that might have otherwise been released
•No fuel required (no mining or transportation)
•Not subject to the same fluctuations as solar or wind
•Smallest land footprint of any major power source
•Virtually limitless supply Cons: •Water usage
•Sulfur dioxide and silica emissions Siegel, R. P. "Geothermal Energy: Pros and Cons." Triple Pundit RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/06/geothermal-energy-pros-cons/>. Rivers
Lakes
Wells
Reservoirs
The ocean BP Oil Spill Impacts Damage to Coastal Wetlands Sea Turtles Deep Sea Coral Pelicans "Dead zones" caused low oxygen in coastal waters Eroding wetlands and sediment diversions Over 1,700 sea turtles were killed or stranded Several colonies of deep sea coral were killed Blue Fin Tuna Were already declining in population due to over-fishing Oil spill caused the population to decline even more Go to eat fish from the Gulf and end up either stuck in the oil or die from consuming oil Schleifstein, Mark. "Greater New Orleans." The Times-Picayune. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2013. <http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2013/04/national_wildlife_federation_s_1.html>. Oil pipe burst in the Gulf of Mexico destroyed most of the life and coastal areas (Hydrosphere, Biosphere, Lithosphere)
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